Covering Louisiana

Dec 26, 2012 11:11 AM by KATC

LSU Health Care Employee Suspected of HIPPA Violation

LSU Health Care Services Division (LSU HCSD) received notification from law enforcement agencies on November 14, 2012, that one of its employees had been accessing images of a limited number of patients' checks and possibly using that information in a check fraud scheme. From the point it first became aware of this criminal activity, LSU HCSD has cooperated to the fullest extent possible with law enforcement. It has been estimated that the unauthorized access began in January, 2012, but LSU HCSD is continuing its investigation to determine when this activity began. Information accessed by this employee varied by patient, but may have included checking account, driver's license, and social security numbers, date of birth, and other demographic information.

Additionally, LSU HCSD began its own investigation into the incident. The illegal use by the employee of patient checking account information has directly led LSU HCSD to re-evaluate its policies and procedures relating to employee access of patient confidential information. As required by federal law and regulations, LSU HCSD is in the process of notifying all known affected patients by letter of the unauthorized access. It encourages those persons affected to review their bank account statements for 2012 to determine whether any unauthorized checks were written against their accounts. Any questionable transaction should be immediately reported to your banking institution.

Further, LSU HCSD requests that any findings of unauthorized access be reported to it at 1-800-735-1185 so that law enforcement may be notified. As an additional precaution, affected persons are encouraged to monitor their credit history

Any questions concerning this matter should be directed to LSU HCSD's Compliance and Privacy Department at 1-800-735-1185. Press inquiries should be directed to Marvin McGraw, 225.354.7039, mmcgra@lsuhsc.edu.

The Health Care Services Division of LSU Health is one of the largest public healthcare delivery systems in the country. It annually has over 33,000 inpatient admissions, 172,000 inpatient days, 583,000 outpatient clinic visits, 1,118,000 outpatient encounters, and 269,000 emergency department encounters. Each year more than 1,200 residents and fellows from the LSU and Tulane Schools of Medicine and Ochsner Health System and 2,900 nursing and allied health students from many colleges and universities are trained in LSU HCSD facilities.

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