Hennepin County Medical Center Faces Possible Legal Action Over Snooping on George Floyd’s Medical Records

What Information is Protected Under HIPAA Law

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Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis is potentially facing legal action after several employees were discovered to have snooped on George Floyd’s medical records. Attorney Antonio Romanucci of Chicago-based law firm Romanucci & Blandin said he was informed that several employees of Hennepin County Medical Center had accessed George Floyd’s medical records on multiple occasions when there was no legitimate reason for doing so, in clear violation of hospital policies and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Attorneys representing Hennepin County Medical Center notified the family of George Floyd that certain records relating to George Floyd had been inappropriately accessed by certain employees. Details about the types of records viewed by the employees, the individuals involved, and their positions at Hennepin County Medical Center were not disclosed.

Antonio Romanucci and the family’s legal team issued a statement to the Star Tribune saying they are currently “exploring all remedies” to “make this right and make the family whole for this incredible intrusion of privacy…  The security of medical records and personal information is of critical importance in Minnesota and across the country.”

George Floyd’s family have yet to decide whether to take legal action against the medical center. At this stage, no subpoenas have been issued to obtain further information from Hennepin County Medical Center about the number of individuals involved and the types of information they accessed.

Hennepin Healthcare was contacted for further information about the privacy breach and said, “Any breach of patient confidentiality is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” but also said they could not comment on the privacy breach due to patient confidentiality. Hennepin Healthcare did confirm that the individuals who accessed George Floyd’s protected health information are no longer employed by Hennepin County Medical Center. It is unclear if those individuals were terminated or if they voluntarily resigned from their positions.

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.

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