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Celebrities’ Medical Records Tempt Hospital Workers to Snoop

Snooping on celebrities has been a bane for health systems around the country for years. Here's a partial list of high-profile breaches and the consequences that accompanied them

 

Snooping on celebrities has been a bane for health systems around the country for years. The proliferation of electronic medical records systems has made it easier to track and punish those who peek in records they have no legitimate reason to access.

 

Below is a partial list of high-profile breaches and the consequences that accompanied them, compiled from news reports.

 

Related story: Small-Scale Violations of Medical Privacy Often Cause the Most Harm

 

George Clooney

October 2007: Palisades Medical Center in New Jersey suspended 27 workers without pay for a month for looking at the medical records of actor George Clooney, who had been treated there the prior month after a motorcycle accident.

 

Britney Spears

March 2008: UCLA Medical Center took steps to fire at least 13 employees and suspended at least six others for snooping in the medical records of pop star Britney Spears during her hospitalization in its psychiatric unit. In addition, six physicians faced discipline.

 

 

 

 

Richard Collier

November 2008: Jacksonville Medical Center in Florida fired 20 workers for looking at the records of Richard Collier, then an offensive tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who was paralyzed in a shooting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets

March 2009: Kaiser Permanente revealed that 21 employees and two doctors inappropriately accessed the medical records of Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets at its Bellflower, California, hospital. Of those workers, 15 were either terminated or resigned under pressure and eight faced other disciplinary actions. In May 2009, the California Department of Public Health fined the hospital $250,000 for failing to protect Suleman's records.

 

TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly

October 2009: An Arkansas doctor and two former workers at St. Vincent Medical Center were sentenced to probation and fined after pleading guilty to federal misdemeanor charges that they illegally accessed the records of a Little Rock television news anchorwoman who died in 2008 after being attacked at her home during a robbery.

 

Michael Jackson

June 2010: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was fined $95,000 by the California Department of Public Health for failing to stop employees from accessing singer Michael Jackson's records. Two hospital workers and two contract employees were terminated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabrielle Giffords

January 2011: University Medical Center in Tucson fired three employees for snooping in records after the shooting that left then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition. A contract nurse also was terminated.

 

Unnamed celebrity patients

July 2011: UCLA Health System agreed to pay $865,000 to the federal government to resolve allegations that its employees violated federal patient privacy laws by snooping in the medical records of two celebrity patients. Separately, in January 2010, a former UCLA employee pleaded guilty to four counts of illegally reading medical records, mostly from celebrities and other high-profile patients, and was sentenced to four months in federal prison.

 

A patient fatally shot in a hospital ICU

October 2012: Akron General Medical Center in Ohio fired a "small number of employees" for looking at the medical records of a woman whose husband fatally shot her in the hospital's intensive-care unit.

 

Kim Kardashian

July 2013: Five workers and a student research assistant were fired for inappropriately accessing records at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. One of those was reportedly reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who gave birth to her daughter at the hospital the prior month.

 

A U.S. missionary doctor with Ebola

September 2014: Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha fired two workers for looking in the records of Dr. Rick Sacra, who had been treated at the hospital for the Ebola virus he contracted while volunteering in Africa.

 

The mother of a 5-year-old who died

August 2015: Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, fired or disciplined 14 workers for peeking at a patient's medical records in a high-profile case. The patient was reportedly the mother of a five-year-old boy who was found dead in a septic tank near his home.

 

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

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SEBI attaches PACL assets worth over Rs49,100 crore

Since PACL and its promoters-directors failed to refund money to investors as per the directions of SEBI and SAT, the market regulator said it has initiated the recovery proceedings

 

Market regulator SEBI said as part of its recovery proceedings, it has attached all bank and demat accounts, mutual fund portfolios of PACL Ltd and it eight directors and promoters with immediate effect.

 

In a release, SEBI said, the recovery proceedings have been initiated for their failure to comply with its order issued on 22 August 2014 directing, PACL and its directors and promoters to wind up the schemes, and refund Rs49,100 crore to the investors within three months from the date of the order. This amount is excluding further interest and all costs, charges and expenses incurred in the recovery proceedings.

 

Besides PACL, its promoters and directors against whom SEBI has initiated the proceedings, are Tarlochan Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Subrata Bhattacharya, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, Tyger Joginder, Gurnam Singh, Anand Gurwant Singh and Uppal Devinder Kumar.

 

The mobilisation of funds by PACL traces back prior to 1997. Upon receipt of a complaint, SEBI on 30 November 1999 and 10 December 1999 issued letters asking PACL to comply with the provisions of the collective investment scheme (CIS) Regulations.

 

PACL challenged these letters before the High Court of Rajasthan in December 1999, claiming that its scheme does not fall under the definition of CIS as defined under the CIS Regulation and SEBI Act. PACL also challenged the constitutional validity of the CIS Regulations.

 

The Rajasthan High Court on 28 November 2003, held that PACL's schemes were not CIS as defined under Section 11AA of the SEBI Act. The HC also quashed SEBI's letters issued to PACL.

 

SEBI filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against the order of Rajasthan HC. The SC on 25 February 2013, while allowing the appeal upheld the constitutional validity of CIS Regulations, and directed SEBI to investigate the matter and take appropriate actions.

 

After conducting inquiry, SEBI on 22 August 2014, issued an order directing PACL, its promoters and directors to wind up all the existing CIS and refund the monies collected by the company to investors as per the terms of offer within a period of three months from the date of the Order.

 

PACL filed an appeal before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which was dismissed on 12 August 2015. The SAT directed PACL and its promoters-directors to refund the money within three months. Since the company and its promoters-directors failed to refund the money to the investors as per the directions of SEBI and SAT, the market regulator said it has initiated the recovery proceedings.

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