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Advocate Medical Sued for Breach of Patient Electronic Medical Records

For something as simple as “plain old know better,” $50,000 or more could be the penalty for a breach of HIPAA law from Advocate Medical in Illinois. This breach has been described by the prosecuting attorney, Shannon M. McNulty, as a failure “to follow basic operating procedures”.

The law suit has been filed due to the loss of patient records stored on a computer that was stolen in July 2013. The computer could have the records of nearly 4 million patients stored on its hard drive. This information could contain names, Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, medical records, and insurance information. The breach gives the thieves access to information that they could use to perform identity theft and fraud.

Advocate Medical stated in their defense that they believe the thieves did not have the private, sensitive information stored on the computer as their target. Because they believe there is a lack of evidence to show that the lawsuit has no merit Advocate Medical believes that they will win the suit.

Unfortunately, for Advocate Medical, the HIPAA laws are clear. And for an entity as large as Advocate Medical, there is very little understanding when it comes to trying to prove ignorance.

You can read the full release at Lawyers.com