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HIPAA Horror Stories

The Celebrity Snooper

one-minute read

A Los Angeles medical technician took his rage to a criminal level – becoming the first person ever sentenced for a HIPAA violation.

Huping Zhou, upset after being fired from UCLA Health Systems, used his still-active Electronic Health Record (EHR) access to peek into his former supervisor’s medical records, as well as those of his coworkers.

Los Angeles, as everybody knows, is home to many famous people — some of whom have been patients at UCLA Health Systems. Just for kicks, Zhou accessed and viewed the private health information of celebrity patients including Drew Barrymore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Zhou, according to court documents, was charged with four counts of accessing and reading confidential medical records — a federal crime. It is illegal to view patient health records without a legitimate reason.

On August 9, 2010, Zhou was sentenced to four months in federal prison and fined $2,000.

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