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HHS OCR: Henrico Sen. Dunnavant’s political letter to patients broke health privacy rules, but no sanctions needed

There’s a follow-up to an HHS OCR investigation that I had noted back in October, 2015. And since we don’t see many OCR investigations reported like this one, it’s worth noting. Politicians who are also HIPAA-covered entities, in particular, may wish to take note.

Graham Moomaw reports:

State Sen. Siobhan S. Dunnavant, a Henrico County physician, broke federal health privacy rules by sending a political solicitation to her patients during her 2015 campaign, according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office.Dunnavant’s decision to share patient contact information with her Senate campaign and its direct-mail business was “impermissible” under federal HIPAA law, HHS investigators wrote in a letter last month informing Dunnavant and her attorney that the case was being closed.The first-term Republican won’t face fines or other penalties, HHS said, because Dunnavant took “immediate action” to minimize the damage.

It appears that...(continued)

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