Archive for the HIPPA Category

Planned Parenthood has a history of failing to protect patient privacy under HIPAA

Posted in Center for Medical Progress, HIPPA, Planned Parenthood HPPA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2017 by saynsumthn

Americans are told that abortion is a “right” based on privacy. But when abortion providers like Planned Parenthood violate the privacy of women, abortion-friendly media and politicians are silent.

Planned Parenthood receives half a billion dollars annually from taxpayers and claims the majority of these dollars are Medicaid reimbursements. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), recipients of government programs that pay for health care, like Medicaid, must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act known as HIPAA.

But is Planned Parenthood following HIPAA laws? Multiple instances of privacy breaches at Planned Parenthood say no.

The latest video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) further confirms what many already know all too well: when it comes to the privacy of abortion patients, Planned Parenthood is anything but trustworthy. Former Stem Express procurement technician, Holly O’Donnell, told CMP that Planned Parenthood revealed private patient medical information to third party contractors at fetal tissue procurement agency StemExpress in order to meet the company’s quotas for harvesting body parts from Planned Parenthood abortions:

O’Donnell said Planned Parenthood staff provided StemExpress contractors with private medical information of pregnant women coming into Planned Parenthood: “We’d go to the head nurse, let the nurses know, hey, this is what I’m looking for today. They’d give you a sheet of the appointments, which women were coming in, and it would tell you how many patients, what time they were coming in, their name, and if they knew how far along they were.”

Clearly, disclosing patient names is a violation of HIPAA.

According to HHS, the Privacy Rule protects all “individually identifiable health information held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral… Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number).”

In 2016, the Washington Times reported, “The day before abortions were scheduled to take place… StemExpress was notified by fax by the clinics and granted medical files on individual patients.” O’Donnell told CMP that Planned Parenthood handed over a list of patient names and other private information to third party contractors before these patients signed a consent to release their personal information.

O’Donnell also reveals that Planned Parenthood gave StemExpress access to patient medical charts and even to the clinics’ computer network to download patient schedules across the entire Planned Parenthood affiliate. Emails from StemExpress management instruct procurement technicians: “EVERY Friday – please provide schedules for all the clinics you work in,” and, “All computers have access to other clinics.”

While this should shock politicians and media alike, tragically, accusations of carelessness and lack of concern for patient privacy at Planned Parenthood is not new.

In September of 2016, Live Action News released a two-part series exposing the way Planned Parenthood and the general abortion industry recklessly handles patient privacy. In those reports were documented case after case where Planned Parenthood was given a slap on the wrist for violating patient privacy — and in the cases reviewed at that time, no civil penalties had been issued.

CMS states that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights “enforces the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules. Violations may result in civil monetary penalties. In some cases, criminal penalties enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice may apply.”

Breaches expose thousands of individuals

1. Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI): 10,700 individuals exposed

A review of archived privacy breaches on file with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which affect more than 500 patients, reveals that in August 2016, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI), reported a breach which exposed 10,700 individuals.

2. Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio: 5,000 individuals exposed

Another breach report states that on October 1, 2014, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio disposed of binders containing protected health information (PHI) for 5000 individuals, including names, dates of birth, lab results, and medications. Exactly what occurred in the privacy breach? Planned Parenthood’s archived prescription dispensing logs and waived lab test logs were left in an unlocked closet after business hours and a custodian mistakenly put them in a trash dumpster. The following morning, the dumpster was emptied by the trash collector, who took it to be buried with other garbage at a landfill that same day. And, as Planned Parenthood often claims it does when it violates government requirements, Planned Parenthood told the OCR that they conducted an investigation and re-trained all staff regarding HIPAA policies and procedures.

3. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland: 2,506 individuals exposed

Still under investigation is a July 2016 breach report reported by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. This breach for “Unauthorized Access/Disclosure” affected 2,506 individuals. No additional information is available from OCR; however, HIPAA Journal reported the following:

The health center permanently closed its doors to patients this April year and the premises was listed for sale and was sold. However, hard copies of patient files were left in the Dubuque health center. In April 2016, individuals entered the medical center and could potentially have viewed and/or copied patient files. The potential breach was discovered by Planned Parenthood on May 6, 2016. The files have now been removed from the premises and have been secured. Planned Parenthood said this was an isolated incident and is not representative of the stringent privacy standards usually maintained by the healthcare organization.

Health Care Compliance Association summarized another case where Planned Parenthood violated privacy of a patient.  In January 2017, HCCA wrote, “a complaint filed against Planned Parenthood alleged that an employee posted a description of the procedure the individual had performed at the clinic on the individual’s public Facebook page.”

In response, HCCA states, “OCR sent Planned Parenthood the regulatory section on reasonable safeguards
and encouraged it to “assess and determine whether there may have been noncompliance… and if so, to take steps to ensure such noncompliance does not occur in the future.”

Other breaches

In addition to those listed above, the following are known instances of privacy breaches at Planned Parenthood:

  • California Planned Parenthood patient reported that following her visit, she received two text messages from an anonymous number, reading, “Damn, you have an STD WOW.”
  • Napa Planned Parenthood receptionist admitted to state officials that she had looked at private patient records because she was curious.
  • Alleged Planned Parenthood patient wrote online, “a worker there told a family member of mine about my privacy.”
  • In 2011, OCR received a complaint alleging that a worker at Planned Parenthood in New York “impermissibly disclosed” the complainant’s health information to her sister’s friend.
  • In 2012, a complainant informed the governing body that she had received a call from Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio asking her to contact them regarding recent test results. During the call, it was determined that she was not the correct patient.
  • In 2013, OCR was notified that Planned Parenthood of Delaware violated the Federal Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information.
  • That same year, Melody Meanor, the former Health Center Manager of Family Planning at Planned Parenthood of Delaware in Wilmington went public to expose the center’s privacy policies. A video and transcript of her statement is available online.
  • In 2013, a complaint was filed against a Planned Parenthood in Chicago, Illinois, which alleged that an employee impermissibly disclosed her private health information to a third party on Facebook.
  • complaint received by OCR in 2014 alleged that a Planned Parenthood in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, violated the Federal Standards for Privacy Identifiable Health Information after sending a bill for a patient to the wrong person.
  • A 2014 complaint filed with the Texas Medical Board by former Planned Parenthood director, Abby Johnson, alleges that a Texas Planned Parenthood e-mailed their abortionist the ultrasound information of their patients — but not in encrypted form.
  • TAB, a records management company working with PPFA for over a decade, identified what they called “some serious problems” with the records of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, which oversees 17 branch locations.

In CMP’s video interview, O’Donnell tells David Daleiden that she has witnessed her colleagues log onto Planned Parenthood’s computers. O’Donnell provided copies of e-mails to CMP to support her claims.

“They would let us look at the physical charts outside the room,” O’Donnell stated, claiming that she was even asked to write in a Planned Parenthood patient’s chart, which she says she refused to do.

So much for privacy at Planned Parenthood.

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Here are a dozen things the media won’t tell you about Planned Parenthood

Posted in HIPPA, Planed Parenthood abortion death, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood 3% myth, Planned Parenthood abortion numbers, Planned Parenthood abortion stats, Planned Parenthood and Rape, Planned Parenthood and Sex Trafficking, Planned Parenthood fined by state, Planned Parenthood medicaid fraud, Planned Parenthood services, Planned Parenthood six digit salary, Planned Parenthood's botched surgery, Privacy, Title X with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2017 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood should be defunded. Despite all its scandals over the years, the pro-abortion mainstream media has largely kept the evidence of this from taxpayers. Perhaps it’s because the media approves of Planned Parenthood’s agenda, and the agenda of the politicians who defend the organization.

The media manipulates the American public by refusing to tell the truth about Planned Parenthood’s abuses, a fact Live Action News previously documented. Instead, the media repeats Planned Parenthood’s PR-approved talking points while failing to report important investigations exposing Planned Parenthood’s lies and deceptions.

Here are some facts about Planned Parenthood that mainstream media has failed to report:

Fact #1: Planned Parenthood is a private corporation whose political action committee contributes heavily to the same politicians sending them millions of dollars each year — over half a billion annually. PP is a master manipulator and marketer politically and this drives the dollars politicians send them. Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Cecile Richards, was not hired for her health care “experience” but for her political savvy, as Live Action News’ Rebecca Downs has explained:

Planned Parenthood may claim to be a health organization, but Richards herself has no health experience — her background is in politics, a background which even the Planned Parenthood website emphasizes. In addition to running Planned Parenthood, she also runs Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which is — you guessed it — a political organization. After Richards spoke before Congress in September 2015, the Oversight Committee expressed concerns that there was an overlap in where Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer money was going. Are Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood Action Fund really so different?

Fact #2: Planned Parenthood masquerades as a health care provider. This scheme to reinvent themselves was developed years ago, as Live Action News has detailed here, to mask the fact that they are the largest chain of abortion facilities in the United States.

Fact #3: There are thousands of federally qualified health centers which provide far superior health care to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has lost more than half a million patients (600,000) since 2011. Yet, taxpayer-funded health centers, as identified by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), increased patients by over 2 million by 2015, providing care to 24,295,946.

Fact #4: Planned Parenthood services are on the decline despite major increases in government funding. Except, of course, when it comes to abortion, where Planned Parenthood garners nearly 35 percent of the market share.

  • MAMMOGRAMS: Planned Parenthood performed zero, because Planned Parenthood facilities do not have mammogram machines. Yet, in 2015, federal health centers performed mammograms on over 521,000 patient,  an increase from 470,000 in 2014.
  • BREAST EXAMS dropped 12 percent in 2015 at Planned Parenthood, and between 2004 and 2015, breast exams at Planned Parenthood declined by more than 65 percent.
  • PAP TESTS: Planned Parenthood’s 2015 report reveals that Pap tests declined 75 percent from 2004. Yet, in 2015, federal health centers administered over 1.8 million Pap tests to patients — an increase from 1.7 million in 2014.
  • CANCER SCREENINGS declined at Planned Parenthood from last year’s figures, and, between 2004 and 2015, cancer screenings there plummeted 69 percent.
  • PRENATAL CARE: Planned Parenthood is deceptive about providing prenatal care, which was nearly cut in half in 2015. Since 2010, prenatal care at Planned Parenthood has decreased nearly 70 percent. Yet, in 2015, federal health centers cared for a total of 552,000 prenatal patients — an increase from 528,000 prenatal patients in 2014.

Fact #5: Planned Parenthood claims defunding their organization will hurt poor women yet Planned Parenthood’s own officials rake in hefty six digit salaries, getting regular raises. An analysis of CEO compensation at Planned Parenthood by STOPP revealed that the top 68 people at Planned Parenthood take home $18.1 million combined.

Fact #6: Planned Parenthood has been netting a profit for many years, exceeding its expenses — not just by a few dollars, but by tens of millions of dollars (yearly surpluses range from $12.2 million in 2001 to a high of $155.5 million in 2010).

Fact #7: Women can die after receiving Planned Parenthood’s “services.” Cree Erwin-Sheppard recently died after her abortion at a Michigan Planned Parenthood. Tonya Reaves was left bleeding inside Planned Parenthood’s Chicago facility for hours. She died later at a hospital.

Abortion deaths and injuries at Planned Parenthood (image by Operation Rescue)

Fact #8: Emergencies at Planned Parenthood are on the rise. The pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue (OR) has documented that a number of Planned Parenthood centers have had to call for emergency transports of patients. OR reports that “since January 1, 2016, Operation Rescue has documented 40 such incidents at Planned Parenthood abortion centers alone.”

Fact #9: Undercover footage from the Center for Medical Progress caught Planned Parenthood haggling over prices for aborted baby parts. Planned Parenthood’s CEO admitted they still participate in fetal harvesting, saying at the time, “Planned Parenthood is proud of its limited role in supporting fetal tissue research.”

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives‘ final report into the fetal parts industry found several disturbing issues with Planned Parenthood. Live Action News contributor Susan Michelle-Hanson reviewed the 471-page report and noted that Planned Parenthood “committed systematic violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule from about 2010 to 2015, and that “violations occurred when the abortion clinics disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilitate the [tissue procurement business]’s efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.”

Fact #10: Planned Parenthood has violated the trust of patients by violating patient privacy, as stated above. In addition, an analysis by Live Action News found many other instances of privacy leaks by the government funded abortion business.

Fact #11: Planned Parenthood has been cited for overbilling abuses and has been accused of Medicaid fraud.

2017 report, conducted by the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom, looked at publicly available audits and discovered several egregious examples of fraud and abuse associated with Planned Parenthood.

Among other abuses, the study found:

  • Planned Parenthood affiliates have been identified as the source of at least $12.8 million in waste, abuse, and potentially fraudulent overbilling and penalties.
  • One audit uncovered $5.2 million in overbilling by two California Planned Parenthood affiliates; the average overbilled amount per audited year in a single audit was $94,409. 
  • Three federal audits specifically identify Planned Parenthood – and only Planned Parenthood– as the problem in state family planning program overbilling.

Fact #12: Planned Parenthood has been caught failing to report child sexual abuse (a violation that alone should result in the organization losing millions of taxpayer dollars granted to it under the federal Title X Family Planning Program). Reports also found that victims of sex trafficking are sometimes taken to Planned Parenthood centers for forced abortions by their pimps.

So, when it comes to health care for women, Planned Parenthood is far from the worthy organization it claims to be. The bottom line is that American taxpayer should not be obligated or forced to hand millions of dollars to an abortion corporation with fraud and serious abuses on their record.

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

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