Hospital Faces $250,000 Fine for ‘Octomom’ Privacy Breach

BELLFLOWER, Calif.
Published: May 17, 2009

Thanks to a new California medical privacy law, the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center where a woman delivered octuplets in January has been fined $250,000 after hospital workers pried into the patient’s medical records, according to Reuters. The hospital is the first to be penalized under the new law.

When Nadya Suleman gave birth to eight babies on Jan. 26, several employees viewed her personal medical records. When hospital officials learned of the breach, they immediately contacted the state of California, and as a result, a hospital employee was fired. Within that time, 14 other workers resigned, and eight others were disciplined, according to the news outlet.

California health officials said the hospital was fined because it failed to prevent the privacy breach.

The new privacy law, which took effect in on Jan. 1, was passed by California lawmakers in April 2008. Similar cases to the Suleman’s case involving Britney Spears, Maria Shriver and Farrah Fawcett at other California hospitals prompted the law.

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