This settlement is particularly interesting, given that it appears to stem from a voluntary disclosure, without any prejudice to any of the physicians whose information was disclosed. Despite those mitigating factors, the disclosure still resulted in a six-figure penalty. As such, this is another suggestion that the days of soft enforcement of health-related information confidentiality are over.
The Queen’s Medical Center (“QMC”) of Hawaii recently agreed to pay $150,500 in civil money penalties for allegedly violating the confidentiality requirements applicable to National Practitioner Data Bank (“NPDB”) information. OIG alleged that QMC improperly disclosed confidential information.
According to the settlement documents, QMC obtained the NPDB information and disclosed it to QMC’s captive insurance carrier, which in turn disclosed to its insurance broker.