Fired Iowa hospital worker denies breach in Hawkeye players... - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fired Iowa hospital worker denies breach in Hawkeye players records

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- A union president says 1 of 3 University of Iowa hospital workers being fired for allegedly breaching the medical records of injured football players is a 26-year employee who claims she did nothing wrong.

John Stellmach leads an AFSCME union representing 2,200 hospital employees. He told the Des Moines Register that one of the three being terminated for allegedly accessing the records of 13 Iowa football players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis is a member.

Stellmach says the woman has a spotless disciplinary record during her employment and has been in the health care field for 40 years. He says he feels "she's getting the shaft" and he hopes to get her job back.

Stellmach says the woman is accused of viewing unauthorized records for "a matter of seconds," which he called a minor infraction.

Last week the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics moved forward with firing three employees and suspending two other for allegedly accessing the medical records of hospitalized student athletes. The hospital has not released the names of those employees.

The hospital has passed along information to federal regulators who could further pursue the matter and seek fines or even jail time.

Like any patient, the Hawkeye football players were protected under the Federal HIPAA law of 1996. That's the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which all hospitals must follow or face the possibilities of large fines for violations. HIPAA protects the confidentiality of a patient's medical information, and makes sure that information is not released by medical professionals.


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