Six weeks after Howard University Hospital told more than 34,000 patients that a contractor’s laptop containing their personal health information had been stolen, federal authorities have filed criminal charges against a hospital worker accused of selling people’s medical records.
Charging documents filed in federal court in Washington this week say Laurie Napper, a technician in the surgery department, sold patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth and Medicare numbers from August 2010 until December 2011.
The court papers do not say how much money she received or what the buyer did with the information, and a hospital spokesman did not respond to questions.
Ms. Napper was charged with one count of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison when the violation involves selling the information for money.
The charges come after Howard officials notified patients that a laptop containing protected health information had been stolen from a contractor’s vehicle.