HIPAA violation results in first conviction

January 1, 2005

The US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington convicted Richard Gibson for violating the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. It is the first conviction obtained under the federal law.

The US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington convicted Richard Gibson for violating the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. It is the first conviction obtained under the federal law.

Gibson was sentenced to 16 months in prison, given 3 years of supervised release, and is required to pay $9,000 in restitution for the wrongful disclosure of "identifiable health information for economic gain," according to AISHealth.com, an online newsletter (11/15/04). Gibson, who worked at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, used a patient's name, date of birth, and social security number to obtain four credit cards under the patient's name. Federal prosecutors allege Gibson charged more than $9,000 on the cards.