Michigan Abortion Centers Guilty of Violating HIPAA in Dumping Patient Records
by Steven Ertelt
October 4, 2010
Detriot, MI (LifeNews.com) — The federal government has found three Michigan abortion businesses guilty of violating the HIPAA statutes as a result of their illegally dumping patient records in trash bins outside their facilities. Local pro-life advocates found the records in the dumpsters at the abortion centers.
The Chicago Office for Civil Rights began an investigation of the WomanCare, Sharpes Family Planning and Women’s Advisory abortion centers after receiving a formal complaint filed by Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society.
In the early months of 2008, members of CPLS conducted searches of the trash dumpsters used by these abortion centers. They repeatedly dumped whole patient records, including intake forms, abortion appointment schedule sheets, recovery room reports, lab reports, insurance forms, photo-copied driver’s licenses, applications for financial aid to off-set the cost of the abortion and other documents that revealed personal health care information.
Hundreds of patient records were recovered, the largest share from the WomanCare abortion center located in Lathrup Village and owned by troubled abortion practitioner Alberto Hodari. In addition to the patient records, extensive bio-hazard waste and the remains of aborted unborn children were also discovered at the abortion center upstairs.
Miller filed the HIPAA complaints in September 2008 and the Office for Civil Rights notified the abortion businesses of its investigation in December of that year.
"I’m glad that the OCR took these complaints seriously, but I have to say, the clinics are getting off with just another slap on the hand," she said. "Where are the real penalties for the flagrant violations they committed? Where’s the justice for the women whose rights and dignity they violated?"
"The OCR should have made these abortionists pay heavy fines and retribution. These are serious violations of HIPAA law and after two years of waiting, the outcome is rather disappointing," she added.
Miller tells LifeNews.com a fourth investigation is still pending regarding Eastpointe Gynecology, the abortion center owned by Jacob Kalo in Detroit.
Two years after Miller filed her complaints, the OCR sent letters to Miller, dated September 28 and 29, 2010, informing her that the Office supported her allegations and Sharpes Family Planning and Women’s Advisory "acknowledged that the disclosures occurred as alleged." Woman Care clinic offered an explanation that a janitorial service, contracted by the clinic, was responsible for the violations.
The letters say the abortion facilities have compiled with OCR directives and put into place policies and practices to ensure future HIPAA violations do not occur.
When the discovery was first made public, Hodari told Michigan authorities that poorly trained clinic staff was responsible. However, we found numerous patient records several weeks in a row along with all of the horrid bio-hazard waste," Miller told LifeNews.com today. "I believe that this was the usual Hodari protocol and that he was dumping patient records, bio-hazard waste and fetal remains into that trash dumpster for years. "
"There is no way that such complete disregard for medical standards and disrespect for those women occurred without Hodari and these other abortionists knowing about it," Miller said.
Sharpes Family Planning is located in Detroit along with its sister center, Women’s Advisory, located in Livonia, and they are operated by Reginald Sharpe.
Related web sites:
Citizens for a Pro-Life Society – https://www.prolifesociety.org
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