Former employee of an East Texas hospital pleads guilty to criminal HIPAA charges

TYLER, (KYTX) -  A former employee of an East Texas hospital has pleaded guilty to criminal HIPAA charges in the Eastern District of Texas.

U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced Friday that 30-year-old Joshua Hippler, formerly of Longview, Texas, was indicted on March 26, 2014, on charges of Wrongful Disclosure of Individually Identifiable Health Information.

Hippler pleaded guilty on August 28, 2014 during a hearing before United States Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

The indictment alleged that from December 1, 2012, through January 14, 2013, Hippler, who was then an employee of a covered entity under HIPAA, obtained protected health information with the intent to use the information for personal gain.

Hippler faces up to ten years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld is prosecuting the case.


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