Former hospital employee pleads guilty to criminal HIPAA charges

The SE Texas Record Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm

TYLER— U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced that a former employee of an East Texas hospital has pleaded guilty to criminal HIPAA charges in the Eastern District of Texas.

Joshua Hippler, 30, formerly of Longview, was indicted on March 26 on charges of Wrongful Disclosure of Individually Identifiable Health Information.  Hippler pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 during a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

The indictment alleged that from Dec. 1, 2012, through Jan, 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 10 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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