Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has settled with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $240,000 after security guards accessed medical records without authorization. The hospital will update policies and procedures to protect patient information and train employees to prevent future breaches. OCR Director Melanie Fontes Rainer stressed the importance of organizations ensuring that employees only access necessary patient information. The breach occurred when 23 security guards accessed patient records without a job-related purpose. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital will be monitored by OCR for two years to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations. They will also review relationships with vendors and third-party service providers to identify business associates and obtain business associate agreements if not already in place.

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