Kaiser Intensifies Lawsuit against Blogger
Kaiser Permanente on Thursday added new charges to its legal battle against a former employee who used her blog to post links to patient information, and the Department of Managed Health Care ordered the blogger to discontinue posting information, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News, 3/18).
Kaiser Permanente last week alerted 140 patients in Northern California that a former employee -- who dubbed herself the "Diva of Disgruntled" -- posted private information about them, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The information includes medical record numbers, patient names and information about some routine lab tests, but not the test results (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News, 3/11).
Kaiser originally filed a lawsuit alleging that the blogger invaded the patients' privacy and broke a confidentiality agreement. However, in a motion filed Thursday, Kaiser also accused the former employee of selling proprietary Kaiser information on eBay last June. The former employee admitted that she did try to sell documents that outlined Kaiser's Web systems and networking systems. She said she had hoped the actions would garner media attention and that the publicity would help her fight her termination from the company (San Jose Mercury News, 3/18).
Kaiser spokesperson Matthew Schiffgens said the HMO is working to prevent the former employee from continuing to make patient information available online but that she still has patient information in her possession (San Jose Mercury News, 3/18).