University of Iowa Hospitals is investigating whether medical records were breached following hospitalization of 13 of the school's football players.

The players were hospitalized on January 24 and 25, following strenuous workouts, for treatment of Rhabdomyolysis syndrome, a serious muscle disorder that can cause kidney damage. All have since been released. What follows is the university's Jan. 28 statement on the possible breach:

"Officials at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa, today announced they are conducting an investigation after a proactive screening of the electronic medical records of 13 University of Iowa football players indicated that some of those records may have been accessed inappropriately.

"Under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the medical records of patients can only be accessed by health care workers with a legitimate reason to review those records. UI Hospitals and Clinics routinely screens for possible privacy violations. Such screenings are done to protect the confidentiality of all patients, including those with high public profiles.

"The players and their families were notified of the possible violations today. The patients will receive letters that will detail the outcome of the investigation, which may take up to two weeks.

"All faculty and staff at UI Hospitals and Clinics agree to abide by privacy rules on an annual basis. Anyone who violates the confidentiality of patients is subject to disciplinary action, including termination."

--Joseph Goedert

 

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