Ex-Mayo worker admits medical data snooping
- Article by: PAUL WALSH
- Star Tribune
- May 17, 2012 - 7:04 AM
A former Mayo Clinic employee has admitted to illegally viewing another woman's medical records, driven by suspicions that her live-in boyfriend was cheating on her.
Autumn L. Wright, 34, of Rochester, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to wrongfully obtaining individually identifiable health information, a felony.
In a statement Wednesday, Mayo spokesman Bryan Anderson said the clinic "acts swiftly when violations occur," noting that Mayo cooperated with investigators and Wright's employment ended within months of the breach.
Wright was fired from her duties as an assistant financial representative, Anderson said. The incident, he added, did not prompt any "specific changes to Mayo's processes for discovering reporting and punishing privacy breaches. These processes were in place and continue to be in place."According to court documents:
In the summer of 2009, Wright suspected her boyfriend was having an affair and learned that the other woman was claiming to be pregnant by him.
Knowing that the woman's medical records were accessible at her desk, Wright checked the files in the computer and discovered that the woman had miscarried. But the files did not disclose the father's identity, leaving Wright unable to detect "who was lying and who was telling the truth," according to a presentencing document filed by the defense.
Wright confronted her boyfriend with what she learned, and he responded by assaulting the other woman, the document said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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