TYLER, TEXAS – A former employee of an East Texas hospital has been sentenced to federal prison for criminal HIPAA violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

Joshua Hippler, 30, formerly of Longview, Texas, pleaded guilty on Aug. 28, 2014, to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis.

According to information presented in court, from December 2012 through January 2013, Hippler was an employee of a covered entity under HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  During this time, Hippler obtained protected health information with the intent to use it for personal gain.  Hippler was indicted by a federal grand jury on Mar. 26, 2014.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.

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