United States v. Zhou, No. 10-50231 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant, a former research assistant at UHS, entered a conditional guilty plea for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 42 U.S.C. 1320d-6(a)(2), because he accessed patient records without authorization after his employment terminated. Defendant moved to dismiss the information because it did not allege that he knew that the statute prohibited him from obtaining the health information. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court because the plain text of Section 1320d-6(a)(2) was not limited to defendants who knew that their actions were illegal. Rather, the misdemeanor applied to defendants who knowingly obtained individual identifiable health information relating to an individual, and obtained that information in violation of HIPPAA.