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Northwell employee sues over firing for allegedly leaking info about Justin Bieber treatment

ER employee was fired in June after news leaked about Bieber being treated in May at the emergency room of North Shore University Hospital.

Susan Morse, Associate Editor

Credit: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Justin_Bieber_-DSC_0371-10.20.12_(8107445118).jpg">Joe Bielawa</a>.Credit: Joe Bielawa.

A Northwell Health emergency room employee who was fired for allegedly leaking medical information about singer Justin Bieber,  has filed a lawsuit against the hospital and Optum 360 saying she was unlawfully terminated, according to published reports.

ER worker Kelly Lombardo filed the complaint with the state Division of Human Rights, according to Newsday.

Lombardo has worked at the hospital system since 2007.

[Also: Aetna violated HIPAA when envelope windows exposed HIV medication use, attorneys say]

She was fired in June after news leaked about Bieber being treated in May at the emergency room of North Shore University Hospital, her attorney David H. Rosenberg told Newsday.

Bieber was reportedly being treated for a twisted testicle.

Northwell Health said it could not comment on a personnel issue.

[Also: 'Careless handling' of private patient information leads to $387,000 HIPAA fine for St. Luke's-Roosevelt]

"We have always vigorously defended the privacy of our patients. It is a responsibility we take seriously and continue to reinforce among all our workforce whether they have direct patient responsibility or not. Any breach of patient confidentiality by an employee is unacceptable and investigated internally. Where needed, corrective action is taken," a spokesperson said.

No one from Optum360 could be reached for immediate comment.

Optum 360 is the management agency through which Lombardo was employed, her attorney said.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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