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Former NJ Doc Pleads Guilty to HIPAA Violations


On October 7, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced that a former physician pleaded guilty to conspiring to wrongfully disclose patients’ protected health information to a pharmaceutical sales representative. Frank Alario, who had had numerous offices in New Jersey, Manhattan and Florida, admitted to criminal HIPAA violations in connection with a scheme that involved prescriptions for compound medications.

From 2014-16, Alario allowed the sales rep, Keith Ritson, to have access to patient records and restricted areas of his office. Ritson was able to look up patient information to determine whose insurance would cover the compound medications, and flag patients in advance for Alario to prescribe the drugs. Alario also allowed Ritson to be present in exam rooms during patient appointments.

Alario will be sentenced in February 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $50,000 fine. Ritson is scheduled to go on trial in November.

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