Sep 192018
 September 19, 2018  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Healthcare

Stephanie Barry reports:

A former gynecologist whose attorney says devoted her life to serving poor women and girls will be sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court for violating patient privacy laws and lying to federal agents investigating an alleged Big Pharma kickback scheme.

Rita Luthra, 65, of Longmeadow, was convicted in April of two criminal counts after a weeklong trial.

Read more on MassLive.

On April 30, the Department of Justice had issued the following press release about her conviction:

BOSTON – A Springfield gynecologist was convicted today in connection with allowing a pharmaceutical sales representative to access patient records and lying to federal investigators.

Rita Luthra, M.D., 67, of Longmeadow, was convicted by a federal jury of one count of violation of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act and one count of obstruction of a criminal health care investigation. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni has not yet scheduled sentencing.

From January 2011 through November 2011, Luthra allowed a pharmaceutical company sales representative from Warner Chilcott to access protected health information in her patients’ medical files. She later provided false information to federal agents when interviewed about her relationship with Warner Chilcott.

The charge of violation of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act provides for a sentence of no greater than one year in prison and/or a fine of $50,000 and one year of supervised release. The charge of obstructing a criminal health care investigation provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, made the announcement today. Assistant United States Attorneys Miranda Hooker and Young Paik of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

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