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Eric Holder’s wife accused of major HIPAA ‘breach’ by her former women’s health practice

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The wife of former Attorney General Eric Holder breached HIPAA-regulated protected health information held by her former Washington, D.C., women’s health practice, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Dr. Sharon D. Malone retained the regulated information of patients who received care from Foxhall OB/GYN Associates upon her departure from the practice as both an owner and employee at the end of 2020, according to a June 24 letter sent to a Foxhall patient. Malone then turned the patient information over to her new for-profit telehealth startup, Alloy, which then used the HIPAA information to send unsolicited emails to Foxhall patients.

“We at Foxhall were not aware that Dr. Malone had retained the list, that she had turned over the list to Alloy, or that Alloy had sent emails to some of the patients on the list, until we received complaints from patients,” the letter read. “Under no circumstances would Foxhall have agreed to or permitted Dr. Malone to retain the list, turn it over to any third party (including Alloy), or allow emails to be sent to patients by Alloy.”

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“Immediately upon discovering the breach, we conducted an investigation,” it continued.

Eric Holder, Sharon Malone
Attorney General Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife Sharon Malone attend Aretha Franklin’s annual birthday bash at the Ritz-Carlton on March 22, 2015, in New York.

(Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Malone is the wife of former Attorney General Eric Holder, who once referred to himself as former President Barack Obama’s “wing-man.”

Malone retained patient names, phone numbers, email addresses, and the names of their health insurance companies (all of which are types of information regulated by HIPAA, the law that limits the release of medical data) when she left Foxhall on Dec. 31, 2020, according to the letter. Malone did not breach the financial information or medical information of Foxhall’s clients, it added.

“It’s really hard to imagine such an experienced doctor and administrator innocently carrying out such a blatant violation of HIPAA,” said the Foxhall patient who provided the letter to the Washington Examiner.

The patient, who asked not to be identified by name, said she used to receive care from Malone before her departure from the practice to help launch Alloy.

Before Foxhall sent the June 24 letter, an attorney for Malone and Alloy had informed the practice that they had deleted all the regulated HIPAA data that Malone had retained from Foxhall and provided to the telehealth startup, according to the letter.

The letter also advised those affected by the HIPAA breach to monitor their credit reports “out of an abundance of caution.”

“If you are particularly concerned, you can request that the credit bureaus put a credit fraud alert on your credit report,” the letter read before providing contact information for the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Six days after Foxhall sent the letter, on June 30, Malone warned in a tweet that women needed to protect their medical information following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Big brother is watching you,” Malone tweeted. “Don’t give away your personal menstrual information. The pregnancy police may be watching.”

The Foxhall patient who provided the letter to the Washington Examiner said Malone’s tweet was “pricelessly hypocritical.”

On Monday, Malone posted a cryptic tweet: “Haters gonna hate. It’s what they do. Why am I surprised?”

Malone did not return a request for comment.

It’s not clear if Foxhall intends to pursue legal action against Malone or Alloy over the HIPAA breach. Foxhall and Alloy did not return requests for comment.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The revelation that Holder’s wife breached HIPAA data from her former practice comes just hours before the former attorney general is scheduled to attend a livestream event with former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias over the “grave threat” the independent state legislature theory poses against voting rights and democracy.



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