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A trio of hospitals recently received substantial fines of nearly a million dollars from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights after allegedly violating HIPAA Privacy Rules by disclosing the protected health information (PHI) of its patients during a filming of an ABC News television documentary series back in 2014. Health and Human Services alleges that film crews were permitted to shoot video in patient areas without any safeguards in place regarding PHI to ensure it was not being disclosed. In 2016, a New York-based hospital also paid millions after violating HIPAA rules when it allowed filming of a television show.

With these examples and the hefty fines they’re paying, it’s worth reminding healthcare providers and organizations the importance of receiving written authorization from a patient before permitting any media personnel access to areas of the facility that are not open to the general public. This is even more important if it involves filming patients for purposes that are considered non-clinical, such as a news story. Simply obscuring the identity or the voice of a patient who has not provided written authorization will not suffice.

This update is by Abril Law, a law firm comprised of attorneys Jorge M. Abril and Sinead Baldwin. Our services include medical insurance reimbursement, commercial litigation, and more. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment with a collection attorney Miami, please call 305-373-0901 to speak with one of our attorneys. We look forward to working with you.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

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