The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights recently announced settlements that serve as a reminder to hospitals about the importance of obtaining patients’ authorization before inviting film crews on premises where filming could potentially disclose patients’ protected health information. Under the settlement agreements, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital will pay $100,000, $384,000 and $515,000, respectively, to OCR and provide workforce training as part of a corrective action plan. An HHS FAQ on PHI disclosures to film and media notes, “It is not sufficient for a health care provider to request or require media personnel to mask the identities of patients (using techniques such as blurring, pixelation, or voice alteration software) for whom an authorization was not obtained, because the [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] Privacy Rule does not allow media access to the patients’ PHI, absent an authorization, in the first place.”  
 

Related News Articles

Perspective
In Michigan, African Americans make up 14% of the population … but account for 40% of the COVID-19 deaths. In Chicago: 30% of the population … and 46% of the…
Headline
The Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday reminded health care providers that HIPAA privacy rules bar them from giving media and film crews access to…
Headline
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health May 1 announced it will provide funding to help deliver important COVID-19-related…
Headline
Hospitals and health systems continue to provide care for our most vulnerable communities by addressing social needs, educating on COVID-19 risks and…
Headline
A study of 305 hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients in Georgia found an overrepresentation of black patients, with over a quarter lacking known risk factors,…
Blog
The AHA is committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of background or zip code, have equitable access to quality health care. As the COVID-19 pandemic…