Three major Boston hospitals paid HHS nearly $1 million for violating patients' HIPAA rights during the filming of a TV documentary series.
HHS on Thursday announced three separate settlements with Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital "for compromising the privacy of patients' protected health information" as film crews shot ABC's "Save My Life: Boston Trauma" documentary series.
In 2016, New York-Presbyterian Hospital had to pay a settlement for similar violations incurred when ABC filmed "NY Med."
Boston Medical Center paid the HHS Office for Civil Rights $100,000. Brigham and Women's paid $384,000 and Mass General paid $515,000. The hospitals will also have to train their employees as part of a corrective action plan.
"Patients in hospitals expect to encounter doctors and nurses when getting treatment, not film crews recording them at their most private and vulnerable moments," Roger Severino, director of the Office of Civil Rights, said in a statement. "Hospitals must get authorization from patients before allowing strangers to have access to patients and their medical information."
Correction: HHS initially misidentified the program that prompted the fine. "Save My Life: Boston Trauma," which was filmed in 2014 and 2015 at the hospitals, is the series involved.