N.Y. Hospital Reaches $2.2M HIPAA Settlement

The settlement ends the controversy that followed the airing of a patient’s death on national television.

A New York hospital reached a settlement with the Office for Civil Rights after it violated patient privacy by allowing a television series to be filmed in the facility.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital paid $2.2 million to the office after the investigation closed April 21, according to bna.com.

The settlement is the result of what the OCR called a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The hospital maintains that the filming of a documentary program in its buildings was not a HIPAA violation.

The controversy began when the hospital allowed the crew of the ABC television series ‘NY Med’ to film patients, including a dying patient and another one in significant distress, without obtaining patient consent.

The outrage that followed the incident led a New York hospital’s association to begin banning film in healthcare facilities.

RELATED: OCR Sends Message to Healthcare Industry with 2 HIPAA Settlements

The family of the patient whose death was shown on the series also brought a lawsuit against the hospital. The family is arguing the hospital violated its duty to protect the patient’s information.

New York Presbyterian released a statement on the settlement April 21 to Bloomberg BNA. An Excerpt from that statement is included below.

“Our participation in the ABC News documentary program ‘NY Med’ was intended to educate the public and provide insight into the complexities of medical care and the daily challenges faced by our dedicated and compassionate medical professionals… This program, and the others that proceeded it, garnered critical acclaim, and raised the public’s consciousness of important public health issues… The filming of this documentary program did not violate the HIPAA Privacy Rule.”

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