3 Boston hospitals fined nearly $1M for letting 'Boston Trauma' film on-site, breaching HIPAA

HHS' Office for Civil Rights fined three Boston-based hospitals — Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital — a total of $999,000 to settle a potential HIPAA violation after they allowed the TV show "Save My Life: Boston Trauma" to film on premise.

This marks the second HIPAA case involving an ABC medical documentary series. In 2016, OCR fined New York City-based New York-Presbyterian Hospital over the filming of "NY Med."

Here is a breakdown of the three fines, listed in alphabetical order:

1. Boston Medical Center: $100,000

2. Brigham and Women's Hospital: $384,000

3. Massachusetts General Hospital: $515,000

Each organization is required to re-train its workforce, such as reviewing OCR's guidelines for disclosing health information to film and media, 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, OCR director, said in a news release. "Hospitals must get authorization from patients before allowing strangers to have access to patients and their medical information."

Editor's note: This story was updated Sept. 21 at 10:48 a.m. CST after HHS issued a correction that the TV show filmed was "Save My Life: Boston Trauma." An earlier version of the story stated the show was "Boston Med." 

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