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HHS: Protect Patient Privacy When Inviting Media Coverage

  • May 06, 2020

Bloomberg Law (5/5, Subscription Publication) reports that “hospitals or clinics that invite media to their facilities to cover the Covid-19 crisis still must comply with patient privacy rules, the Department of Health and Human Services warned in a guidance Tuesday.” Roger Severino, Director of HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, said: “The last thing hospital patients need to worry about during the COVID-19 crisis is a film crew walking around their bed shooting ‘B-roll.’ Hospitals and health care providers must get authorization from patients before giving the media access to their medical information; obscuring faces after the fact just doesn’t cut it.” The HHS “guidance explains that even during the current public health emergency, health-care providers are still required to obtain a valid health privacy authorization from each patient whose public health information will be accessible to the media before the media is given access.”