Guidance Regarding Media and Film Crews

May 11, 2020

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance to healthcare providers reminding them that the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not allow the media and film crews to access healthcare facilities where patients’ protected health information is accessible unless written authorization has been obtained from the patients concerned in advance. The COVID-10 pandemic does not change these requirements.

OCR has issued Notices of Enforcement Discretion during the coronavirus pandemic and will not be imposing sanctions and financial penalties on HIPAA-covered entities for certain violations of HIPAA Rules, however, penalties can and will be imposed on covered entities for violations of HIPAA Rules not covered by the Notices of Enforcement Discretion, such as unauthorized disclosures to the media.