In addition to the $2.2 million settlement for potential violations, New York Presbyterian agreed to a "comprehensive corrective action plan" and to be monitored for two years by the Office of Civil Rights to make sure the hospital complies with federal rules, commonly called HIPAA, that protect the privacy of patient health records.
The ABC crew was at the hospital in April 2011 to obtain footage for the show "NY Med," an eight-part ABC News series that aired in 2012, and then again with new episodes in 2014.
The Office of Civil Rights said that it it received a complaint against the hospital in 2013 about filming that was done on April 28, 2011.
That is the same date that a Manhattan man named Mark Chanko was filmed while dying at the hospital after being hit by a garbage truck, according to a cease and desist letter Chanko's son sent to the hospital in 2012, which is on the ProPublica news site.
Chanko's son Kenneth complained to HHS about HIPAA violations by the hospital after his mother, Mark's widow recognized her dying husband while watching an episode of NY Med even though Mark's face had been blurred by the show, the New York Times reported last year. ABC later scrubbed "the segment involving Mr. Chanko from its website, DVDs and future viewings," the Times reported.
Last month, the highest appeals court in New York State allowed the Chanko family's suit against New York Presbyterian, which alleges a breach of patient-doctor confidentiality, to proceed. But the court dismissed ABC News as a defendant against claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress.
HHS's Office of Civil Rights found that New York Presbyterian "failed to safeguard protected health information and allowed ABC film crews virtually unfettered access to its health care facility."
That access effectively created "an environment where [protected health information] could not be protected from impermissible disclosure to the ABC film crew and staff."