Hospital staff claim HIPAA violation when they threaten TikToker with arrest – WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — When Denise Bradley told a nurse at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn that she was continuing to record her encounter with him and hospital security guards for her safety, the nurse replied, “Your safety shouldn’t be on TikTok.”
On video, the nurse can then be heard telling Bradley to “delete that video.”
“You’re going to go to jail,” one security guard said. “You’re breaking federal laws. It’s called HIPAA violations. You are forbidden to videotape other patients, period.”
But Bradley said it seemed the nurse was upset over him being videotaped in the waiting room on Christmas Day.
“I don’t want my video online,” the nurse said. “I didn’t give my permission.”
The video at the center of it all was taken while Bradley was in the waiting room with other people waiting to be seen by healthcare workers.
Bradley was having complications from oral surgery and she said urgent care workers told her she needed to be seen in an emergency room.
Bradley said she and others, including a pregnant woman, who were waiting to be seen, were talking about the long wait.
The pregnant woman said she’d already been waiting for five hours.
Bradley said when hospital workers, including a doctor, appeared to be confronting the pregnant woman in the waiting room, she thought it was inappropriate, so she used her phone to begin to record the encounter on TikTok.
While the pregnant woman is seated, a man who appears to be a physician is seen standing several feet in front of her. They’re discussing the long wait time and the pregnant woman seems to be urging him to leave her alone.
“Go about your business,” she’s heard saying. The doctor replies, “This is my business.”
The pregnant woman appears stunned that the doctor is continuing to address her as he walks away.
“I don’t understand. I don’t understand,” she says. “You keep coming in here arguing with me for what?”
Another worker tells the pregnant woman she’s going to get security which prompts Bradley, who is recording, to ask, “Why would you get security? She doesn’t need security. She’s not doing anything.”
7 Action News spoke briefly to the pregnant woman by phone and she said she did not mind Bradley recording the encounter and was glad she did because she was troubled by how the situation unfolded.
Time passed and Bradley had stopped recording on her cell phone and she thought the situation was over and done.
But she said as she was receiving IV treatment, the same nurse who had been tending to the pregnant woman told her to follow him.
“And in my head, I’m thinking I must be almost done and It’s time to go.” But then she saw two security guards and they appeared to be angry.
Bradley said something didn’t feel right so she turned her camera on again. She said the nurse started talking about the TikTok video and he was upset.
That’s when Bradley said the security guards began telling her she violated HIPAA and demanding that she delete the videos. She said she refused because she had no idea what they were going to do to her.
“My worst fear was that I was I wasn’t going to make it home to my daughter on Christmas,” she told 7 Action News.
“They were so angry and I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
On the video, the nurse can be heard saying, “I don’t want my video online.”
When Bradley asks the security guards if they’re really going to take her to jail over a video, one guard replies, “Yes, ma’am.”
Security guards tell her she’s violating HIPAA law by videotaping and they threatened to arrest her if she doesn’t delete the video and leave.
That’s when things went from bad to worse for Bradley as Beaumont Hospital security guards threatened her with arrest.
“Are you going to delete the videos or do we need to call Dearborn PD,” one guard said. “Those are your options.”
“The moment you publish that, you’re going to jail,” another guard said.
“They told me I was going to federal prison,” she said.
Bradley was also put into a room and security guards were refusing to let her out.
One of her 1.7 million followers suggested she try to walk out the room because they could not forcibly detain her.
Bradley can be seen on video trying to open the door and someone on the outside forced it shut.
“They won’t let me open the door,” Bradley said as she tried to pull it open.
When security guards came back in, one guard went after the phone. According to Bradley, the guard turned off the camera and she was taken outside where Dearborn Police were waiting.
Bradley said officers found she hadn’t broken any laws and she was given her phone back, but she said she was denied her discharge paperwork and a prescription the doctor was going to give her.
7 Action News contacted Beaumont and a spokesperson released the following statement:
“Protecting the personal privacy and physical safety of all of our patients, visitors and staff are responsibilities we take seriously. We strive to treat everyone with compassion, dignity and respect, and we are currently reviewing the situation.”
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It’s a federal law that requires the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed, according to the CDC.
Entities that must follow HIPAA regulations are called “covered entities” and they include doctors, clinics, dentists, and health insurance companies.
7 Action News showed attorney Rolf Lowe of Wachler & Associates, who represents healthcare providers in a variety of regulatory matters, a couple of Bradley’s TikTok videos and he said he found security guards threat of arresting her very interesting.
“I don’t see how she’s a covered entity under HIPAA,” Lowe said. “If there’s somebody who wants to explain that to me, I’m willing to listen, but I don’t see that.”
Bradley said she filed a complaint with a patient advocate but she has not been contacted by the hospital with what she thought would be an apology.
She’s now looking to file a complaint with Dearborn police against Beaumont’s security guards, alleging assault and false imprisonment.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said. “To take it to the step where you’re willing to not only traumatize someone, but to hold them against their will in the hopes that they’ll delete a video? That’s not right.”


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