Governor Cuomo: "Nothing is more personal than your health records, and New Yorkers have a right to privacy when it comes to this incredibly sensitive information. This law sets clear guidelines so patient information isn't sold or used for marketing purposes and most importantly doesn't end up in the wrong hands."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.4119/A.230) prohibiting ambulance and first response service providers from disclosing or selling private patient information to third parties for marketing purposes. Under prior law, emergency response providers could sell information that identifies an individual patient such as addresses and phone numbers, prescriptions and medical history. The new law prohibits the disclosure of such information to third parties, except to healthcare providers, the patient's insurer and parties acting under appropriate legal authority.
"Nothing is more personal than your health records, and New Yorkers have a right to privacy when it comes to this incredibly sensitive information," Governor Cuomo said. "This law sets clear guidelines so patient information isn't sold or used for marketing purposes and most importantly doesn't end up in the wrong hands."
Senator John Liu said, "We live in a world where we have to be concerned with how our data is being bought and used every day. Under no circumstances, when someone is in the middle of a life-threatening crisis, should they have to worry about their information being sold for any reason. This bill provides peace of mind to New Yorkers by protecting the privacy of those who have suffered enough already."
Assembly Member Edward Braunstein said, "I first introduced this legislation in 2014 after reports surfaced that some emergency service providers in New York State may have been selling patient protected health information (PHI) for fundraising and marketing purposes. Patients have a right to privacy and their medical information should never be sold to pharmaceutical companies, insurers, nursing homes, or other businesses."