Albany – A new law signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo closes a loophole that allowed first responders to sell private patient information to third parties for marketing purposes. From now on, the only exception to HIPAA privacy laws will be selling patient data to healthcare providers and insurers.
“Nothing is more personal than your health records, and New Yorkers have a right to privacy when it comes to this incredibly sensitive information,” 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.”
Under prior law, emergency response providers could sell information that identifies an individual patient such as addresses and phone numbers, prescriptions and medical history.
Assemblyman Edward Braunstein said he first sponsored the legislation in 2014 after reports surfaced that some emergency service providers may have been selling patient information for fundraising and marketing purposes.
“Patients,” Braunstein said, “have a right to privacy and their medical information should never be sold to pharmaceutical companies, insurers, nursing homes, or other businesses.”