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10.18.19

New York law prohibits first responders from selling patient data for marketing purposes

BY Valerie Breslin Montague

On October 7, 2019, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a bill that prohibits New York ambulance service providers and advanced life support first response service providers from selling, disclosing, transferring, or otherwise using identifiable patient information for marketing purposes. "Marketing" is defined as advertising, promotion, or any other activity that is intended to influence business sales or market share, including evaluating the effectiveness of marketing personnel or practices. 

Although the legislation limits marketing-related uses and disclosures, it continues to permit ambulance providers and other first responders to share identifiable patient data with the patient and those authorized to make health care decisions for the patient, with health care providers treating the patient, and with the patient's insurer, as well as third parties that have a legal right to the information—such as those authorized by a court order, a government entity, or law enforcement personnel. With patient consent, identifiable information can be used for training, promotion, or for staff recognition and recruitment.

All types of entities—for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental—are subject to these data restrictions, although nonprofit and governmental entities may use a patient's name and address to solicit donations.

The legislation takes effect 180 days from its October 7, 2019, enactment date.

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Valerie Breslin Montague

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