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Post date: December 23 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Announces $25,000 Fine For Rochester Home Health Care Company That Unlawfully Obtained Private Patient Information For Use In Commercial Marketing Push

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

December 23, 2016

New York City Press Office / 212-416-8060
Albany Press Office / 518-473-5525
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman


All American Home Care Illegally Acquired Phone Numbers of Patients at Competing Company and Called Those Patients Urging Them to Switch Agencies

ROCHESTER -  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that All American Home Care, a home care services agency, will pay a $25,000 fine after an investigation by the AG’s office found that the company obtained personal contact information of patients at a competing agency for use in a commercial marketing effort. In addition to the fine, the company agreed as part of a settlement with the AG’s office to stop using patients’ private information for commercial purposes without the patients’ prior consent.

In the fall of 2015, the Attorney General received a complaint from a community organization alleging that patients receiving home health care services through one agency, Angels In Your Home, were called by employees of a competing home health care agency, All American Home Care, and asked to switch. 

An investigation by the AG’s office revealed that, in 2015, Marco Altieri was the CEO of Angels In Your Home (Angels). He planned to start his own home health care company named All American Health Care (AAHC). AAHC unlawfully obtained Angels’ consumer’s phone numbers, and used the phone numbers to contact consumers to urge them to switch from Angels to AAHC.

All of the consumers were already placed with Angels and did not consent to have their phone numbers used for commercial solicitations. Some patients became worried that their home health care services might be affected if they did not switch their service provider. AAHC’s actions violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA ”) Privacy Rule. 

“It’s unacceptable for a home care agency to try to pad its pockets by using patients’ personal information without their consent,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue to hold accountable any company that violates a patient’s right to privacy, especially for commercial gain.”    

The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives individuals important controls over whether and how their protected health information is used and disclosed for marketing purposes. With limited exceptions, the Rule requires an individual’s written authorization before a use or disclosure of his or her protected health information can be used for marketing. So as not to interfere with core health care functions, the Rule distinguishes marketing communications from those communications that are essential for delivery of quality health care.

All American Home Care agreed to an injunction permanently prohibiting them from violating HIPAA laws and to pay $25,000 in penalties and costs of the investigation.

Additional information about the HIPAA Privacy Rule can be found online at, then select "Privacy of Health Information/HIPAA" from the Category drop down list and click the Search button.

The case was handled by Benjamin Bruce, Assistant Attorney General and the investigation was conducted by Michelle Ortiz both of the Rochester Regional Office which is led by Ted O’Brien, Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge.  The Rochester Regional Office is a part of the Division of Regional Offices, led by Marty Mack, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Offices.

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