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State legislative activity update

In 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved 749 bills, including the following bills of interest to HANYS and our members during the final weeks of the year:

  • Hospital domestic violence policies and procedures. Requires every general hospital to develop, maintain and disseminate written policies and procedures regarding confirmed or suspected cases of domestic violence, and further require hospitals to train all current and new employees on such policies and procedures. Additionally, the law requires every hospital to designate a staff person to coordinate services to victims of domestic violence and to work with the domestic violence organization providing victim assistance in the geographic area served by such hospital. This new law (Chapter 733) took effect Jan. 1.
  • Removal of prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted treatment – commercial insurance. Requires commercial health insurers to provide immediate coverage, without prior authorization requirements, for all buprenorphine products, methadone or long-acting injectable naltrexone for the detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder. This new law (Chapter 748) takes effect Feb. 29.
  • Information for maternity patients. Requires information on possible complications from pregnancy that can lead to death to be included on the already required leaflet for post-discharge maternity patients. This new law (Chapter 718) takes effect June 17.
  • Transportation for sexual assault victim (Safe Way Home Act). Entitles sexual assault victims to free transportation from any medical facility in the state after receiving the initial medical services. The law will also entitle a crime victim advocate assisting the victim to free transportation to and from the treating medical facility. This new law (Chapter 737) takes effect March 22.
  • Physician assistants and orders not to resuscitate. Adds physician assistants to the list of healthcare professionals authorized to act in relation to orders pertaining to life-sustaining treatment and orders not to resuscitate and to make capacity determinations for purposes of witnessing and implementing healthcare proxies. This new law (Chapter 708) takes effect June 17.
  • Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. Codifies the most recent version of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. This legislation expands the members of classes eligible to make or amend anatomical gifts, authorizes a simple majority of decision makers in a single class to make a gift, allows for interpretation of advance directives, which are also documents of a gift, and provides additional time to exchange information among various parties, including the prospective donor's family and medical professionals. This new law (Chapter 742) contains numerous sections, each with varying effective dates.

In 2019, Gov. Cuomo vetoed 170 bills, including the following bills of interest to HANYS and our members during the final weeks of the year:

  • Premium reduction for courses on obstetric risk management. Would require DOH to approve professional education courses for eligible physicians and licensed midwives that cover risk management strategies in obstetrics, including information on potential risks and strategies to fully inform patients of risks associated with their decisions. The bill would also authorize the Department of Financial Services to approve an actuarially appropriate premium reduction for an insured physician or licensed midwife who successfully completes such risk management course or a course authorized by the commissioner of health. (Veto No. 238).
  • Eating disorder coverage. Would require commercial insurers to provide coverage for inpatient hospital care and physician services for eating disorders. (Veto No. 241).
  • Utilization review determinations for nursing home care. Would require health plans to complete a utilization review of a request for nursing home care after an inpatient hospital admission within 24 hours of the request. (Veto No. 256).
  • Pretrial liability determination. If one or more co-defendants in a tort case settles with the plaintiff, would require the remaining defendants to choose the method by which the settlement reduces their liability before the case goes to trial. (Veto No. 282).
  • Third-party defendant recovery. Would authorize a plaintiff, when a judgment against a defendant remains unsatisfied after 30 days, to sue and collect the unsatisfied judgment from a third-party defendant. (Veto No. 287).
  • Employee lien. Would permit an employee to file an employee’s lien against an employer’s interest in real and personal property for an alleged wage claim. (Veto No. 291).
  • Removal of prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted treatment — Medicaid Managed Care. Would require MMC plans to provide coverage, without any prior authorization requirements, for all buprenorphine products, methadone or long-acting injectable naltrexone for detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder. (Veto No. 292).

There are no more bills from the 2019 legislative session awaiting delivery to the governor. HANYS’ 2019 Comprehensive Summary Chart provides a complete summary of significant legislation acted on by the governor.

Should you have questions on the information provided or any other legislative activity or issues, please contact our state governmental affairs team: Amy Nickson, vice president, governmental affairs; Katie Gordon, director, research and legislation; and Scott Janke, director, state governmental affairs.

Published January 3, 2020