Adoptee Rights, Asthma, Anti-Smoking, and Due Process among Issues Moving in Albany

Assembly Health Committee reports 12 bills
April 14, 2011

The Assembly Committee on Health favorably reported 12 bills on Tuesday, April 12. For more information on a particular bill, please contact the sponsor listed after the description. For the text of a bill, its supporting memorandum, and information on its status, go to:

Leukemia Tax Check-Off – Provides an income tax check-off for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma education and outreach. (A.283, Cusick)

Obstetrician Risk Management Continuing Education – Grants a medical malpractice premium reduction to obstetricians and other physicians who do deliveries, and midwives who take a continuing education course on risk management and birthing options for patients. (A.344, Paulin)

Adoptee Bill of Rights – Allows adopted children to obtain identifying information about their biological parents once they turn 18, including a copy of the original birth certificate. Such information is vital in determining possible genetic health issues, family history, and religious and ethnic heritage. (A.2003, Weprin)

AED Trained Staff; Health Clubs – Current law requires health clubs to have an AED (automated external defibrillator) machine and AED-trained staff on duty. Since some health club facilities may be open with no staff present (e.g., in hotels), this bill would require the AED-trained staff to be present only during staffed business hours. (A.3798, Spano)

Health Information for Immigrants – Provides outreach, information, and educational services to immigrants on the availability of health care services, medical assistance, emergency medical assistance, and the availability of Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus. (A.4208, P. Rivera)

Assessing At-Risk Asthma Populations – Directs the Commissioner of Health to study and report on areas with high incidences of asthma. (A.4424, P. Rivera)

Certificate Issuance Fees – Permits the city of Albany to set the fee it charges for issuing a birth or death record. Currently, state statute sets the fee at ten dollars. (A.5667, McEneny)

Protecting Due Process – Provides basic due process rights for health care providers under Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) investigation. (A.5686, Gottfried)

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Health care providers would be entitled to a hearing before being required to pay back Medicaid funds.
  • If a service was provided in proper compliance with Medicaid rules in effect at the time of service, those rules could not be changed retroactively to deny payment.
  • Mathematically valid statistic sampling methodology to be used when “extrapolating” to invalidate claims OMIG has not reviewed.
  • Where a Medicaid service was properly given, but the provider made a technical error in documentation, without intent to falsify or defraud, the provider would have the opportunity to re-submit the claim to Medicaid, and the penalty would be limited to 10% of the reimbursement.

Displaying Human Remains – Prohibits the commercial display of human remains, with limited exceptions. (A.6185, Kavanagh)

Minority Health Report – Requires the state Office of Minority Health to collect data and issue a report on race, ethnicity, and language of participants in state health programs. (A.6241, Wright)

No Smoking on Playgrounds – Prohibits smoking on playgrounds to protect children from second-hand smoke and the influence of seeing adults smoke. (A.6451, Galef)

Federal Action on Asthma – Resolution calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a remedial action plan to address the high incidence of asthma in children. (Reso 132, Gibson)