Assembly Health Committee Update
February 3, 2014

The Assembly Committee on Health favorably reported 44 bills at meetings in January, including legislation to protect healthcare access for patients regardless of immigration status; to authorize use of marijuana under medical supervision to treat severe, debilitating, or life-threatening conditions; to guarantee prompt payment for services rendered by Early Intervention providers; and to establish single-payer healthcare in New York. For more information on a particular bill, please contact the sponsor listed after the description. For the text of a bill, supporting memorandum, and information on its status, go to: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menuf.cgi

January 14 meeting:

Effects of Artificial Night Light - Requires the Department of Health to study the potential health effects of night-time artificial lighting. (A263, Rosenthal)

Genetic Disease Screening and Counseling - Authorizes grants for familial dysautonomia, Canavan's and Tay-Sachs disease screening and counseling. (A314, Dinowitz)

Simplifying Signing of Health Care Proxies - Requires only one witness signature, not two, for a health care proxy, and makes forging a health care proxy a felony. (A619, Rosenthal)

Notifying Patients of Hospital Practices - Requires hospitals to disclose to patients, prior to admission (except in an emergency), policies that may be contrary to a patient's health care proxy (e.g., relating to withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment). (A721, Rosenthal)

Protecting Day Care Air Quality - Bars day care centers from being built near environmentally hazardous sites. Requires air quality and ventilation standards for day care centers. (A918, Englebright)

Lead Monitoring in Children's Products - Requires the Health Department to regulate the lead levels in candy, soft vinyl lunch boxes, and bibs, and prohibits the sale or distribution of candy with lead. (A1755, Englebright)

Notice of Patients' Rights - Requires hospitals to post notices about patient rights to receive care regardless of immigration status and bars hospitals from inquiring about a patient's immigration status. (A1917-A, Ortiz)

Automated External Defibrillators on Golf Courses - Requires all golf courses to have at least one automated external defibrillator (AED) and a trained operator present during hours of operation. (A2114-A, Markey)

Trichloroethylene (TCE) Contamination Remediation - Requires the Department of Health to set indoor air contaminant standards for Trichloroethylene. These standards would be used to guide Department of Environmental Conservation remediation programs. (A3595, Lupardo)

Save Our Sight Program - Establishes the Save Our Sight Program and Fund to educate children on proper vision care. (A4057, Wright)

Reducing Harmful Materials in Hospitals - Requires that the state provide to hospitals information on environmentally sensitive commodities and services to reduce exposure to harmful materials. (A4184, Englebright)

Hand Washing at Petting Zoos - Requires petting zoos or similar public establishments to have hand-washing facilities within 50 feet of the exit, with signs to advise patrons. (A4735, Perry)

Fair Hearing Protection - Clarifies that Medicaid enrollees denied services by a Medicaid managed care plan may file for a fair hearing under the Social Services Law as well as appealing under the managed care law, and that they are entitled to continuation of services while the fair hearing proceeds. (A4996, Gottfried)

Changes in Hospital Ownership or Control - Clarify that changes in which entity effectively controls a hospital (including acquisitions, mergers and affiliations) would be reviewed and subject to approval by the State Public Health and Health Planning Council and the Health Department. (A5341-A, Gottfried)

Medical Marijuana - Allows use of marijuana under medical supervision to treat severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions. Sets regulation and control standards and includes an excise tax to be shared with local governments. (A6357-A, Gottfried)

Early Intervention (EI) Billing - Requires that EI providers be paid promptly for their services rather than requiring providers to go through the commercial insurance claiming process first. (A8316, Gottfried)

January 23 meeting:

Adult Home Resident Abuse Reporting - Requires health care and other professionals to report cases of abuse, mistreatment, or neglect of residents in adult homes and assisted living residences. (A525, Magnarelli)

State Building Smoking Prohibitions - Prohibits smoking within 50 feet of an entrance to a state office or agency building. (A1679, Cahill)

Restoring "Prescriber Prevails" - Restores "prescriber prevails" rules to Medicaid managed care programs. If a Medicaid managed care plan denies prior authorization for a prescription for a particular drug, and the patient's health care professional persists in choosing that drug, the prescription would be covered. (A2335-B, Rodriguez)

Improving Indoor Air Quality - Establishes standards, training programs, and compliance investigation methods for indoor air quality in state owned, leased, or operated buildings. (A3599, Lupardo)

Meningococcal Immunization Information - Directs schools to provide information on meningococcal disease immunization to students in 7th grade and their parents. (A3703, Peoples-Stokes)

Managed Long Term Care Plan Ownership - Prohibits for-profit health maintenance organizations from owning managed long term care plans. (A3781-A, Gottfried)

Preventing Underage Internet Purchase of Cigarettes - Requires companies that sell tobacco products over the internet to acquire a signed authorization stating the recipient is 18 years of age or older. (A3920, Pretlow)

Reporting Pesticide Poisoning - Requires health care providers to report cases of pesticide poisoning to the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation, with investigation by DEC. (A4182, Englebright)

Hospital Renovation and Construction - Requires hospital construction projects to meet state environmental standards, especially for indoor air quality and avoiding environmentally hazardous sites. (A4183, Englebright)

Adult Care Facility Staff Training - Establishes training requirements for direct-care staff working in adult homes and other adult care facilities. (A4467, Gottfried)

Prison Health Care Standards - Currently, prison and jail health facilities are exempt from Health Department regulation and oversight. This bill would end that exemption so health care meets basic professional standards. (A4469, Gottfried)

Poliomyelitis Medicaid Coverage - Adds poliomyelitis (Polio) to the list of conditions eligible for Medicaid funding for orthopedic footwear. (A4571, Colton)

Fair Prescribing - Prohibits pharmacy benefit managers and health plans from giving financial incentives to health care providers for switching from one prescription drug to another. (A4787, Perry)

Farm Worker Pesticide Protection - Expands worker protection standards and guidelines for protection from pesticides on farms. (A5028, Englebright)

Restroom Access - Gives patients with Crohn's disease and other eligible medical conditions the right to use employee restrooms in businesses open to the public that do not have a public restroom. (A5099-A, Paulin)

School-based Health Services - Improves access to school-based healthcare services by carving them out of Medicaid managed care requirements. (A5148, Gottfried)

New York Health single-payer plan - Establishes "New York Health," a universal, single-payer health care program that would cover all New Yorkers without consideration of income. New York Health would replace insurance company premiums, deductibles, and co-pays with a publicly-funded benefit package more comprehensive than commercial health plans. (A5389A, Gottfried)

Responsible Pesticide Management in Hospitals - Establishes requirements for integrated pest management plans for hospitals and requirements for notification of hospital occupants about pesticide applications. (A5651, Englebright)

Health Care Provider Collective Negotiation with Managed Care Plans - Allows doctors and other health care providers to form organizations to negotiate collectively with health plans. Negotiations could cover rates of payment, procedures for approving coverage of services, and other terms and conditions. (A5692, Gottfried)

January 27 meeting:

Multiple Dwelling Smoking Policies - Requires owners of multiple dwelling buildings to develop smoking policies (which must be within their power as owner), publicly post these policies, and share them with both tenants and prospective tenants. (A495B, Paulin)

Autism Assessment Centers - Authorizes Comprehensive Autism Assessment Centers that are designed to ensure that children with autism spectrum disorders will receive a comprehensive assessment. (A1400, Gunther)

Colon Cancer Tax Check-Off - Establishes an income tax check-off to fund colon cancer education. (A1538A, Cymbrowitz)

Proper Handling of Drug Samples - Establishes recordkeeping and safety standards for the handling of drug samples in health care practitioner offices, to reduce the risk of dispensing outdated, expired, improperly stored, or adulterated drugs that can cause adverse reactions. (A2697, Gottfried)

Medicaid Managed Care Dental Rate-Setting - Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to set reimbursement rates for dental services covered under the Medicaid Managed Care program. (A2930, Wright)

Feeding Communities - Creates the Community Food Security, Empowerment and Economic Development Program to increase the self-sufficiency of low-income communities in providing for their food needs. (A4001, Cook)

Nutrition Standards for Meals with Children's Toys - Requires the Commissioner of Health to establish nutrition standards for meals sold with incentive items aimed at children. (A5886, Ortiz)

Lymphedema and Lymphatic Diseases Research Tax Check-off Funding - Creates the lymphedema and lymphatic diseases research grants program and lymphedema and lymphatic diseases research fund. (A8456, Rosenthal)

Lupus Education and Outreach Tax Check-off - Creates a Lupus education and outreach program within the Department of Health and allows the Commissioner of Health to make grants. (A8466, Peoples-S