Assembly Health Committee Update

The Assembly Committee on Health favorably reported 39 bills at meetings in April, including legislation to create a universal health coverage "single payer" plan for New York State, to allow use of marijuana under medical supervision , a ban on artificial trans fats modeled on the New York City law, expanding access to emergency contraception, Adoptee Right to Know, Adult Home Resident Abuse Reporting, and requiring disclosure of medical errors. 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:

Tuesday, April 16

Preventing Illegal Cigarette Distribution - Prevents illegal cigarette sales by strengthening the state's cigarette shipment law and enacting civil penalties for offenders. (A365, Dinowitz, passed Assembly on 4/29/13)

Obstetrician Risk Management Continuing Education - Grants a medical malpractice premium reduction to obstetricians, other physicians who do deliveries, and midwives who take a continuing education course on risk management and birthing options for patients. (A414A, Paulin)

Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception - Allows dispensing of FDA-approved over-the counter emergency contraception through a non-patient-specific prescription, for patients who would not have over-the-counter access. (A420, Paulin)

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. (A495, Paulin)

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)

Notifying Patients of Hospital Practices - Requires hospitals to disclose to patients, prior to admission, policies that may be contrary to a patient's health care proxy. An exception would be made in cases of emergency care. (A721, Rosenthal)

Clotting Factor Coverage - Adds coverage for outpatient clotting factor for hemophilia to Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus. (A962, Kellner)

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

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)

Pain Management Protection - Protects health care professionals from criminal liability and professional discipline for prescribing and administering pain medication when they act within accepted professional standards. Physicians and others are sometimes reluctant to prescribe appropriate pain management out of fear of wrongful prosecution. (A5345, Gottfried)

Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Transparency - "Pharmacy benefit managers" administer drug coverage for health plans, including negotiating discounts with drug manufacturers. There have been serious cases of PBMs dishonestly profiteering at the expense of health plans, imposing additional costs on beneficiaries and employers. This bill would require financial transparency and require PBMs to operate in the interest of their health plan clients. (A5352, Gottfried)

Spina Bifida Education and Outreach Program - Authorizes the Department of Health to establish a spina bifida education and outreach program. (A5933, Ortiz)

Overweight and Underweight Education and Outreach - Creates a health care and wellness education and outreach program to inform of the risks to children who become overweight and underweight. (A6040, Ortiz)

Artificial Trans Fat Ban - Protects consumers from the detrimental health effects of artificial trans fats by prohibiting certain restaurants and food establishments from serving or preparing foods with artificial trans fats. This statewide bill is modeled on New York City law. (A6053, Ortiz)

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

Tuesday, April 23

Lupus Education and Outreach - Creates a Lupus education and outreach program within the Department of Health and allows the Commissioner of Health to make grants. (A551, Gibson)

Preventing Exposure to Bedbugs - Requires hotels to protect all mattresses and box springs with bedbug-impermeable covers. (A713, Rosenthal)

Adoptee Right to Know - Allows adoptees who are at least 18 years old to request from the Department of Health a non-certified copy of their original birth certificates or medical history forms if available. (A909, Weprin)

Offering Hepatitis C Testing - Requires individuals born between 1945 and 1965 to be offered hepatitis C screening testing when receiving emergency or inpatient hospital care or primary care in a hospital or clinic. (A1286, Zebrowski)

Police Dog Confinement Exemption - Exempts police dogs from confinement and observation requirements if they bite an individual in the course of duty. (A1287, Zebrowski)

Creating Autism Assessment Centers - Authorizes Comprehensive Autism Assessment Centers that are designed to ensure that children with autism spectrum disorders will receive a comprehensive assessment, allowing for more direct and effective treatment in children. (A1400, Gunther)

Medical Error Disclosure - Requires a health care provider to tell patients about medical errors that cause, or are likely to cause, harm to the patient. (A2675, Gottfried)

Prescription Drug "Pedigree" - Requires manufacturers to establish and maintain "pedigrees" for prescription drugs, including tracking within the production process, to combat prescription drug counterfeiting (A3842, Paulin)

No Smoking on Playgrounds - Prohibits smoking on playgrounds to protect children from second-hand smoke and the influence of seeing adults smoke. (A4025, Galef)

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, Paulin)

New York Health - 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)

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)

Volunteer Ambulance Blood Glucometer Fee Waiver - Exempts volunteer fire-based emergency medical services from registration fees required to operate blood glucometers. (A6121, Gottfried)

Birth/Death Certificate Fees - Albany - Permits the city of Albany to set the fee it charges for issuing a birth or death record. Currently, State law sets the fee at ten dollars. (A6348, Fahy)

Tuesday, April 30

Preventive Care for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in Minors - Allows medical professionals to offer preventive care for sexually transmitted diseases to minors who have capacity to consent without parent or guardian consent. Current law allows diagnosis or treatment without parental consent, but does not address preventive care. (A497, Paulin)

Expedited Partner Therapy for Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Allows for expedited partner therapy for any sexually transmitted diseases for which it is recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) Current law covers expedited partner therapy for chlamydia but no other STDs. (A1919A, Schimel)

Birth/Death Certificate Fees - Oneida - Permits the Oneida Common Council to set the fee it charges for issuing a birth or death record. Currently, State law sets the fee at ten dollars. (A5215, Magee)

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 (formerly the State Public Health Council) and the Health Department. (A5341-A, Gottfried)

Review of Medicaid Generic Substitution Exemptions - Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to review applications for exemptions from Medicaid mandatory generic substitution during the year prior to the expiration of the patent for the brand name drug. (A5350, 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)

Diabetes Coordinator Position - Creates the position of Diabetes Coordinator within the Department of Health. (A5869, Ortiz)

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)

Due Process for Health Care Practitioners - Clarifies the due process protections afforded to a health care professional being terminated by a health plan. This bill also requires that hearing panels must include one member appointed by the insurer, one member appointed by the subject of the hearing, and a third panelist chosen by the other two. (A6498, Lavine)

Certificate of Need Reform - Establishes a streamlined process for hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers to receive Certificate of Need (CON) approval without determination of public need if the project does not expand or change hospital services or if it relates to primary care services. (A6676, Gottfried)