NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4515
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law and the public health law, in relation
to requiring cultural awareness and competence training for medical
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill will create a system of Cultural competency Course work and
training that will help healthcare Professionals improve their inter-
actions with minority patients. In doing so, this bill seeks to improve
the quality of healthcare in the State of New York.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Add section 6505-d to the education Law to establish training in
cultural awareness and competence for Medical professionals.
1) Lists medical professionals subject and establishes the content and
Requirements for cultural competency training and course work.
2) Defines "acceptable formal continuing education".
3) Establishes reporting requirements by medical professionals.
4) Provides exemptions from cultural competency Course work and train-
5) Establishes a fee of five dollars.
6) Allows the commissioner to promulgate such rules as requires to
establish this program successfully, and guards against false reporting
f) Establishes that hospitals and other health care facilities shall not
knowingly provide employment to individuals that have not completed the
necessary course work and training.
New York State is one of the most ,diverse states in the nation, with
large populations of historically marginalized groups. It is a well-do-
cumented fact that often members of these minority groups fare far worse
in many indices of health and well-being.
Disparities in access to quality health care are one major component of
the discrepancies in general health. This bill seeks to close the gap by
ensuring that medical professionals that serve minority populations are
able to provide culturally sensitive care. By promoting and funding
culturally and linguistically sensitive practices by healthcare profes-
sionals, the legislature can help to enhance the quality of health care
services in underserved communities. This legislation will play a
crucial role in ending statewide health disparities among minority popu-
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2008: 5.7270 Serrano -.Referred to Higher Education
2009/2010: Senate Reported and Committed to codes. Assembly Referred to
2016 A00770/S954-A referred to higher education
2017/18 A626.- referred to Higher Education
No immediate costs to the state. The possibility exists for long term
savings in health care costs as minority populations receive better
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
February 4, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. RODRIGUEZ -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK,
SIMON -- read once and referred to the Committee on Higher Education
AN ACT to amend the education law and the public health law, in relation
to requiring cultural awareness and competence training for medical
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 6505-d
2 to read as follows:
3 § 6505-d. Course work or training in cultural awareness and compe-
4 tence. 1. Every physician, physician assistant, dentist, registered
5 nurse, licensed practical nurse, podiatrist, optometrist and nurse prac-
6 titioner practicing in the state who provides direct medical services to
7 patients in this state shall, on or before July first, two thousand
8 twenty-two and every registration period thereafter, complete course
9 work or training regarding cultural awareness and competence in the
10 provision of medical services in accordance with regulated standards
11 promulgated by the department, in consultation with the department of
12 health. Such cultural awareness and competence course work or training
13 shall require two hours of course work or training encompassing minority
14 healthcare issues including ethnic, religious, linguistic, sexual orien-
15 tation and gender identity healthcare issues and their impact on minori-
16 ty healthcare. In promulgating regulatory standards pursuant to this
17 section the department is advised to consult with organizations repre-
18 sentative of professions, institutions and those with expertise in
19 cultural awareness and competence.
20 2. As used in this section, "acceptable formal continuing education"
21 shall mean formal programs of learning which contribute to professional
22 practice and which meet the standards prescribed by regulations of the
23 commissioner. To fulfill the mandatory continuing education requirement,
24 programs must be taken from sponsors having the facilities, equipment,
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 4515 2
1 and financial and physical resources to provide continuing education
2 courses, approved by the department, pursuant to the regulations of the
3 commissioner. Continuing education may be provided in an internet-based
4 course format as approved by the department.
5 3. Each such professional shall attest to the department at the time
6 of registration commencing with the first registration after July first,
7 two thousand twenty-two that the professional has completed course work
8 or training in accordance with this section.
9 4. The department shall provide an exemption from this requirement to
10 anyone who requests such an exemption and who: (i) clearly demonstrates
11 to the department's satisfaction that there would be no need for him or
12 her to complete such course work or training because of the nature of
13 his or her practice; (ii) has completed course work or training deemed
14 by the department to be equivalent to the course work or training
15 approved by the department pursuant to this section; (iii) has completed
16 course work or training pertaining to cultural awareness and competence
17 which has been incorporated as part of a risk management course offered
18 pursuant to subsection (e) of section two thousand three hundred forty-
19 three of the insurance law, provided that such educational content has
20 been approved by the superintendent of financial services; or (iv) is a
21 medical professional who is on a tour of extended active duty with the
22 armed forces of the United States.
23 5. At the beginning of each registration period, a mandatory continu-
24 ing education fee of five dollars shall be collected from all persons
25 required to complete the course work and training required by this
26 section; provided that any person obtaining an exemption pursuant to
27 subdivision four of this section shall not be required to pay such five
28 dollar fee. This fee shall be in addition to all other existing regis-
29 tration fees.
30 6. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate regulations to imple-
31 ment the provisions of this section.
32 Any person subject to the provisions of this section, who falsely
33 attests to having completed the required course work or training shall
34 be subject to professional misconduct as provided by subdivision twen-
35 ty-one of section sixty-five hundred thirty of this title and subdivi-
36 sion nine of section sixty-five hundred nine of this title.
37 § 2. Paragraph (f) of subdivision 1 of section 2805-k of the public
38 health law, as amended by chapter 477 of the laws of 2008, is amended
39 and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows:
40 (f) Documentation that the physician, dentist or podiatrist has
41 completed the course work or training as mandated by section two hundred
42 thirty-nine of this chapter or section [six thousand five] sixty-five
43 hundred five-b of the education law or section sixty-five hundred five-d
44 of the education law. A hospital or facility shall not grant or renew
45 professional privileges or association to a physician, dentist, or
46 podiatrist who has not completed such course work or training. A hospi-
47 tal or facility shall not knowingly grant or renew professional privi-
48 leges or association to anyone required to complete course work or
49 training unless said person has attested to having taken such required
50 course work or training.
51 5. Prior to hiring or otherwise granting privileges to a physician
52 assistant, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or optometrist or
53 a hospital or facility approved pursuant to this article shall request
54 from such person documentation that he or she has completed the course
55 work or training as mandated by section sixty-five hundred five-d of the
56 education law. A hospital or facility shall not hire or otherwise grant
A. 4515 3
1 privileges to a physician assistant, registered nurse, licensed practi-
2 cal nurse or optometrist who has not completed such course work or
4 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.