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A00702 Summary:

BILL NOA00702
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORRozic
 
COSPNSRSimon, Weprin, Seawright
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §2803-bb, Pub Health L
 
Requires hospitals to provide language assistance services to a patient or a patient's assistant for communication of clinical and other information, including but not limited to health care, billing and making appointments, to ensure effective communication; provides that such interpreter may be a qualified interpreter, volunteer or medical personnel at such hospital; provides for such services to be available at all locations during all times that patient care is available; provides that translations of frequently used forms essential to a patient's care and treatment be available in all of the hospital's primary languages; provides for training of those providing interpretation services; requires the hospital to submit to the commissioner an annual report assessing compliance; defines primary language and patient visits.
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A00702 Actions:

BILL NOA00702
 
01/11/2023referred to health
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A00702 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A702
 
SPONSOR: Rozic
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring hospi- tals to provide language assistance services   PURPOSE: To ensure that patients who cannot speak English proficiently and vision or hearing-impaired patients have adequate access to the hospital's programs and services, including but not limited to health care, billing and making appointments.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the public health law by adding a new section 2803-i of the public health law titled "provision of language assistance." Subdivision 1 of the new section requires every hospital to provide language assistance services so that all patients have effective access to each hospital's programs and services, including health care, bill- ing, and making appointments. Language assistance services will be available at all locations during all times when patient care is avail- able and will be, to the extent practicable, provided in person. All individuals providing language assistance services will be required to have sufficient fluency in both English and the relevant language to communicate accurately clinical and other information necessary for patients to access services. All individuals providing assistance to vision or hearing-impaired patients will have to have sufficient skill in communicating with vision or hearing-impaired patients to communicate accurately clinical and other information necessary for the patient to access services. Translations of all frequently used forms and other written materials that are essential to a patient's care will be trans- lated into all primary languages. Subdivision 2 of the new section requires the patient's bill of rights to include a provision notifying patients of the availability of language assistance services. Signs notifying patients of the availabil- ity of language assistance services will be posted in conspicuous locations in all primary languages. Subdivision 3 of the new section requires hospitals to submit an annual report detailing compliance with the section and identifying the primary languages used by its patients. Hospitals will also be required to main- tain a record of the foreign language primarily spoken by any patient seeking or receiving language assistance services. Subdivision 4 of the new section requires the Commissioner to promulgate regulations to implement the section. Subdivision 5 of the new section defines "primary language" to mean a language other than English that is either (i) used to communicate, during at least one percent of patient visits in a year, by patients who cannot speak, read, write or understand the English language at the level of proficiency necessary for effective communication with health care providers; or (ii) spoken by more than one percent of the total hospital service area population, as calculated by using demographic information available from the United States Bureau of the Census, supplemented by data from school systems and information provided by community agencies and organizations. It defines "hospital" to be a "general hospital" as defined in subdivision 10 of section 2803-r of the Public Health Law. It also defines "patient visits" and "patient assist- ant." Subdivision 6 of the new section allows medical facilities to provide more language assistance than is required by this section. Section 2 of the bill sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This bill is necessary to protect and better serve those residents and visitors to New York who cannot understand the English language or who are hearing or vision impaired. These New York residents need language assistance services in order to adequately access medical services.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2022: A409 (Rozic) - Health 2021: A409 (Rozic) - Health 2020: A2394 (Rozic) - Health 2019: A2394 (Rozic) - Health 2018: A01236 (Rozic) - Health 2017: A01236 (Rozic) - Health 2016: A00286 (Rozic) - Health 2015: A00286 (Rozic) - Health 2014: A01969 (Rozic) - Health 2013: A01969 (Rozic) - Health 2012: A10378 (Kavanagh) - Rules 2010: A05225A (Espaillat) - Passed Assembly 2009: A05225A (Espaillat) - Passed Assembly 2008: A05301 (Espaillat) - Third Reading 2007: A05301 (Espaillat) - Health 2006: A04111A (Espaillat) - Passed Assembly 2005: A04111A (Espaillat) - Passed Assembly 2004: A05431B (Espaillat) - Passed Assembly 2003: A05431B (Espaillat) - Passed Assembly 2002: A10448 (Espaillat) - Health   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.
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A00702 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           702
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 11, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. ROZIC, SIMON, WEPRIN, SEAWRIGHT -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Health
 
        AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to  requiring  hospi-
          tals to provide language assistance services
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding  a  new  section
     2  2803-bb to read as follows:
     3    §  2803-bb.  Provision of language assistance. 1. Every hospital shall
     4  provide language assistance services to a patient or  patient  assistant
     5  so  as  to  ensure  that  all  patients who cannot speak, read, write or
     6  understand the English  language  with  the  proficiency  necessary  for
     7  adequate  communication  with  health care providers and other personnel
     8  have effective access to the hospital's programs and services, including
     9  but not limited to health care, billing and making appointments.   Every
    10  hospital shall ensure that all individuals providing language assistance
    11  services  to  patients  have  sufficient fluency in both English and the
    12  relevant language to communicate clinical and other  information  neces-
    13  sary  for  the patient to access services.  Language assistance services
    14  for  primary  and  non-primary  languages  shall  be  available  at  all
    15  locations during all times that patient care is available, and shall, to
    16  the  extent  practicable,  be  provided  in  person. Translations of all
    17  frequently used forms, and other written materials that are essential to
    18  a patient's care and treatment or are  otherwise  necessary  to  provide
    19  adequate  access to the hospital's services shall be available in all of
    20  the hospital's primary  languages.  Every  hospital  shall  develop  and
    21  implement  a  comprehensive  language  assistance  plan that establishes
    22  uniform  policies  and  procedures  for  providing  language  assistance
    23  services,  including  procedures  for  documenting  the provision of, or
    24  refusal of, language assistance services, and that requires training  to
    25  ensure  that  all  staff  who have contact with patients comply with the
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02255-01-3

        A. 702                              2
 
     1  plan, and that all staff  members  who  provide  medical  interpretation
     2  services  in  primary languages have received training in medical inter-
     3  pretation. Such individual providing language assistance services may be
     4  a  qualified  interpreter, voluntary worker or other personnel currently
     5  employed by said hospital and may perform other duties  as  directed  by
     6  the hospital.
     7    2.   The  statement  regarding  patient  rights  and  responsibilities
     8  required pursuant to paragraph (g) of subdivision one of  section  twen-
     9  ty-eight hundred three of this article shall include a provision notify-
    10  ing  patients  of  the  availability  of  language  assistance services,
    11  including oral interpretation and translations of forms and other  mate-
    12  rials.  Notice of the availability of language assistance services shall
    13  also be posted in conspicuous locations throughout the hospital  and  in
    14  outpatient clinics, in all primary languages.
    15    3.  (a)  Every  hospital  shall  submit  to the commissioner an annual
    16  report assessing its compliance with the requirements of  this  section.
    17  The  report  shall  identify the primary languages used by its patients,
    18  and the percentage of the hospital's patients who speak each such prima-
    19  ry language.
    20    (b) The hospital shall maintain  a  record  of  the  foreign  language
    21  primarily spoken by any patient seeking or receiving language assistance
    22  services  at the hospital. Such information shall be recorded whether or
    23  not such patient actually obtains such services.
    24    4.  The commissioner shall promulgate such rules  and  regulations  as
    25  may be necessary and proper to implement the provisions of this section,
    26  which shall include the methodology to be used by hospitals in determin-
    27  ing primary languages.
    28    5. For purposes of this section:
    29    (a)  "primary  language"  means  a language other than English that is
    30  either (i) used to communicate, during at least one percent  of  patient
    31  visits  in  a  year, by patients who cannot speak, read, write or under-
    32  stand the English language at the level  of  proficiency  necessary  for
    33  effective  communication  with  health care providers; or (ii) spoken by
    34  non-English speaking individuals comprising more than one percent of the
    35  primary hospital service area population, as calculated by  using  demo-
    36  graphic  information  available  from  the  United  States Bureau of the
    37  Census, supplemented by data from school systems;
    38    (b) "patient visits" shall include all visits by patients to emergency
    39  rooms and outpatient clinics, as well as  inpatient  admissions  of  the
    40  hospital;
    41    (c)  "patient  assistant" shall mean an individual who communicates on
    42  behalf of another who, by reason of age or incapacity,  cannot  communi-
    43  cate for himself or herself; and
    44    (d) "hospital" shall mean a general hospital as defined in subdivision
    45  ten of section twenty-eight hundred one of this article.
    46    6.  Nothing  in  this  section  shall preclude medical facilities from
    47  providing language assistance services in  addition  to  those  required
    48  under this section.
    49    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    50  it shall have become a law.
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