Legislative session 2022: impact on the healthcare industry | Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

The New York State Legislature recently concluded its 2022 legislative session, with the Assembly adjourning on the morning of Saturday, June 4, following the State Senate, which adjourned early Friday, June 3. As in previous years, there was significant activity impacting the healthcare industry. While the primary focus at the end of the legislative session was to establish protections for those who seek or provide reproductive health care services, the legislature acted on a wide range of health-related laws designed to increase access and affordability of health care services, and addressing workforce concerns.

Here is an overview of some of the most important laws with implications for the healthcare industry:

  • Primary Care Reform Commission (A7230B/S6534C): This bill establishes the Primary Care Reform Commission, which will be responsible for defining, measuring, and reporting on current primary care spending in New York City and identifying ways to to increase the proportion of dollars spent on health care. that go to primary care services for all payers.
  • Restrictions on compulsory overtime for nurses (A286A/S1997A, S4885A/A181A, S8063A/A8874B): Three bills made significant changes to existing law, which prohibits compulsory overtime for nurses, except in certain circumstances. These bills extend these protections to home care nurses, amend existing exceptions to set limits on their duration, and provide monetary penalties for violations of overtime protections.
  • Practice of Clinical Laboratory Technicians (A10162A/S7020B): In an effort to address labor shortages and ongoing pressures in the profession, this bill creates the profession of histotechnician instead of the role of laboratory technician. histology, aligning state standards with national standards.
  • Red Flag Act (A10502/S9113A): This bill allows health care providers, including physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and other licensed health care professionals, to seek an order of protection from extreme risk (red flag) against anyone they have treated in the six months prior to filing the petition.
  • Living Donor Support Act (A146A/S1594): This bill establishes a program for living donors residing in New York to pay for certain expenses resulting from the act of living donation.
  • HEAL Act (A819A/S7199A): This bill prohibits contracts between health insurers and health care providers that contain a most-favoured-nation provision or restrict a health plan’s ability to disclose actual claim costs or pricing information required to be disclosed by federal law. law, including authorized amount, negotiated rates or discounts, or any other financial information related to the claim.
  • Drug Cost-Sharing Calculation (A5411D/S4620C): This bill requires any third-party payment, financial assistance, rebate, bond, or other price-reducing instrument for disbursements made on behalf of an insured for the cost of a prescription drug to be applied to the insured’s cost-share requirement when calculating that insured’s overall contribution to any maximum out-of-pocket or cost-share requirement.
  • Medical Debt Collection (A7363A/S6522A): This bill prohibits hospitals and healthcare providers from placing a lien on an individual’s principal residence or obtaining wage garnishments to satisfy a judgment in an action for medical debt against an individual.
  • Wrongful Death Actions (A6770/S74A): Bill adds grief and anguish to types of damages family members can recover in wrongful death proceedings, expands classes of people who can collect those claims and extends the statute of limitations for wrongful death from two years to three and a half years.

One issue lawmakers failed to reach agreement on at the end of the session was a constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion rights in New York. Despite action by the Legislature on a portfolio of other bills related to reproductive health protections, there remains strong support for establishing constitutional protection in New York, and that could be resolved if the lawmakers are called back to Albany for a special session to address other issues.

Finally, it’s important to note that the New York Health Act, which would establish a single-payer system to provide universal health care to all New York residents, did not pass either house in 2022. This bill was sponsored and championed by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried for over 30 years. With the impending retirement at the end of this year of Assemblyman Gottfried, revered chairman of the Assembly’s Health Committee, single-payer advocates have been pushing for this legislation to pass. The legislation remains popular with the progressive wing of the legislature, and we anticipate continued discussion around its principles in next year’s legislative session. Assemblyman Gottfried had a significant impact on the development of health policy and the evolution of the state’s health care system during his tenure in the legislature. Although a successor to his presidency has not been named, it is recognized that his extensive knowledge and understanding of health policy will be missed.

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