Establishes a health-related legal services program for the purpose of providing on-site legal services without charge to assist, on a voluntary basis, income eligible patients and their families to resolve legal matters or needs that have an impact on patient health.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to health-related legal services programs
PURPOSE: To promote collaborations between health care service providers and legal aid programs to resolve practical needs that have an impact on patient health.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Adds a new section 22 to the Public Health law, to establish a program within the Health Department to establish standards for health related legal services programs that serve low-income individuals and families.
JUSTIFICATION: Medical professionals in New York State are finding that their low income patients often require legal services to assist them in accessing healthcare and in resolving the non-medical issues that impact their health. The Health Related Legal Services Program responds to this need.
Through these programs, also known as medical-legal aid partnerships, lawyers in collaboration with healthcare professionals address basic needs including food, housing, healthcare access, education and safety, so to remove barriers that may impede recovery or endanger health.
Typically, a low-income patient referred to legal a.id by a health care provider has multiple unmet socio-economic problems that legal assistance can resolve.
This bill will promote collaboration between healthcare professionals and lawyers, usually in healthcare settings, drawing on the strength of the two professions in order to leverage community resources to benefit low-income children and adults.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: A.11030 - Reported to Ways and Means
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal staffing expense would be experience by the department.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5556 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 1, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to health-related legal services programs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 22 to read as follows: S 22. HEALTH-RELATED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM. 1. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "HEALTH-RELATED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM" MEANS A PROGRAM THAT IS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN HEALTH CARE SERVICE PROVIDERS AND LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS TO PROVIDE ON SITE LEGAL SERVICES WITHOUT CHARGE TO ASSIST, ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS, INCOME ELIGIBLE PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO RESOLVE LEGAL MATTERS OR NEEDS THAT HAVE AN IMPACT ON PATIENT HEALTH OR ARE CREATED OR AGGRAVATED BY A PATIENT'S HEALTH. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION, LEGAL MATTERS MAY INCLUDE, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO: (A) HOUSING, INCLUDING UTILITIES; (B) PUBLIC OR PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE; (C) EMPLOYMENT AND ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS; (D) GOVERNMENT BENEFITS; (E) IMMIGRATION; (F) FAMILY LAW, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, GUARDIANSHIP, CUSTODY, AND CHILD SUPPORT; (G) ADVANCE PLANNING, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WILLS, HEALTH CARE PROXIES, POWERS OF ATTORNEY AND PERMANENCY PLANNING; (H) SPECIAL EDUCATION; AND (I) DEBTOR AND CREDITOR ISSUES. 2. THE DEPARTMENT MAY DESIGNATE HEALTH-RELATED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS THAT COMPLY WITH STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES ESTABLISHED FOR SUCH PROGRAMS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL WORK WITH LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITY HEALTH ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS, HOSPITALS, DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENTEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02416-03-1 S. 5556 2
CENTERS AND OTHER PRIMARY AND SPECIALTY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, TO ESTAB- LISH STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES FOR HEALTH-RELATED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS THAT ARE DESIGNATED UNDER THIS SECTION. 3. A HEALTH-RELATED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM DESIGNATED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY OPERATED BY OR AFFILIATED WITH ONE OR MORE LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS, LAW SCHOOLS, SOCIAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS, OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, AND IT SHALL COMPLY WITH THE STANDARDS, GUIDELINES AND REGULATIONS UNDER THIS SECTION, AND HAVE DEMONSTRATED ABILITY AND EXPERIENCE TO PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY HEALTH-RE- LATED LEGAL SERVICES MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE POPULATION TO BE SERVED. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.