Bill S2004A-2011

Establishes the crime of unlawful procurement of clients, patients or customers

Establishes the crime of unlawful procurement of clients, patients or customers for knowingly acting as a runner, or using, soliciting, directing, hiring or employing another person to act as a runner; a "runner" is defined as a person, who knowingly, for profit, seeks to procure clients, patients or customers on behalf of an attorney or health care provider for the purpose of falsely or fraudulently obtaining benefits under a contract of insurance or asserting a claim against an insurer or insured for the services provided by such attorney or health care provider.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jan 4, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jan 4, 2012: died in assembly
  • Jun 16, 2011: referred to codes
  • Jun 16, 2011: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 16, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 16, 2011: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1299
  • Jun 16, 2011: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 13, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 2004A
  • Jun 13, 2011: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Jan 14, 2011: REFERRED TO CODES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Rules - Jun 16, 2011
Ayes (19): Skelos, Alesi, Farley, Hannon, Johnson, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Marcellino, Maziarz, Nozzolio, Saland, Seward, Sampson, Breslin, Dilan, Hassell-Thompson, Smith, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (3): Krueger, Montgomery, Perkins
Nays (2): Duane, Parker

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2004A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of unlawful procurement of clients, patients or customers

PURPOSE: To make the use of "runners" illegal in New York.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends section 176.00 of the Penal Law to add three new definitions "provider", "public media" and "runner". A "runner" is defined as a person who, not a provider, who with the intent to obtain a material pecuniary benefit, procurers or attempts to procure a client, patient or customer at the direction of, request of, in cooperation with, while employed by, or with the intent to solicit a fee from, a provider or from any person who creates the impression that he or she or his or her practice can provide legal or health care services.

Section two of the bill adds three new sections to the Penal Law. Section 176.75 makes it a class A misdemeanor to either act as a runner on more than one occasion in a 12-month period or as a provider, in violation of law or existing professional codes of conduct, uses, solicits, directs, hires or employs another person to act as a runner on more than one occasion over any 12-month period an provides a material pecuniary benefit. Section 176.80 makes it a class E felony if the person acts a runner on five or more occasions over a 12-month period or if the aggregate benefit received as a result of being a runner exceeds $5,000. Section 176.85 makes it a class D felony if the person acts as a runner on ten or more occasions over a 12-month period or if the aggregate benefit received as a result of being a runner exceeds $20,000.

Section three provides for conforming language in the sentencing statutes.

Section four of the bill provides for an effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: On July 15, 1999 Governor Christie Whitman of New Jersey signed into law legislation making it a crime to act as a runner or to solicit or employ a runner to procure clients. This law was a result of recommendations by that state's Governor's Task Force on Health Care Fraud.

This legislation is patterned on that law. The use of runners is a practice which facilitates fraud and serves no legitimate purpose. A runner is defined as a person who, not a provider, not with the intent to obtain a material pecuniary benefit, procurers or attempts to procure a client, patient or customer at the direction of, request of, in cooperations with, while employed by, or with the intent to solicit a fee from, a provider or from any person who creates the impression that he or she or his or her practice can provide legal or health care

services. Because most fraud schemes depend on a large volume of patients, health care providers and attorneys engaged in fraud will often pay third parties for recruiting clients, patients and customers. Often the client, patient or customer receives inadequate or inappropriate care and services.

The use of runners is unfortunately common in the New York metropolitan area. In addition to inadequate medical care, the use of runners inflates the cost of insurance which, in turn, is borne by the insuring public. This bill makes it illegal for a provider to pay or offer to pay a pecuniary benefit to a runner. Soliciting clients through the public media and referring clients, patients and customers to a provider as is otherwise authorized by law is excluded from the prohibitions under this bill.

COST TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10 S.1335 - Referred to Codes 2007-08 S.637 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2005-06 S.487 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2003-04 S.555 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2001-02 S.123 - Passed Senate/Assembly Codes 2000 S.6781B - Passed Senate/Assembly Rules

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding that date on which it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2004--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. SKELOS, SEWARD, GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of unlawful procurement of clients, patients or customers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 176.00 of the penal law is amended by adding three new subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 to read as follows: 6. "PROVIDER" MEANS A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, AN OWNER OR OPERATOR OF A HEALTH CARE PRACTICE OR FACILITY OR AN ATTORNEY. 7. "PUBLIC MEDIA" MEANS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MEANS OF COMMUNICATION, PROVIDED THAT THE USE OF SUCH COMMUNICATION DOES NOT INVOLVE IN-PERSON CONTACT WITH A SPECIFIC PROSPECTIVE CLIENT, PATIENT OR CUSTOMER FOR THE PURPOSE OF RETENTION, TREATMENT OR REPRESENTATION IN A PARTICULAR MATTER: TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES, PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORIES, NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER PERIODICALS, RADIO AND TELEVISION, BILLBOARDS, BROCHURES, BUSINESS CARDS, NEWSLETTERS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, PROMOTIONAL ITEMS BRANDING MATERIALS, ADVERTISEMENTS, WEBSITES AND MAILED OR ELECTRONICALLY TRANSMITTED WRIT- TEN COMMUNICATIONS, ADVERTISEMENTS AND BRANDINGS. 8. "RUNNER" MEANS A PERSON, NOT A PROVIDER, WHO WITH THE INTENT TO OBTAIN A MATERIAL PECUNIARY BENEFIT, PROCURES OR ATTEMPTS TO PROCURE A CLIENT, PATIENT OR CUSTOMER AT THE DIRECTION OF, REQUEST OF, IN COOPER- ATION WITH, WHILE EMPLOYED BY, OR WITH INTENT TO SOLICIT A FEE FROM, A PROVIDER OR FROM ANY PERSON WHO CREATES THE IMPRESSION THAT HE OR SHE OR HIS OR HER PRACTICE CAN PROVIDE LEGAL OR HEALTH CARE SERVICES. SUCH TERM SHALL NOT INCLUDE A PERSON WHO PROCURES OR ATTEMPTS TO PROCURE CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS FOR A PROVIDER THROUGH PUBLIC MEDIA OR WHO REFERS CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS AS AUTHORIZED OR PERMITTED BY LAW OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING PROFESSIONAL CODES OF CONDUCT GOVERNING THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF A PROVIDER. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE DEEMED TO PROHIBIT AN AGENT, BROKER OR EMPLOYEE OF A HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION FROM SEEKING TO SELL HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION COVER- AGE OR HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE TO AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP. S 2. The penal law is amended by adding three new sections 176.75, 176.80 and 176.85 to read as follows: S 176.75 UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE THIRD DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE THIRD DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY: 1. ACTS AS A RUNNER ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION DURING ANY TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD; OR 2. AS A PROVIDER, IN VIOLATION OF LAW OR EXISTING PROFESSIONAL CODES OF CONDUCT GOVERNING THE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF THE PROVIDER, USES, SOLICITS, DIRECTS, HIRES OR EMPLOYS ANOTHER PERSON TO ACT AS A RUNNER ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION OVER ANY TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD AND PROVIDES A MATE- RIAL PECUNIARY BENEFIT. UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE THIRD DEGREE IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. S 176.80 UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE SECOND DEGREE. 1. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE SECOND DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY ACTS AS A RUNNER ON FIVE OR MORE OCCASIONS OVER ANY TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD, OR FOR A PECUNI- ARY BENEFIT THAT IN THE AGGREGATE EXCEEDS FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN VALUE; OR 2. AS A PROVIDER, IN VIOLATION OF LAW OR EXISTING PROFESSIONAL CODES OF CONDUCT GOVERNING THE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF THE PROVIDER, KNOWING- LY USES, SOLICITS, DIRECTS, HIRES OR EMPLOYS ONE OR MORE PERSONS TO ACT AS A RUNNER ON FIVE OR MORE OCCASIONS OVER ANY TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD, OR PROVIDES A PECUNIARY BENEFIT TO THE RUNNER THAT IN THE AGGREGATE EXCEEDS FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN VALUE. UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE SECOND DEGREE IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 176.85 UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE FIRST DEGREE. 1. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE FIRST DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY ACTS AS A RUNNER ON TEN OR MORE OCCASIONS OVER ANY TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD, OR FOR A PECUNI- ARY BENEFIT THAT IN THE AGGREGATE EXCEEDS TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS IN VALUE; OR 2. AS A PROVIDER, IN VIOLATION OF LAW OR EXISTING PROFESSIONAL CODES OF CONDUCT GOVERNING THE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF THE PROVIDER, KNOWING- LY USES, SOLICITS, DIRECTS, HIRES OR EMPLOYS ONE OR MORE PERSONS TO ACT AS A RUNNER ON TEN OR MORE OCCASIONS OVER ANY TWELVE-MONTH PERIOD, OR PROVIDES A PECUNIARY BENEFIT TO THE RUNNER THAT IN THE AGGREGATE EXCEEDS TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS IN VALUE. UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS A CLASS D FELONY. S 3. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 460.10 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 405 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: (a) Any of the felonies set forth in this chapter: sections 120.05, 120.10 and 120.11 relating to assault; sections 121.12 and 121.13 relat- ing to strangulation; sections 125.10 to 125.27 relating to homicide; sections 130.25, 130.30 and 130.35 relating to rape; sections 135.20 and
135.25 relating to kidnapping; section 135.35 relating to labor traf- ficking; section 135.65 relating to coercion; sections 140.20, 140.25 and 140.30 relating to burglary; sections 145.05, 145.10 and 145.12 relating to criminal mischief; article one hundred fifty relating to arson; sections 155.30, 155.35, 155.40 and 155.42 relating to grand larceny; sections 177.10, 177.15, 177.20 and 177.25 relating to health care fraud; article one hundred sixty relating to robbery; sections 165.45, 165.50, 165.52 and 165.54 relating to criminal possession of stolen property; sections 165.72 and 165.73 relating to trademark coun- terfeiting; sections 170.10, 170.15, 170.25, 170.30, 170.40, 170.65 and 170.70 relating to forgery; sections 175.10, 175.25, 175.35, 175.40 and 210.40 relating to false statements; sections 176.15, 176.20, 176.25 and 176.30 relating to insurance fraud; SECTIONS 176.80 AND 176.85 RELATING TO UNLAWFUL PROCUREMENT OF CLIENTS, PATIENTS OR CUSTOMERS; sections 178.20 and 178.25 relating to criminal diversion of prescription medica- tions and prescriptions; sections 180.03, 180.08, 180.15, 180.25, 180.40, 180.45, 200.00, 200.03, 200.04, 200.10, 200.11, 200.12, 200.20, 200.22, 200.25, 200.27, 215.00, 215.05 and 215.19 relating to bribery; sections 187.10, 187.15, 187.20 and 187.25 relating to residential mort- gage fraud, sections 190.40 and 190.42 relating to criminal usury; section 190.65 relating to schemes to defraud; sections 205.60 and 205.65 relating to hindering prosecution; sections 210.10, 210.15, and 215.51 relating to perjury and contempt; section 215.40 relating to tampering with physical evidence; sections 220.06, 220.09, 220.16, 220.18, 220.21, 220.31, 220.34, 220.39, 220.41, 220.43, 220.46, 220.55, 220.60 and 220.77 relating to controlled substances; sections 225.10 and 225.20 relating to gambling; sections 230.25, 230.30, and 230.32 relat- ing to promoting prostitution; section 230.34 relating to sex traffick- ing; sections 235.06, 235.07, 235.21 and 235.22 relating to obscenity; sections 263.10 and 263.15 relating to promoting a sexual performance by a child; sections 265.02, 265.03, 265.04, 265.11, 265.12, 265.13 and the provisions of section 265.10 which constitute a felony relating to firearms and other dangerous weapons; and sections 265.14 and 265.16 relating to criminal sale of a firearm; and section 275.10, 275.20, 275.30, or 275.40 relating to unauthorized recordings; and sections 470.05, 470.10, 470.15 and 470.20 relating to money laundering; or S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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