Provides that the director of the office of professional medical conduct shall meet with complainants, when requested by the complainant, to review materials to be considered by the board for professional medical conduct when considering complaints of misconduct.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to investigations of professional medical conduct
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow citizens greater input and participation in the process by which complaints to the board for professional medical conduct are handled and evaluated.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 10 of section 230 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 542 of the laws of 2000. This adds the provision that the director of the office of professional medical conduct shall meet with a complainant when so requested by the complainant, to review materials that are offered to support a case for review by the board for professional medical conduct. Section two amends paragraph (e) of subdivision 10 of section 230 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 606 of the laws of 1991. This provision requires that 25% of the members of the committee on professional conduct be comprised of non-medical personnel, to insure a more diverse committee to review such complaints.
Existing Law: º 230. State board for professional medical conduct; proceedings. 1. A state board for professional medical conduct is hereby created in the department in matters of professional misconduct as defined in sections sixty-five hundred thirty and sixty-five hundred thirty-one of the education law. Its physician members shall be appointed by the commissioner at least eighty-five percent of whom shall be from among nominations submitted by the medical society of the state of New York. Furthermore, no requirement in existing law requires the director of the office of professional conduct to meet with the complainant.
JUSTIFICATION: The board of professional medical conduct is the administrative entity responsible for reviewing and acting on complaints of medical misconduct. Generally, individuals who are affected by what they consider to be medical misconduct, reaching a level identifiable as medical malpractice, seek redress through the courts in a tort action. In some cases, however, the degree of suffering or financial loss is not sufficient to achieve a successful legal result in the courts; in these cases, an individual is left with submission of a complaint with the state's office of professional medical conduct as their only alternative course of action. This legislation is provided to assure that such complaints are handled thoroughly with an opportunity for the complainant to be fully heard, and to require that those hearing the complaint include non-medical personnel, to insure a diversity of experience among those hearing the complaint.
These provisions would allow an individual to meet in person with the director of the office of professional misconduct to present evidence supporting that person's claim of medical misconduct. Present provisions allow for all such review to be completed without any direct meeting with the complainant; information that cannot be easily
placed in writing can be provided by the complainant to help the director make the best possible decision on whether,a full hearing is warranted on the complaint. Further, providing that at least 25% membership of the committee on professional conduct be non-medical personnel allows for a balance in experience and perspective for the deliberations of the committee in assessing these complaints.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2007-08: A9602 (Latimer) Referred to Health 2009-10 A.194 (Latimer) Referred to Health, S.8461 (Oppenheimer)Referred to Rules 2011-2012: A.102 (Latimer) Referred to Health S.3465 (Oppenheimer) Referred to Health
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: 60 days after the bill becomes law, with provisions.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2066 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 10, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. LATIMER -- 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 investigations of professional medical conduct THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 10 of section 230 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 542 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows: (i) The board for professional medical conduct, by the director of the office of professional medical conduct, may investigate on its own any suspected professional misconduct, and shall investigate each complaint received regardless of the source. THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CONDUCT, WHEN REQUESTED BY A COMPLAINANT, SHALL MEET WITH THE COMPLAINANT TO REVIEW MATERIALS TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE BOARD IN ITS REVIEW OF SUSPECTED PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL MISCONDUCT. The director of the office of professional medical conduct shall cause a preliminary review of every report made to the department pursuant to section twenty-eight hundred three-e as added by chapter eight hundred sixty-six of the laws of nineteen hundred eighty, sections twenty-eight hundred five-l and forty-four hundred five-b of this chapter, and section three hundred fifteen of the insurance law, to determine if such report reasonably appears to reflect physician conduct warranting further investigation pursuant to this subparagraph. S 2. Paragraph (e) of subdivision 10 of section 230 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 606 of the laws of 1991, is amended to read as follows: (e) Committee hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by a committee on professional conduct. AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SUCH COMMITTEE SHALL BE NON-MEDICAL PERSONNEL. The members of the hearing committee shall be appointed by the chairperson of the board who shall designateEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06262-01-3 S. 2066 2
the committee chairperson. In addition to said committee members, the commissioner shall designate an administrative officer, admitted to practice as an attorney in the state of New York, who shall have the authority to rule on all motions, including motions to compel disclosure of information or material claimed to be protected because of privilege or confidentiality, procedures and other legal objections and shall draft the conclusions of the hearing committee pursuant to paragraph (g) OF THIS SUBDIVISION. The administrative officer shall have the authori- ty to rule on objections to questions posed by either party or the committee members. The administrative officer shall not be entitled to vote. S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law. Provided, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed by the commissioner of health on or before such effective date; and provided, further, that the amendments to subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 10 of section 230 of the public health law made by section one of this act shall not affect the expiration of such paragraph and shall be deemed to expire there- with.