Bill S2362-2009

Relates to the defense and indemnification of optometrists rendering certain services

Relates to the defense and indemnification of optometrists rendering certain services.

Details

Actions

  • Aug 26, 2009: SIGNED CHAP.412
  • Aug 14, 2009: DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • May 26, 2009: returned to senate
  • May 26, 2009: passed assembly
  • May 26, 2009: ordered to third reading cal.619
  • May 26, 2009: substituted for a6098
  • Mar 4, 2009: referred to mental health
  • Mar 4, 2009: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Mar 4, 2009: PASSED SENATE
  • Mar 2, 2009: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Feb 26, 2009: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Feb 25, 2009: 1ST REPORT CAL.66
  • Feb 18, 2009: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Votes

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S2362

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to defense and indemnification of optometrists rendering certain services

PURPOSE : To include optometrists to the list of professionals provided defense and indemnification when rending professional services at the request of the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities or the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1 of the bill would amend Mental Hygiene Law §7.35 to provide defense and indemnification by the State to optometrists who are rendering professional services at the request of the Office of Mental Health.

Section 2 of the bill would amend Mental Hygiene Law §13.35 to provide defense and indemnification by the State to optometrists who are rendering professional services at the request of the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Section 3 would amend Mental Hygiene Law §19.35 to provide defense and indemnification by the State to optometrists who are rendering professional services at the request of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Section 4 of the bill provides for an immediate effective date.

EXISTING LAW : Mental Hygiene Law §7.35 provides that the State shall provide for the defense and indemnification of any physician, dentist, psychologist, nurse, licensed master social worker or licensed clinical social worker who is rendering professional treatment to patients at the request of the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities or the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Such defense and indemnification shall be in relation to any civil action or proceeding in state or federal court arising out of any alleged act or omission which is alleged to have occurred during the scope of professional treatment by these health care professionals.

Public Officers Law §17 provides for the defense and indemnification by the State of State employees and officers.

Public Officers Law §18 provides for the defense and indemnification by the State of employees and officers of municipalities, school districts, special districts, public authorities and public benefit corporations.

JUSTIFICATION :

This bill would include optometrists among the professionals who, when rendering services within a facility administered by the Office of Mental Health ("OMH"), Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities ("OMRDD"), or the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services ("OASAS"), are defended and indemnified by the State against claims relating to optometrists' provision of such services. The existing statutory defense and indemnification provisions apply to licensed physicians, dentists, psychologists, nurses, licensed master social workers, and licensed clinical social workers who are rendering professional treatment at the request of these state agencies at their facilities. Like those healthcare professionals, optometrists currently provide eye care services to patients at state facilities, including psychiatric hospitals administered by OMH. However, unlike these other professionals, optometrists are not provided the same statutory legal protection relating to defense and indemnification by the State against allegations of civil wrongdoing. This bill would address this omission and provide optometrists who perform healthcare-related services at the request of OMH, OMRDD or OASAS with the necessary legal protections that will enable them to continue to conduct vital eye care services for patients at state facilities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Little if any cost.

EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2362 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 18, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to defense and indemnification of optometrists rendering certain services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 7.35 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chap- ter 230 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: S 7.35 Actions against persons rendering professional services at the request of the office; defense and indemnification. The provisions of section seventeen of the public officers law shall apply to any physician, dentist, psychologist, nurse, OPTOMETRIST, licensed master social worker, or licensed clinical social worker, licensed to practice pursuant to the education law, who is rendering professional treatment authorized under such license at the request of the office or an office facility to patients receiving care or profes- sional consultation from the office while rendering such professional treatment. S 2. Section 13.35 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chapter 230 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: S 13.35 Actions against persons rendering professional services at the request of the office; defense and indemnification. The provisions of section seventeen of the public officers law shall apply to any physician, dentist, psychologist, nurse, OPTOMETRIST, licensed master social worker, or licensed clinical social worker, licensed to practice pursuant to the education law, who is rendering professional treatment authorized under such license at the request of the office or an office facility to patients receiving care or profes- sional consultation from the office while rendering such professional treatment.
S 3. Section 19.35 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chapter 230 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: S 19.35 Actions against persons rendering professional services at the request of the office; defense and indemnification. The provisions of section seventeen of the public officers law shall apply to any physician, psychologist, nurse, OPTOMETRIST, licensed master social worker, or licensed clinical social worker, licensed to practice pursuant to the education law, who is rendering professional treatment authorized under such license at the request of the office or an office facility to patients receiving care or professional consulta- tion from the office while rendering such professional treatment. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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