Requires a health care provider or facility which has determined to cease to do business or which is transferring its ownership, at least sixty days prior to such action, notify the commissioner of health of its intent and shall provide a copy of its plan for transfer of patient records to another provider, facility or practitioner; if the determination to cease to do business or practice in this state resulted from illness, injury, or death, the commissioner shall work with the provider or his or her representative to facilitate notification and transfer records within one hundred sixty days after such notification.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law and the public health law, in relation to the transfer of patient medical records in certain circumstances
PURPOSE: This bill establishes requirement for orderly transfer of medical records, if a physician closes an office, makes it clear that failure to comply with law regarding patient access to his or her own records is misconduct, and allows the health commissioner to take emergency action to require new tests if the failure to release records timely poses a health threat to individual patients.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the Education Law section 6530 subdivision 40 to include within the definition of professional misconduct the failure to provide access to patient information in accordance with the standards set forth in Public Health Law section 17. Additionally, the reference to Public Health Law section 18 is clarified.
Section two amends the Public Health Law by adding a new section 18-b. Subsection 1 provides that when a health care provider, facility, or practitioner which has possession of patient information has decided to cease to exist, transfer ownership, or interrupt services for a permanent or extended period of time shall notify the Commissioner of the Department of Health of its intent to cease to exist, transfer ownership or interrupt services. Such notification shall be made at least 60 days before the cessation, transfer, or interruption and include a plan for the transfer of the patient records to the patient or another health care provider, facility, or practitioner. The Commissioner shall prescribe the form for the plan, requirements for the transfer and notification requirements.
Subsection 2 provides that if the Commissioner determines that the failure to timely release an individual's medical records caused or may cause a threat to the individual and more than 6 months have elapsed since a prior screening or test, the Commissioner may order that new tests be performed by a practitioner chosen or approved by the Commissioner. To expedite the tests, the Commissioner may authorize payment for such tests from any account under the control of the Department and assess the health care provider, facility or practitioner who failed to timely provide access to the individual's records.
Section three provides that this act shall take effect immediately.
EXISTING LAW: Under current law, health care providers, facilities, and practitioners that decide to cease operations, transfer ownership, or interrupt services for a prolonged period of time are not required to notify the Commissioner of the Department of Health of either their intentions or to whom the patient records in their possession will be transferred.
JUSTIFICATION: The bill closes a loophole to provide for continuous custody of medical records. We have unfortunately seen situations in
which a provider determines to cease operations and fails to either provide for appropriate transfer of records or to give the records to patients who have asked for them. Additionally, there is no provision in law to allow for new tests in a situation where a patient's records cease to be relevant to the patient's health care situation because they were either not timely or properly transferred.
Numerous other States, including California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin statutorily provide for the transfer and/or preservation of patient medical records in situations where a health care provider, facility, or practitioner ceases operations. The majority of the remaining States have administratively prescribed rules for the transfer and/or preservation of medical records in these situations. To protect the health and welfare of New Yorkers, New York should join the States that provide protection to patient medical records by statutorily requiring their proper transfer.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2: S.2215 - Referred to Higher Education both years 2009-10: S.2188 - Referred to Higher Education both years 2008: S.6638 - Referred to Higher Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: It is not anticipated that this legislation will have any significant fiscal impact on the State
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4174 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 12, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law and the public health law, in relation to the transfer of patient medical records in certain circumstances THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 40 of section 6530 of the education law, as added by chapter 606 of the laws of 1991, is amended to read as follows: 40. Failing to provide access by qualified persons to patient informa- tion in accordance with the standards set forth in
[section]SECTIONS SEVENTEEN AND eighteen of the public health law, SUCH SECTION EIGHTEEN as added by chapter FOUR HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN of the laws of NINETEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX; S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 18-b to read as follows: S 18-B. REQUIREMENT FOR TRANSFER OF INFORMATION. 1. A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, HEALTH CARE FACILITY, OR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, AS SUCH TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION EIGHTEEN OF THIS ARTICLE, WHICH HAS IN ITS POSSESSION PATIENT INFORMATION AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUCH SECTION, AND WHICH HAS DETERMINED TO CEASE TO DO BUSINESS OR WHICH IS TRANS- FERRING ITS OWNERSHIP OR OTHERWISE INTERRUPTING ITS SERVICES FOR A PERMANENT OR EXTENDED PERIOD SHALL, AT LEAST SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH ACTION, NOTIFY THE COMMISSIONER OF ITS INTENT AND SHALL PROVIDE A COPY OF ITS PLAN FOR TRANSFER OF PATIENT RECORDS TO ANOTHER PROVIDER, FACILI- TY, PRACTITIONER OR PATIENT, AS REQUESTED OR REQUIRED PURSUANT TO LAW. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PRESCRIBE THE FORM OF SUCH PLAN, THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSFER, AND THE MANNER OF REQUIRED NOTIFICATION. 2. IF THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DETERMINE THAT THE FAILURE OF ANY SUCH HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, HEALTH CARE FACILITY, OR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER TO TIMELY RELEASE MEDICAL RECORDS PURSUANT TO SECTIONS SEVENTEEN OR EIGHTEEN OF THIS TITLE, SUCH SECTION EIGHTEEN AS ADDED BY CHAPTER FOUREXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01923-02-3 S. 4174 2
HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX, SHALL HAVE CAUSED OR MAY CAUSE A THREAT TO THE HEALTH OF THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE THE SUBJECT OF SUCH RECORDS, BECAUSE MORE THAN SIX MONTHS HAS ELAPSED SINCE A PRIOR SCREENING OR TEST, THE COMMISSIONER MAY ORDER NEW TESTS TO BE PERFORMED BY A PRACTITIONER CHOSEN OR APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER. IN ORDER TO EXPEDITE SUCH TESTS, THE COMMISSIONER MAY ORDER PAYMENT FOR SUCH TESTS FROM ANY ACCOUNT UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND SHALL ASSESS ANY SUCH HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, HEALTH CARE FACILITY, OR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER WHO FAILED TO TIMELY RELEASE MEDICAL RECORDS FOR THE EXPENSES. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.