Requires a phone company to restore service promptly when phone service goes down for someone who uses a medical alert system or a device that transmits medical data.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring a phone company to restore service promptly when phone service goes down for someone who uses a medical alert system or a device that transmits medical data
To ensure that customers who utilize communications equipment to monitor life threatening conditions that rely on telephone and internet service can get prompt restoration of service by their telephone company in the event of an outage.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the public service law to add a new section 91-b which establishes that every telephone corporation subject to the provisions of the article shall develop and implement an emergency response plan to ensure the reasonably prompt restoration of telephone services in the event of an outage for customers who utilize communications equipment to monitor and transmit medical data to treating physicians' medical sites.
Subdivision 2a requires that an emergency response plan ensuring the reasonably prompt restoration of services for customers who utilize communications equipment to monitor and transmit medical data must be submitted by the telephone corporation to the Public Service Commission for review and approval. Plans must be submitted annually on or before December 15th.
Subdivision 2b establishes the procedures for approval or disapproval of an emergency response plan.
Subdivision 3 defines the components of the emergency response plan. The emergency response plans must include, at a minimum:
(a): the name, address and contact information for each customer who has provided written or online documentation of the need for telephone service for medical needs during outage;
(b): outreach plans to communicate with each customer who has provided written or online documentation of the need for telephone service for medical needs during outage;
(c) procedures to practice the emergency response plan;
(d) whatever additional information the commission requires. Subdivision 4 outlines the procedures by which telephone corporations determine which of their customers use these medical devices. Every telephone corporation subject to the provisions of the article shall:
(a): send annually to each residence a form that may be used to notify the telephone corporation that a person living in the residence suffers from life threatening medical conditions which require the
constant use of communications technology to remotely monitor and transmit critical medical data to their physicians;
(b): provide an easily accessible link for use on its website for the purpose of notifying the corporation that a person living in the residence suffers from a life threatening medical condition which requires the constant use of communications technology to remotely monitor and transmit critical medical data to treating physicians; Subdivision 5 makes clear that notification to the corporation of medical conditions shall be voluntary.
Subdivision 6 requires that each telephone corporation shall maintain a current list of its customers who have provided notification as in subdivision four and shall include the list in the corporation's emergency response plan. The names, addresses, and contact information of customers who provide notification to the telephone corporation as provided in subdivision four shall be added to the list within three business days of the date the corporation receives notice from the customer, either in writing or online. Each customer on the list is responsible for notifying the corporation of any change in name, address or contact information.
Subdivision 7 provides that no telephone corporation shall assign or transfer liability to any other person or corporation or contract to perform their duties under this section without the prior written consent of the commission.
Subdivision 8 provides enforcement powers of this section to the Public Service Commission.
Subdivision 9 (a) defines "telephone corporation" and includes internet and cell phone service within that definition. (b)defines "outage" as any disruption or compromise of telephone service regardless of the reason for such disruption or compromise.
Section 2: Establishes the effective date.
The use of personal medical devices that alert healthcare providers of an emergency and that assist with remote patient monitoring are in use throughout our state. According to a report by Center for Technology and Aging, devices can be used to monitor a variety of medical conditions and can transmit vital health information to caregivers, physicians, and third parties. Examples of such devices include weight scales, glucometers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and blood pressure monitors.
Some of these devices rely on telephone and internet service to function properly, so when phone service goes down in the event of an outage, patients lives may be placed at risk. This bill establishes an emergency protocol that telephone companies must follow to a) determine which of their customers use communications technology for life threatening medical conditions and b) establish procedures to restore service promptly to such customers. Elderly or at-risk patients who rely on such devices to communicate with their physicians
or alert healthcare providers should not have to see their lives put on the line every time phone service goes out.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5508--A 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 14, 2015 ___________Introduced by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring a phone company to restore service promptly when phone service goes down for someone who uses a medical alert system or a device that transmits medical data THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 91-b to read as follows: S 91-B. SERVICE RESTORATION FOR CONSUMERS USING A MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM OR A DEVICE THAT TRANSMITS MEDICAL DATA. 1. EVERY TELEPHONE CORPORATION SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN ENSURING THE REASONABLY PROMPT RESTORATION OF TELEPHONE SERVICES IN THE EVENT OF AN OUTAGE FOR CUSTOMERS WHO UTILIZE A MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM OR COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT, IN CONJUNCTION WITH MEDICAL DEVICES, TO MONITOR AND TRANSMIT MEDICAL DATA TO THEIR TREATING PHYSICIANS' MEDICAL SITES. 2. (A) EACH EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBMITTED BY THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION TO THE COMMISSION FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL. ALL SUCH PLANS SHALL BE SUBMITTED ANNUALLY, ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER FIFTEENTH. (B) THE COMMISSION SHALL REVIEW THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN AND NOTIFY THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION OF APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF THE PLAN WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF RECEIVING THE PLAN. IF THE PLAN IS DISAPPROVED, THE COMMISSION SHALL PROVIDE THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION WITH WRITTEN NOTIFI- CATION OF THE REASONS FOR THE DISAPPROVAL AT THE TIME IT NOTIFIES THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION OF THE DISAPPROVAL OF THE PLAN. THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION SHALL REVISE THE PLAN TO ADDRESS THE REASONS FOR DISAPPROVALEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10952-04-5 S. 5508--A 2
AND SHALL RE-SUBMIT THE PLAN TO THE COMMISSION WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF RECEIVING NOTICE OF THE DISAPPROVAL. THE COMMISSION SHALL REVIEW THE RESUBMITTED PLAN AND NOTIFY THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION OF APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS OF RECEIVING THE REVISED PLAN. 3. EACH EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN SHALL INCLUDE, AT A MINIMUM, THE FOLLOWING: (A) THE NAME, ADDRESS AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR EACH CUSTOMER WHO HAS PROVIDED WRITTEN OR ONLINE DOCUMENTATION OF HIS OR HER NEED FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE FOR MEDICAL NEEDS DURING OUTAGES; (B) OUTREACH PLANS TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH CUSTOMER WHO HAS PROVIDED WRITTEN OR ONLINE DOCUMENTATION OF HIS OR HER NEED FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE FOR MEDICAL NEEDS DURING OUTAGES; (C) PROCEDURES TO PRACTICE THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN; AND (D) SUCH OTHER ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS THE COMMISSION MAY REQUIRE. 4. EVERY TELEPHONE CORPORATION SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTI- CLE SHALL: (A) SEND ANNUALLY TO EACH RESIDENCE IT SERVES A FORM THAT MAY BE USED TO NOTIFY THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION THAT A PERSON LIVING IN THE RESI- DENCE SUFFERS FROM LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHICH REQUIRE A MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM OR THE CONSTANT USE OF COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY TO REMOTELY MONITOR AND TRANSMIT CRITICAL MEDICAL DATA TO TREATING PHYSI- CIANS; AND (B) PROVIDE ON ITS WEBSITE, AN EASILY ACCESSIBLE LINK FOR USE BY ITS CUSTOMERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF NOTIFYING THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION THAT A PERSON LIVING IN THE RESIDENCE SUFFERS FROM LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHICH REQUIRE A MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM OR THE CONSTANT USE OF COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY TO REMOTELY MONITOR AND TRANSMIT CRITICAL MEDICAL DATA TO TREATING PHYSICIANS. 5. NOTIFICATION OF THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION THAT A PERSON LIVING IN A RESIDENCE SUFFERS FROM LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHICH REQUIRE A MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM OR THE CONSTANT USE OF COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY TO REMOTELY MONITOR AND TRANSMIT CRITICAL MEDICAL DATA TO TREATING PHYSICIANS SHALL BE VOLUNTARY. NO CUSTOMER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO A TELEPHONE CORPORATION UNLESS HE OR SHE OPTS TO DO SO. 6. EACH TELEPHONE CORPORATION SHALL MAINTAIN A CURRENT LIST OF ITS CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE PROVIDED NOTIFICATION TO THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION, AND SHALL INCLUDE THE LIST IN SUCH TELEPHONE CORPORATION'S EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN. THE NAMES, ADDRESSES AND CONTACT INFORMATION OF CUSTOMERS WHO PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE ADDED TO THE LIST WITHIN THREE BUSINESS DAYS OF THE DATE THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION RECEIVES NOTICE FROM THE CUSTOMER, EITHER IN WRITING OR ONLINE. EACH CUSTOMER ON THE LIST SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTIFYING THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION OF ANY CHANGES IN THE CUSTOMER'S NAME, ADDRESS OR CONTACT INFORMATION. 7. NO TELEPHONE CORPORATION SHALL ASSIGN OR TRANSFER LIABILITY FOR ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS SECTION TO ANY OTHER PERSON OR CORPORATION OR CONTRACT FOR ANY OTHER PERSON OR CORPORATION TO PERFORM THE TELEPHONE CORPORATION'S DUTIES UNDER THIS SECTION WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE COMMISSION. 8. THE COMMISSION SHALL SUPERVISE, AND ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, AND SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS IT DEEMS NECESSARY TO ENSURE SUCH COMPLIANCE BY TELEPHONE CORPORATIONS WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.S. 5508--A 3
9. AS USED IN THIS SECTION: (A) "TELEPHONE CORPORATION" MEANS A TELE- PHONE CORPORATION AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO OF THIS CHAPTER, AND ALSO INCLUDES PROVIDERS OF INTERNET AND CELL PHONE SERVICE; AND (B) "OUTAGE" REFERS TO ANY DISRUPTION IN OR COMPROMISE OF TELEPHONE SERVICE REGARDLESS OF THE REASON FOR SUCH DISRUPTION OR COMPROMISE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become law; provided, however, that the public service commission is immediately authorized and directed to take any and all actions necessary to fully implement the provisions of this act on or before its effective date.