This bill has been amended

Bill S7031-2011

Provides for the nonemergent care of nonadmitted patients in hospitals

Regulates the provision of observation services by general hospitals.



  • Jun 13, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jun 5, 2012: referred to ways and means
  • Jun 5, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • May 16, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 15, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.819
  • Apr 24, 2012: REFERRED TO HEALTH




VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Health - May 15, 2012
Ayes (12): Hannon, Ball, Farley, Fuschillo, Golden, Larkin, McDonald, Seward, Young, Montgomery, Rivera, Smith
Ayes W/R (5): Duane, Adams, Gianaris, Stewart-Cousins, Peralta



TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to non-emergent treatment in hospitals of nonadmitted patients

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would ensure that hospitals have the maximum flexibility necessary to successfully implement observational levels of care in New York State while abiding by federal requirements.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the section heading of section 2805-b of the public health law.

Section 2 of the bill adds a new subdivision 6 of section 2805-b of the public health law which requires the commissioner of health, when issuing rules or regulations concerning "observational units," to ensure they conform with federal Medicare rules and provided sufficient flexibility to allow hospitals to successfully implement new requirements.

Section 3 of the bill provides for an effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: The federal government requires that hospitals make a distinction between admitting a patient and observing a patient to further evaluate the patient's condition and need for an admission. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are auditing hospitals to enforce these provisions, and the New York State Department of Health has established regulations on Observation Unit Operating Standards effective January 11, 2012. There has been concern expressed that the State Regulations may impose restrictions on hospitals that go beyond those of the federal government and could result in unnecessary costs and disruption of care and treatment patterns of some hospitals. For example, the regulations require that observations beds be under the Emergency Department and a discrete unit. Depending on a hospital's physical plan, this could require capital construction and many hospitals prefer to scatter observation beds among clinical specialties to better monitor patients - rather than have them remain under the jurisdiction of the Emergency Department. Additionally, the maximum stay in an observation unit should be extended from 24 to 48 hours as provided for in the federal regulations.

This bill will provide hospitals with the flexibility they need to abide by the federal requirements when establishing and operating "observation units" by clarifying how these regulations should be implemented.




EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7031 IN SENATE April 24, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- 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 non-emergent treatment in hospitals of nonadmitted patients THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The section heading of section 2805-b of the public health law, as amended by chapter 787 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: Admission of patients, and emergency AND NON-EMERGENT treatment of nonadmitted patients. S 2. Section 2805-b of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. IN ANY IMPLEMENTATION OF PROVISIONS FOR AN OBSERVATION LEVEL OF CARE, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL: (A) ALLOW FOR THE PROVISION OF OBSERVATION CARE FOR A PERIOD OF UP TO FORTY-EIGHT HOURS FROM THE TIME THE PHYSICIAN ORDER FOR OBSERVATION SERVICES IS ISSUED; (B) ALLOW A GENERAL HOSPITAL TO DETERMINE THE PROPER CLINICAL AREA AND LOCATION FOR THE CARE OF A SPECIFIC PATIENT REQUIRING OBSERVATION CARE BASED ON THE NEEDS OF THE PATIENT AND THE AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES TO MEET THOSE NEEDS; (C) ALLOW A GENERAL HOSPITAL TO DETERMINE WHETHER IT WILL PROVIDE SUCH CARE IN A DISTINCT PHYSICAL SPACE; AND (D) PROVIDE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE COVERAGE FOR OBSERVATION CARE. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


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