Enacts the "hospital closure planning act"; provides that whenever a general hospital closes, the commissioner of health shall within thirty days of being notified of such closure, hold a public hearing at a location within the geographic area served by such general hospital to solicit testimony concerning the extent to which such closure will result in the reduction or elimination of health care services in the affected community, and options and proposals for replacing or enhancing such health care services through other means in order to meet the needs of residents in the affected community; makes related provisions.
BILL NUMBER: S7483
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public health law, in relation to enacting the "hospital closure planning act"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : To ensure that the Department of Health engages in adequate planning to minimize the health care impact of a hospital closure upon the surrounding community.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : This legislation would amend the public health law by adding a new section 2801-g, requiring the l:ate health commissioner to:
(1) within thirty days of receiving notice of a hospital's intent to close, hold a public hearing on the impact of the hospital's closing on access to health care in the surrounding community;
(2) within thirty days of the hearing, provide the legislature and governor with a report detailing specific measures the health department and other parties have taken or will take to ameliorate such anticipated impact of the hospital's closing; and
(3) within thirty days of the report, hold a public hearing to present the report and allow members of the public to comment. With respect to hospital closures occurring on or after January 1, 2009 and before the effective date, the bill would not require the commissioner to hold the initial, pre-report public hearing. In such cases, the commissioner would be required to provide the report to the legislature and governor within sixty days of the effective date, and hold the post-report public hearing within thirty days of issuing the report.
JUSTIFICATION : New York's hospitals are a vital part of the state's health care infrastructure. The loss of these institutions can have serious public health consequences for the surrounding community, including but not limited to recipients :)f medical assistance for needy persons, the uninsured, and underserved populations. The current economic climate increases the chances that hospitals that provide important services may be forced to close for financial reasons. Therefore, it is critical that procedures be in place to establish contingency plans that will minimize the impact of such closings on the affected community.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after January 1, 2009.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7483 IN SENATE April 14, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- 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 enacting the "hospital closure planning act" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "hospital closure planning act". S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2801-g to read as follows: S 2801-G. COMMUNITY PLANNING FOR HOSPITAL CLOSURE. 1. NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIVING WRITTEN NOTICE OF A GENERAL HOSPITAL'S INTENT TO VOLUNTARILY DISCONTINUE OPERATIONS OR SURRENDER ITS OPERATING CERTIFICATE, OR WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF A GENERAL HOSPITAL'S INVOLUNTARY CLOSURE OR A GENERAL HOSPITAL'S CLOSURE FOR WHICH NO WRITTEN NOTICE WAS PROVIDED, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING THE ANTICIPATED IMPACT OF THE GENERAL HOSPITAL'S CLOSURE ON ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE SERVICES BY MEMBERS OF THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO RECIPIENTS OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY PERSONS, THE UNIN- SURED, AND UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS, AND OPTIONS AND PROPOSALS TO AMELIO- RATE SUCH ANTICIPATED IMPACT. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ARRANGE FOR PERSONS WITH RELEVANT EXPERTISE TO TESTIFY AT THE PUBLIC HEARING, AND SHALL AFFORD COMMUNITY MEMBERS, HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, LABOR UNIONS, PAYERS, BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE RELEVANT TESTIMONY. 2. NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER HOLDING A HEARING PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROVIDE A WRIT- TEN REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE STATING: (A) HIS OR HER FINDINGS AS TO THE ANTICIPATED IMPACT OF THE GENERAL HOSPITAL'S CLOSURE ON ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE SERVICES BY MEMBERS OF THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO RECIPIENTS OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY PERSONS, THE UNINSURED, AND UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11426-11-0 S. 7483 2
(B) SPECIFIC MEASURES THE DEPARTMENT AND OTHER PARTIES HAVE TAKEN OR WILL TAKE TO AMELIORATE SUCH ANTICIPATED IMPACT; AND (C) ANY FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY THE GENERAL HOSPITAL'S CLOSURE. 3. NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER PROVIDING A WRITTEN REPORT PURSU- ANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING TO PRESENT THE CONTENT OF THE REPORT TO THE PUBLIC AND AFFORD MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON THE REPORT. 4. A PUBLIC HEARING CONDUCTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE HELD AT A LOCATION WITHIN A REASONABLE PROXIMITY TO THE GENERAL HOSPITAL SUBJECT TO CLOSURE, AND SHALL BE ANNOUNCED NO LESS THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING DATE. S 3. For any hospital closure occurring on or after January 1, 2009 and prior to the effective date of this act, the commissioner of health shall not be required to conduct the initial public hearing required pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 2801-g of the public health law as added by this act. With respect to any such hospital closure, the writ- ten report required pursuant to subdivision 2 of section 2801-g of the public health law as added by this act shall be provided within sixty days of the effective date of this act, and the subsequent public hear- ing required pursuant to subdivision 3 of such section shall be conducted within 30 days of the issuance of such report. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after January 1, 2009.