Bill S7589-2013

Provides that money damages shall not be considered in determining whether or not there exists an inability to pay for department of mental hygiene services

Provides that moneys awarded as damages or obtained by judgment or settlement as a result of a cause of action commenced against officers or employees of the office of mental health shall not be considered assets for purposes of determining whether or not there exists an inability to pay for services; provides that such moneys shall not be seized, offset or otherwise attached for the purposes of paying fees for services rendered by the department of mental hygiene.

Details

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  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7589

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to liability for the payment of fees for services rendered by the department of mental hygiene

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill would prohibit OMH from billing a person for his/her care and treatment when the source of the funds for making such a payment comes from the proceeds of a suit against the State for negligent or improper treatment.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

This bill adds a new subdivision (e) to section 43.03 of the mental hygiene law which specifically adds language to prevent monetary awards arising from judgments or settlements as a result of a cause of action against state employees or officials to be used to pay for their care and treatment.

JUSTIFICATION:

This bill was brought to the sponsor's attention by the case of a Mr. Kaplan who was stabbed to death while a patient of Kingsboro PC. The family sued the State and then received a bill for the care and treatment of this man, including the day that he was murdered by his roommate. There are other such cases pending at this time including two rape cases and an attempted suicide. This practice, which has not been uncommon, has a chilling effect on a patient's right to sue the State for redress for serious injury or death. It removes the incentive for the State to correct unsafe or abusive practices.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

S.4839b/A.3639b - 1999-2000. Passed the Assembly. 2001-02 A.2619 - Passed Assembly. 2003-04 A.2713 - Passed Assembly. 2005-06 A.2019 - Passed Assembly. 2007-08 A.1438 - passed Assembly 2009-10 A.2526 - in Mental Health Committee 2011-12 A4345A- Passed Assembly

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7589 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- 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 liability for the payment of fees for services rendered by the department of mental hygiene THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 43.03 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (e) to read as follows: (E) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION, THE COMMIS- SIONER SHALL NOT COLLECT ANY FEES FOR SERVICES FROM ANY MONIES PAID TO OR TO BE PAID TO OR ON BEHALF OF A PATIENT, HIS ESTATE OR A REPRESEN- TATIVE OF A PATIENT OR HIS ESTATE, AS A RESULT OF OR IN RETURN FOR A RELEASE OF LIABILITY OR A COURT ORDERED SETTLEMENT OR JUDGMENT AGAINST THE STATE ARISING FROM AN ACT OR OMISSION OF THE STATE, THE OFFICE OR ANY EMPLOYEE OR AGENT THEREOF, IF SUCH ACT OR OMISSION OCCURRED DURING THE COURSE OF CONFINEMENT OF OR DURING THE PROVISION OF CARE TO SUCH PATIENT. SUCH MONIES SHALL NOT BE OFFSET OR OTHERWISE ENCUMBERED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING SUCH FEES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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