A 6697B – Professional Liability ENACTED
Introduced by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein (D), A 6697B amends state law regarding professional liability damages to include: reasonable funeral expenses; reasonable medical care, including but not limited to doctors, nursing, attendant care, treatment, hospitalization of the decedent, and medicines; grief or anguish caused by the decedent's death; loss of love, society, protection, comfort, companionship, and consortium; and loss of nurture, guidance, counsel, advice, training, and education resulting from the decedent's death. Governor Kathy Hochul (D) signed the bill into law June 22.
IN THE NEWS
American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD)
The American College of Surgeons delegation to the AMA HOD introduced and supported a resolution regarding confidentiality of quality assurance (QA) titled, Resolution 254 – Eliminating the Party Statement Exception in Quality Assurance Proceedings.
The Resolution was written in response to a recent legal decision in New York (Siegel v. Snyder) that broadened discoverability of QA proceedings. Previously, only statements proven to have been made by parties to a case (defendants) were discoverable. Since the Snyder ruling, all statements at QA proceedings are discoverable unless they can be proven to not be a defendant’s statement.
As a result, a growing number of medical centers no longer allow physicians who were involved in medical events to share their perspective in QA meetings, greatly diminishing the effectiveness of these sessions and increasing the risk of liability.
The Resolution asked for two specific things pertaining to this incredibly timely and important shift: 1.) ask the AMA to reaffirm and strengthen its current position to highlight the importance of in support of the QA privilege; and 2.) advocate for the elimination of the Party Statement Exception, which is the root of the loss of speaker protection.
The Resolution received testimony of support in Reference Committee B and the full HOD voted to Adopt. The Resolution had the support of the following groups: American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Medical Society for the State of New York, and American Urological Association.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Recent studies are showing the benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) as a specific telehealth modality for tracking patient recovery in the comfort of their own home. Coverage during the COVID public health emergency allowed for RPM utilization and study.
Thirty-four state Medicaid programs provide reimbursement for RPM, but most have some type of restriction (must be a home health agency, restricting the clinical conditions and the type of symptoms to be monitored). The Center for Connected Health Policy is tracking RPM telehealth policy at both the state and federal level and can be viewed on their website.
State Legislative Action to Lower Pharmaceutical Costs
The cost of prescription drugs has been a priority for state legislatures across the country in 2023. The National Academy for State Health Policy has a tracker with the latest information on state legislation, including state legislation on pharmacy benefit managers, importation, and consumer cost sharing. View the map here.