Requires all general hospitals, which provide emergency services, to post patient rights and provides that hospital personnel, prior to providing treatment, shall not inquire as to a patient's immigration status.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1917A
SPONSOR: Ortiz (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that immediate hospitalization is
given to any person in need, regardless of immigration status, as well
as to inform patients of their rights in such circumstances.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2801-h that
mandates the posting of patients' rights in cases of immediate hospital-
ization. A sign no less than eight and one-half inches by fourteen inch-
es must be posted conspicuously stating that "each patient shall have
the right to emergency treatment regardless of age, race, color, reli-
gion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of
payment, or immigration status. No patient shall be required to answer
questions prior to providing treatment concerning their insurance or
method of payment."
Subdivision 1 of section 2805-b of the public health law is amended so
that all general hospitals which provide emergency services may not
inquire as to the patient's immigration status prior to providing treat-
ment. Nor shall the patient be required to answer questions relating to
his or her immigration status after treatment is provided.
Many people who are in dire need of immediate hospitalization do not
seek the proper medical attention due to uncertainty or a fear of being
reported to the INS, if they are undocumented. Undocumented people who
do go to emergency rooms in search of treatment are often frightened by
questions from hospital personnel before admittance. By prohibiting
staff from denying treatment clue to immigration status, or inquiring
into the immigration status of a patient before providing treatment,
more undocumented people will seal: the medical attention they require
in emergency situations.
All patients need to be reassured as to the admittance process as well,
Reassurance would be promoted by signs stating that immediate hospitali-
zation must be granted regardless of age. color, religion, sex, national
origin, disability, sexual orientation, source of payment, or immi-
gration status, as well as, a patient's right to treatment prior to
answering questions regarding their insurance or method of payment.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2002 - A.10697- Referred to health.
2004 - A3049-5 Advanced to third reading cal. 39
2005/06 - A5504A - Passed Assembly
2007/09 - A5930 - Referred to Health
2009/10 - A6470-A - Advanced to Third Reading
2011/12 - A841-A - Ref to Health, Third Reading
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 10
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
January 9, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. ORTIZ, RIVERA, CRESPO, OTIS, STEVENSON -- Multi-
Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK, FARRELL, GOTTFRIED, HEASTIE, PERRY,
RAMOS, ROBINSON, WRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on
Health -- reported from committee, advanced to a third reading,
amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to patient rights
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section
2 2801-h to read as follows:
3 § 2801-h. Patient rights to be posted. The commissioner shall require
4 all general hospitals, which provide emergency services, to conspicuous-
5 ly post in a prominent and visible area a sign which shall be no smaller
6 than eight and one-half inches by fourteen inches and which shall
7 contain the following language:
8 "PATIENTS' RIGHTS IN CASE OF IMMEDIATE HOSPITALIZATION
9 Each patient shall have the right to emergency treatment regardless of
10 age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual
11 orientation, source of payment, or immigration status. No patient shall
12 be required to answer questions concerning their insurance or method of
13 payment prior to receiving treatment."
14 § 2. Subdivision 1 of section 2805-b of the public health law, as
15 amended by chapter 121 of the laws of 1987, is amended to read as
17 1. Every general hospital shall admit any person who is in need of
18 immediate hospitalization with all convenient speed and shall not before
19 admission question the patient or any member of his or her family
20 concerning insurance, credit or payment of charges, or the immigration
21 status of the patient, provided[, however,] that the patient or a member
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 1917--A 2
1 of his or her family shall agree to supply such information promptly
2 after the patient's admission with the exception that the patient shall
3 not be required to answer questions relating to his or her immigration
4 status. However, no general hospital shall require any patient or
5 member of his or her family to write or to sign during those times when
6 the religious tenets of such person temporarily prohibit him or her from
7 performing such acts. No general hospital shall transfer any patient to
8 another hospital or health care facility on the grounds that the patient
9 is unable to pay or guarantee payment for services rendered. Every
10 general hospital which maintains facilities for providing out-patient
11 emergency medical care must provide such care to any person who, in the
12 opinion of a physician, requires such care.
13 § 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
14 have become a law.