NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4072A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
offering plant-based food options in hospitals
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To require that hospitals providing inpatient or residential care offer
patients plant-based food options for every meal or snack.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new Public Health Law § 2827. Subdivision 1 requires
hospitals providing inpatient or residential care (i.e., general hospi-
tals and nursing homes) to offer patients a plant-based food option for
every meal or snack, at the request of a patient or patient's lawful
representative, at no additional cost to the patient.
Subdivision 2 requires that the hospital respond in a reasonable manner
and time to requests made under this section. The request shall be
effective for every meal or snack the patient is reasonably expected to
participate in. The bill does not preclude hospitals from offering
plant-based food options to patients who do not request them, and it
does not preclude patients who have requested a plant-based food option
from selecting non-plantbased food options.
Subdivision 3 is definitions.
Subdivision 4 states that the requirements of this section do not apply
to nutritional support products prescribed or ordered by a health care
professional licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized to practice
under title 8 of the education law, acting within the professional's
lawful scope of practice. The health care professional shall consider a
patient's request under subdivision 1, however, and advise whether a
medically suitable plant-based option is reasonably available.
Section 2 makes the bill take effect one year after it becomes law.
Plant-based diets (PBD) are those free of animal products such as meat,
seafood, dairy, and eggs. In 2017, the American Medical Association
adopted a resolution that calls on hospitals to improve patient health
by "providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals"
(Healthy Food Options in Hospitals H-150.949). Doctors may recommend or
order PBD for patients suffering from heart disease, obesity, diabetes,
and other conditions, and patients may choose PBD for a variety of other
Patients in inpatient or residential health care settings are a "captive
:audience" dependent on the institution for their food. This bill will
ensure that patients in inpatient or residential hospital settings have
access to plant-based food options.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect one year after it shall become a law. Effec-
tive immediately, the Commissioner of Health may make regulations and
take other actions reasonably necessary to implement this act on that