S07335 Summary:

Add 238-b, Ed L
Establishes the interagency task force on health literacy, to study health literacy and develop recommendations for improving health literacy in this state.
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S07335 Actions:

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S07335 Committee Votes:

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S07335 Floor Votes:

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S07335 Memo:

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S07335 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                      May 19, 2023
        Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the  establishment  of
          the interagency task force on health literacy
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative intent. 1. It is the intent of the  legislature
     2  to  improve  health  care  access  and  outcomes, and reduce unnecessary
     3  health care spending by addressing the issue of health literacy.  Health
     4  literacy  is the degree to which an individual, or individuals, have the
     5  capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health care information
     6  and services necessary for them to make appropriate health decisions.
     7    2. A patient's health literacy may be affected if they have low educa-
     8  tion skills, cultural  barriers  to  seeking  health  care,  or  limited
     9  English  proficiency  (LEP).    Demographically, individuals with health
    10  literacy challenges often  are  represented  disproportionately  in  the
    11  following  groups:  older adults, minority and/or immigrant populations,
    12  lower-income populations, and medically underserved populations.
    13    3. Although New York has some existing  health  literacy  initiatives,
    14  the  legislature  finds  that  a comprehensive statewide health literacy
    15  task force is a necessary and valuable step toward eliminating  as  much
    16  as  practicable  the  negative  outcomes that health literacy challenges
    17  create in the state.
    18    § 2. The education law is amended by adding a  new  section  238-b  to
    19  read as follows:
    20    § 238-b. Interagency task force on health literacy. 1. There is hereby
    21  established within the state university of New York, an interagency task
    22  force  on health literacy to be administered according to the provisions
    23  of this section. Such task force  shall  assist  the  health  and  human
    24  service  agencies of this state in studying health literacy and develop-
    25  ing recommendations for improving health literacy in this state.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 7335                             2
     1    2. The SUNY Chancellor shall appoint a member of the  SUNY  school  of
     2  public health faculty to chair the task force.
     3    3. The following representatives shall be invited to serve on the task
     4  force:
     5    (a)  Three  representatives from state hospitals to be selected by the
     6  temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly;
     7    (b) The commissioner of the New York state department of health;
     8    (c) The commissioner of the office of children and family services;
     9    (d) A representative from the Medical Society  of  the  state  of  New
    10  York;
    11    (e)  A  representative  from the New York Chapter, American Academy of
    12  Pediatrics;
    13    (f) A representative from the New York Cooperative Extension;
    14    (g) A representative from the Albany College of Pharmacy;
    15    (h) A representative from the Long  Island  University  A.M.  Schwartz
    16  College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions;
    17    (i)  A representative from the State University of New York at Buffalo
    18  School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;
    19    (j) A representative from the New York State Occupational Health Clin-
    20  ic Network;
    21    (k) A representative from  the  New  York  state  office  of  minority
    22  health;
    23    (l)  A  representative from the New York state developmental disabili-
    24  ties planning council;
    25    (m) A representative from the health insurance industry;
    26    (n) A representative from the Empire State Medical Association;
    27    (o) The commissioner of the New York City  department  of  health  and
    28  mental hygiene;
    29    (p) A representative from the New York City department for the aging;
    30    (q)  A  representative from the Health Literacy Project partnership of
    31  the New York City mayor's office and United Way of New York City; and
    32    (r) A representative from the New York state health foundation.
    33    4. For the purposes of this section the following terms shall have the
    34  following meanings:
    35    (a) "Chancellor" shall mean the chancellor  of  the  SUNY  schools  of
    36  public health in Albany.
    37    (b)  "Health  literacy"  shall  mean  an individual's ability to read,
    38  understand, and act appropriately on health care information.
    39    (c) "Task force" means the interagency task force on health literacy.
    40    5. The task force shall be charged with studying  and  evaluating  the
    41  health literacy of the residents of this state. The task force shall:
    42    (a)  Examine  the  ability  of  residents  to  access available health
    43  services and communicate with health care providers;
    44    (b) Identify barriers that prevent residents with low health  literacy
    45  from receiving health care;
    46    (c) Identify groups at risk for low health literacy;
    47    (d)  Examine  whether  providing appropriate health information to and
    48  increasing the health  literacy of the beneficiaries  of  public  health
    49  services  would  increase  the  efficiency  of health care providers and
    50  decrease expenditures;
    51    (e) Examine the impact on health literacy of:
    52    (i) Rising health care costs;
    53    (ii) Increasingly complex health treatments;
    54    (iii) An individual's age; and
    55    (iv) Cultural and linguistic diversity.

        S. 7335                             3

     1    6. The SUNY schools of public health in Albany shall provide the staff
     2  necessary to assist the task force in performing its duties.
     3    7. No later than December fifteenth, two thousand twenty-four the task
     4  force  shall report to the legislature on its findings under subdivision
     5  five of this section. In addition, the report shall include  a  list  of
     6  proposed  rules  and regulations and any necessary legislation. The task
     7  force shall also make recommendations to the legislature  on  strategies
     8  for:
     9    (a) Improving the health literacy of the residents of this state.
    10    (b) Promoting the use of plain language by health care providers.
    11    (c)  Simplifying  the  enrollment  forms  and procedures for accessing
    12  health insurance plans serving individuals in groups  identified  as  at
    13  risk for low health literacy.
    14    (d)  Developing  resources  for health care providers and residents of
    15  this state to increase health literacy.
    16    (e) Developing programs to aid the residents of this state  in  under-
    17  standing health care information.
    18    (f) Developing educational curricula to increase health literacy.
    19    (g)  Developing easy-to-understand print and electronic information on
    20  health issues.
    21    (h) Funding the recommendations of the task force.
    22    § 3. This act shall take effect December 1, 2023.
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S07335 LFIN:

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S07335 Chamber Video/Transcript:

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