senate Bill S1982A

Requires hospital incident reports to be simultaneously provided to the affected patients and/or their legal representatives

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 14 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / Mar / 2011
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO JUDICIARY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 05 / Jan / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO JUDICIARY
  • 05 / Jan / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 1982A

Summary

Requires general hospital which submits an incident report to the department of health to simultaneously provide a copy of such report to the affected patients and/ or their legal representatives; stays the statute of limitations for medical, dental and podiatric malpractice causes of action until one year after an incident report is submitted.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4909A
Versions:
S1982
S1982A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Amd §214-a, CPLR; amd §2805-l, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
A9114, A9114

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1982A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the civil practice law and rules and the public health law, in
relation to the provision of hospital incident reports to the affected
patients or their representatives

PURPOSE:
This bill would provide extend the statute of limitations in medical,
dental or podiatric malpractice actions against a hospital where the
hospital has violated section 2805-1 of the public health law by
failing to file an incident report as mandated by that section. It
also requires such reports to be sent to the patient and their
representative.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 2 - tolls the statute of limitations in a medical, dental or
podiatric malpractice action so that where there is a failure by a
hospital to file an incident report as mandated by the public health
law, a plaintiff has a year from the date of filing of such report in
which to commence an action.

In addition, it tolls the statute limitations in a medical, dental or
podiatric malpractice action so that where an action is time-barred
against an individual health care service provider, an action may
still be commenced against a hospital where either the individual or
the hospital has failed to file an incident report as mandated by the
public health law, a plaintiff has a year from the date of filing of
such report in which to commence an action.

Section 3 - requires incident reports submitted to the Department of
Health under section 2805-1 of the public health law also be sent to
the patient and their representative.

Section 4 - effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Despite having been a requirement for over twenty years, there are
abundant reports of hospitals failing to file incident reports as
mandated by the public health law. These incident reports are
required in order to give the Department of Health notice that a
significant incident has occurred, such as a patient death under
circumstances other than as a result of the course of disease, injury
or proper treatment. It also includes situations that harmed
patients, such as fires, equipment malfunctions, or poisonings.
According to a Harvard study, over 1,000 New Yorkers die each year as
a result of preventable medical errors. Clearly, these reports are a
significant tool that should be used to prevent the recurrence of
harm or death to patients.

Yet by failing to timely file such reports, hospitals are preventing
the Department of Health from asserting its authority to make sure
the public is adequately protected in the case of substandard patient
care of hospital environment.


Furthermore, the law fails to permit notification to those most
directly affected by such unfortunate events-the patient themselves,
as well. As family or others who are designated to help make crucial
decisions for the patient. By tolling the statute of limitations on
malpractice actions against hospitals, such institutions are
incentivized to obey the clear letter of the law. Furthermore,
hospitals will not be able to protect themselves from liability for
their harmful actions simply by ignoring the law, and thereby further
harming the patient in question first by whatever action led to the
requirement of filing the incident report, then again by not filing
the report, thus preventing the patient or their representative from
accessing information that could help them recover damages for their
death or injury.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1982--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes  --  recommitted  to
  the Committee on Judiciary in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --
  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
  recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules and the  public  health
  law,  in relation to the provision of hospital incident reports to the
  affected patients or their representatives

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "patient sunlight act".
  S 2. Section 214-a of the civil practice law and rules, as amended  by
chapter 485 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
  S  214-a.  Action  for  medical, dental or podiatric malpractice to be
commenced within two years and six months; exceptions. 1. An action  for
medical,  dental  or  podiatric malpractice must be commenced within two
years and six months of the act, omission or failure  complained  of  or
last treatment where there is continuous treatment for the same illness,
injury  or  condition which gave rise to the said act, omission or fail-
ure[; provided, however, that where].
  2. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING THE  PROVISIONS  OF  SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  THIS
SECTION, AN ACTION FOR MEDICAL, DENTAL OR PODIATRIC MALPRACTICE NEED NOT
BE  COMMENCED  WITHIN  TWO  YEARS AND SIX MONTHS OF THE ACT, OMISSION OR
FAILURE COMPLAINED OF OR LAST TREATMENT WHERE THERE IS CONTINUOUS TREAT-
MENT FOR THE SAME ILLNESS, INJURY OR CONDITION WHICH GAVE RISE  TO  SAID
ACT,  OMISSION  OR  FAILURE,  IF THE DEFENDANT IS A GENERAL HOSPITAL, AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TEN OF SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED  ONE  OF  THE
PUBLIC  HEALTH  LAW,  AND  HAS  FAILED  TO  FILE  AN INCIDENT REPORT, AS
REQUIRED  BY  SECTION  TWENTY-EIGHT  HUNDRED  FIVE-L  OF  SUCH  LAW,  IN
CONNECTION  WITH  THE  INCIDENT  THAT  IS THE SUBJECT OF THE MALPRACTICE

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04123-03-1

S. 1982--A                          2

ACTION. IN SUCH CASE, THE ACTION MAY BE COMMENCED WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE
DATE SUCH INCIDENT REPORT IS FILED.
  (B) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION,
AN  ACTION  FOR  MEDICAL,  DENTAL  OR  PODIATRIC MALPRACTICE NEED NOT BE
COMMENCED WITHIN TWO YEARS AND SIX MONTHS OF THE ACT, OMISSION OR  FAIL-
URE  COMPLAINED OF OR LAST TREATMENT WHERE THERE IS CONTINUOUS TREATMENT
FOR THE SAME ILLNESS, INJURY OR CONDITION WHICH GAVE RISE TO  SAID  ACT,
OMISSION OR FAILURE, WHERE SUCH ACTION IS AGAINST A GENERAL HOSPITAL, AS
DEFINED  IN  SUBDIVISION  TEN OF SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED ONE OF THE
PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH ACTION IS OTHERWISE BARRED
BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION AGAINST ANY PERSON  LICENSED,  CERTI-
FIED  OR  REGISTERED PURSUANT TO TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, WHERE
SUCH INDIVIDUAL OR GENERAL HOSPITAL  HAS  FAILED  TO  FILE  AN  INCIDENT
REPORT,  AS REQUIRED BY SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED FIVE-L OF SUCH LAW,
IN CONNECTION WITH THE INCIDENT THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF  THE  MALPRACTICE
ACTION. IN SUCH CASE, THE ACTION MAY BE COMMENCED WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE
DATE SUCH INCIDENT REPORT IS FILED.
  3.    WHERE the action is based upon the discovery of a foreign object
in the body of the patient, the action may be commenced within one  year
of the date of such discovery or of the date of discovery of facts which
would  reasonably  lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier. For the
purpose of this  section  the  term  "continuous  treatment"  shall  not
include  examinations  undertaken  at the request of the patient for the
sole purpose of ascertaining the state of the patient's  condition.  For
the  purpose of this section the term "foreign object" shall not include
a chemical compound, fixation device or prosthetic aid or device.
  S 3. Section 2805-l of the public health law is amended  by  adding  a
new subdivision 2-a to read as follows:
  2-A.   NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, COPIES OF
ANY REPORTS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO THIS  SECTION  SHALL
SIMULTANEOUSLY BE PROVIDED TO:
  (A)  THE  PATIENT OR PATIENTS WHO WERE AFFECTED IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO
REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH INCIDENT REPORT;
  (B) IN THE EVENT SUCH A PATIENT IS  DECEASED  OR  INCAPACITATED,  SUCH
REPORT  SHALL  BE  PROVIDED TO THE PATIENT'S LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OR THE
LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PATIENT'S ESTATE; AND
  (C) THE PERSONS, FAMILY OR OTHER PARTY IDENTIFIED  IN  THE  HOSPITAL'S
RECORDS AS THE PARTY OR PARTIES DESIGNATED BY SUCH PATIENT FOR NOTIFICA-
TION OR CONSULTATION IN THE EVENT OF THE PATIENT'S INCAPACITY OR DEATH.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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