Senator Hoylman Hails Governor Cuomo’s Signing of Bill Mandating Study of Urgent Care Centers

 

Albany, NY – Yesterday afternoon, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law State Senator Brad Hoylman’s (D -Manhattan) and State Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried’s (D-Manhattan) legislation which directs the New York State Commissioner of Health to conduct a study of the provision of services at urgent care centers, mini clinics operating within pharmacies and other health care delivery models not presently required to undergo the state Certificate of Need process nor required to obtain authorization to conduct office based surgery.

“After St. Vincent’s Hospital closed in 2010, my constituents were bombarded with marketing for urgent care centers,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan). “In fact, shortages of hospitals, emergency rooms and primary care physicians have led to a proliferation of new health care service delivery models across the state. But regulations on urgent care centers, mini clinics in pharmacies and the like are lacking and vague. Furthermore, inconsistencies in the health care services these models provide leave consumers confused about when to use such facilities.”

Senator Hoylman cited a September 2011 white paper funded by the Urgent Care Association of America regarding the disparate services urgent care centers provide. The white paper stated, “The majority of urgent care centers provide services in episodic primary care, occupational medicine, routine immunizations and school physicals, and at least half of them also provide lab tests, x-rays, fracture and laceration care, and intravenous fluids.”

The study mandated by the new law will examine the impact or impacts of the respective new health care models on the delivery, quality and cost of health care in the communities and regions in which they are found. “There is a clear public benefit in a Department of Health study that will both inform consumers and establish any need for further regulatory action,” said Senator Hoylman, who acknowledged the guidance of Senator Kemp Hannon in drafting the legislation. “I’m thankful to my friend and colleague Assembly Member Gottfried for securing passage of the bill in the Assembly, and to Governor Cuomo for signing it into law.”

Details of the Health Care Delivery Models Study Act:
The Act requires the Commissioner of Health to conduct a study of new health care service delivery models that are not subject to state certificate of need processes or authorization to conduct office based surgery.

  • The study is to include:

o    Urgent care centers (medical offices open for extended hours without an appointment)
o    Mini clinics (clinics operating within pharmacies)
o    Major physician practices (whether in one location or multiple locations) whose physicians are linked directly or indirectly in an economic relationship

  • The study is to examine how the new delivery models impact the following factors on health care provision to communities and regions:

o    Delivery of services
o    Cost
o    Quality of health care