senate Bill S4265

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Prohibits missed appointment charges where physician's office receives notice of cancellation of appointment at least one hour before time; requires disclosure

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to health
Mar 18, 2013 referred to health

S4265 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง19-a, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1626
2009-2010: S92

S4265 - Bill Texts

view summary

Prohibits the charging of a patient fee for a missed appointment where the physician's office receives notice of cancellation of the appointment at least one hour before the time of the appointment; requires advance disclosure of physician office policy respecting any charges for missed appointments.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4265

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
physician charges for missed appointments by patients

PURPOSE: To amend the public health law to restrict charges to
patients for missed appointments and to require disclosure to patients
of physicians' policy and amount regarding such fees where allowed.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill would add a new section
19a to the public health law to prohibit physicians from charging
patients fees for missed appointments where the patient has given at
least a one hour notice of cancellation or rescheduling of the
appointment to the physician.

Subsection two of the bill provides that physicians who do charge such
fees, where allowed by law, must provide advance written notice of
this policy to patients by posting the policy conspicuously in the
physician's waiting room and by periodically mailing written notice of
the terms of such policy along with patient bills.

Subsection three of the bill provides that this bill is not
authorization for physicians to charge fees for missed appointments
where such fees are otherwise prohibited by rule, law, regulation,
practice or where such fees are deemed to be unethical.

Subsection four of the bill provides that physicians who are found
(after a hearing) to have violated this article may be fined not more
than $1,000 nor less than three times the amount collected, or if not
collected, three times the amount charged. This bill also increases
the penalty for subsequent violations to no more than $5,000 nor less
than the greater of $1,000 or three times the amount collected or if
not collected, three times the amount charged. This section also
provides that amounts collected in violation of this bill shall be
refunded.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently, physicians may charge fees to patients for
missed appointments. Many physicians require patients to cancel or
reschedule appointments at least 24 hours in advance. While this
requirement seems reasonable it is not always possible. There are many
situations where emergencies arise which necessitate cancellations on
less than 24 hours notice. For example, a child may be injured at
school or sick at home requiring a parent to cancel a scheduled
appointment. Also, employers may cancel or not allow leave time to
visit the doctor. Finally, the elderly, who may be forgetful or may
lack adequate transportation may be disproportionately effected by
these fees.

Some physicians may waive these fees while others may not. The
decisions to impose these fees is often in the hands of individual
office manages and may be charged or waived on a case-by-case basis.

This bill would establish a unified standard for these fees throughout
the state and it would also protect health care consumers from unfair
charges.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S. 2503 of 2007 02/06/07 Referred to Health
01/10/11 REFERRED TO HEALTH 01/04/12 REFERRED TO HEALTH

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: NONE

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first day of the
calendar month next succeeding the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law. It shall apply to all appointments scheduled to occur on
or after its effective date no matter when made.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4265

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 18, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to physician  charges
  for missed appointments by patients

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

  Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding  a  new  section
19-a to read as follows:
  S 19-A. PHYSICIAN CHARGES FOR MISSED APPOINTMENTS OF PATIENTS; LIMITA-
TION AND DISCLOSURE. 1.  NO PHYSICIAN LICENSED UNDER ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED
THIRTY-ONE  OF THE EDUCATION LAW SHALL CHARGE ANY PATIENT A FEE OR OTHER
CHARGE FOR FAILING TO APPEAR  AT  THE  APPOINTED  TIME  OF  A  SCHEDULED
APPOINTMENT  WHERE  THE  PHYSICIAN'S  OFFICE  HAS  RECEIVED  NOTICE OF A
CANCELLATION OR A CHANGE OF THE APPOINTMENT AT LEAST ONE HOUR IN ADVANCE
OF THE SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT.
  2. IN ANY CASE WHERE A PHYSICIAN'S POLICY  IS  TO  CHARGE  A  FEE  FOR
MISSED PATIENT APPOINTMENTS, ADVANCE WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE TERMS OF SUCH
POLICY  SHALL  BE  PROMINENTLY POSTED IN THE PATIENT WAITING ROOM OF THE
PHYSICIAN'S OFFICE  AND  PERIODICALLY  INCLUDED  WITH  BILLS  MAILED  TO
PATIENTS.  NO  FEE FOR MISSED PATIENT APPOINTMENTS MAY BE CHARGED IN THE
ABSENCE OF SUCH ADVANCE WRITTEN NOTICE BEING GIVEN TO THE PATIENT.
  3. NO PROVISION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED TO AUTHORIZE A  PHYSI-
CIAN  TO  CHARGE A FEE FOR MISSED PATIENT APPOINTMENTS IF SUCH CHARGE IS
OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, REGULATION, RULE OR PRACTICE OR  DEEMED  TO
BE UNETHICAL.
  4.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  INCONSISTENT  PROVISION  OF  THIS CHAPTER, A
PHYSICIAN WHO IS DETERMINED, AFTER OPPORTUNITY FOR A  HEARING,  TO  HAVE
VIOLATED  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT FOR THE FIRST
VIOLATION TO A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS NOR LESS  THAN
THE  GREATER  OF THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT COLLECTED, OR, IF NOT COLLECTED,
THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT CHARGED, IN CONTRAVENTION TO ANY PROHIBITION  SET

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09889-01-3

S. 4265                             2

FORTH  IN  THIS  SECTION,  AND,  FOR EACH ADDITIONAL VIOLATION COMMITTED
WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF THE DATE OF AN IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING  VIOLATION  OF
THIS  SECTION, TO A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS NOR LESS
THAN  THE  GREATER  OF  ONE  THOUSAND  DOLLARS OR THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT
COLLECTED, OR, IF NOT COLLECTED, THREE  TIMES  THE  AMOUNT  CHARGED,  IN
CONTRAVENTION  TO  ANY  PROHIBITION SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION; PROVIDED,
HOWEVER, THAT IN NO EVENT SHALL THE FINE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL VIOLATION  OF
THIS  SECTION  BE GREATER THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. IN ADDITION, WHERE
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION HAVE BEEN VIOLATED, THE  PHYSICIAN  SHALL
REFUND TO THE PATIENT THE AMOUNT COLLECTED AS A FEE FOR A MISSED PATIENT
APPOINTMENT.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect on the first of the calendar month
next succeeding the sixtieth day after it shall have become  a  law  and
shall  apply  to  all  appointments  scheduled  to occur on or after its
effective date no matter when made.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.