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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 206-A
Discrimination in hospital staff appointments and privileges prohibited
Public Health (PBH) CHAPTER 45, ARTICLE 2, TITLE 1
§ 206-a. Discrimination in hospital staff appointments and privileges
prohibited. 1. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for the
governing body of a hospital

a. To deny to or to withhold from a physician, dentist or podiatrist
staff membership or professional privileges in a hospital because of his
participation in any medical group practice, non-profit health insurance
plan, or comprehensive health services plan offered by a health
maintenance organization authorized by the laws of the state; or

b. To exclude or to expel a physician, dentist or podiatrist from
staff membership or to curtail, terminate or diminish in any way a
physician's, dentist's or podiatrist's professional privileges in a
hospital because of his participation in any medical group practice,
non-profit health insurance plan, or comprehensive health services plan
offered by a health maintenance organization authorized by the laws of
the state.

2. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory
practice defined by this section may, by himself or his attorney, make,
sign and file with the commissioner a verified complaint in writing
which shall state the name and address of the hospital whose governing
body is alleged to have committed the unlawful discriminatory practice
complained of and which shall set forth the particulars thereof and
contain such other information as may be required by the commissioner.

3. After the filing of any such complaint, the commissioner shall
designate a deputy commissioner or other officer of the department to
make a prompt investigation in connection therewith; and if such
designee shall determine after investigation that probable cause exists
for crediting the allegations of the complaint, he shall immediately
endeavor to eliminate the unlawful discriminatory practice by
conference, conciliation and persuasion.

4. In case of a failure so to eliminate such practice, or in advance
thereof as in his judgment circumstances so warrant, the commissioner
shall cause to be issued a written notice together with a copy of the
complaint, as the same may have been amended, requiring each member of
the governing body of the hospital in question (or such member or
members thereof as in his judgment are warranted), hereinafter sometimes
referred to as respondent, to answer charges of such complaint at a
hearing before him (or before a deputy commissioner or other officer of
the department other than the designee who investigated the complaint),
hereinafter referred to as hearing officer, at a time and place to be
specified in such notice.

5. The respondent may file a written verified answer to the complaint
and appear at such hearing in person or otherwise with or without
counsel and submit testimony.

6. If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the hearing officer shall
find that a respondent has engaged in any unlawful discriminatory
practice defined in this section, the hearing officer shall state his
findings of fact and the commissioner shall issue and cause to be served
on such respondent an order requiring such respondent to cease and
desist from such unlawful discriminatory practice.

7. If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the hearing officer shall
find that a respondent has not engaged in any unlawful discriminatory
practice defined in this section, the hearing officer shall state his
findings of fact and the commissioner shall issue and cause to be served
on the complainant an order dismissing the said complaint as to such
respondent.

8. The commissioner shall establish rules of practice to govern,
expedite and effectuate the foregoing procedure and the actions to be
taken thereunder.

9. Any complaint filed pursuant to this section must be so filed
within ninety days after the alleged act of discrimination.

10. Any complainant, respondent or other person aggrieved by such
order of the commissioner may obtain judicial review thereof, and the
commissioner may obtain an order of court for its enforcement, in a
proceeding as provided in this subdivision. Such proceeding shall be
brought in the supreme court of the state within any county wherein the
unlawful discriminatory practice which is the subject of the
commissioner's order occurs or wherein any person required in the order
to cease and desist from a unlawful discriminatory practice resides or
transacts business. The findings of the hearing officer as to the facts
shall be conclusive if supported by substantial evidence on the record
considered as a whole. All such proceedings shall be heard and
determined by the court and any appellate court as expeditiously as
possible and with lawful precedence over other matters.

11. The following words, as used in this section, shall have the
following meanings unless the context otherwise requires:

a. "Governing body" means the group or the individual ultimately
responsible for a hospital's general policies with respect to staff
membership and professional privileges and shall include, but not
limited to, a board of trustees, a board of directors, a board of
governors, a board of managers, a medical board, a director or any other
official of a hospital with comparable responsibilities.

b. "Hospital" means an institution for the care and treatment of the
sick and injured, equipped with the technical facilities, medical,
nursing and other professional and technical personnel necessary for
diagnosis and treatment of persons suffering from sickness or injury
which requires bed care.

c. "Medical group practice" means the practice of medicine by
physicians as partners or in groups with fees and moneys received for
professional services furnished by any individual physician, member or
employee of such partnership or group pooled and redistributed in
accordance with a partnership or other agreement.

d. "Non-profit health insurance" means insurance issued by a
non-profit medical expense indemnity corporation in accordance with
article forty-three of the insurance law.

e. "Health maintenance organization" means such organization as
defined in article forty-four of this chapter.

f. "Comprehensive health services plan" means such plan as defined in
article forty-four of this chapter.