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This entry was published on 2020-04-17
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SECTION 2805-B
Admission of patients and emergency treatment of nonadmitted patients
Public Health (PBH) CHAPTER 45, ARTICLE 28
§ 2805-b. Admission of patients and emergency treatment of nonadmitted
patients. 1. Every general hospital shall admit any person who is in
need of immediate hospitalization with all convenient speed and shall
not before admission question the patient or any member of his or her
family concerning insurance, credit or payment of charges, provided,
however, that the patient or a member of his or her family shall agree
to supply such information promptly after the patient's admission.
However, no general hospital shall require any patient or member of his
or her family to write or to sign during those times when the religious
tenets of such person temporarily prohibit him or her from performing
such acts. No general hospital shall transfer any patient to another
hospital or health care facility on the grounds that the patient is
unable to pay or guarantee payment for services rendered. Every general
hospital which maintains facilities for providing out-patient emergency
medical care must provide such care to any person who, in the opinion of
a physician, requires such care.

2. In cities with a population of one million or more, (a) a general
hospital shall provide emergency medical care and treatment to all
persons in need of such care and treatment who arrive at the entrance to
such hospital therefor. Any general hospital which fails to provide such
treatment shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. However, the commissioner
may exempt a general hospital from the provisions of this paragraph if
he determines such general hospital is structured to provide specialized
or limited treatment.

(b) Any licensed medical practitioner who refuses to treat a person
arriving at a general hospital to receive emergency medical treatment
who is in need of such treatment; or any person who in any manner
excludes, obstructs or interferes with the ingress of another person
into a general hospital who appears there for the purpose of being
examined or diagnosed or treated; or any person who obstructs or
prevents such other person from being examined or diagnosed or treated
by an attending physician thereat shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and
subject to a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not
to exceed one thousand dollars. Any emergency medical technician,
paramedic or ambulance driver who transports a person to a general
hospital where such person is refused entrance by anyone or is refused
examination, diagnosis or treatment by an attending physician thereat
shall report all such incidents to the state commissioner of health or
his designee, on a form which shall be promulgated by such commissioner.
After examination, diagnosis and treatment by an attending physician and
where, in the opinion of such physician, the patient has been stabilized
sufficiently to permit it, subsequent medical care may be provided or
procured by the general hospital at a location other than the general
hospital if, in the opinion of the attending physician, it is in the
best interest of the patient because the general hospital does not have
the proper equipment or personnel at hand to deal with the particular
medical emergency or because all appropriate beds are filled and none
are likely to become available within a reasonable time after the
patient has been stabilized.

(c) Whenever a previously stabilized emergency room patient is
thereafter transferred for medical care to another location by means of
an ambulance, the attending physician authorizing the transfer in the
general hospital from which the patient is transferred shall determine
that a receiving hospital is available and willing to receive such
patient and that an attending physician thereat is available and willing
to admit such patient. Just prior to the transfer, the emergency medical
technician or paramedic assigned to accompany the patient in the
ambulance shall be provided with a completed form which shall include at
least the following information and such additional information as the
commissioner may require:

(i) the patient's name;

(ii) the diagnosed condition of the patient;

(iii) any treatment administered to the patient;

(iv) any medication given to the patient;

(v) the name of the physician ordering the transfer;

(vi) the name of the hospital from which the patient is being
transferred;

(vii) the name of the physician or physicians who is or are willing
and authorized to receive the patient at the new location;

(viii) the name of the hospital or other facility that is to receive
the patient;

(ix) the date and time of transfer; and

(x) the signature of the physician ordering the transfer.

The form for this purpose shall be promulgated by the commissioner and
distributed to all general hospitals in any such city. The completed
form shall be given to the receiving facility upon completion of the
ambulance trip for use by the receiving physician.

* 3. A general hospital within a city with a population of one million
or more may request the emergency medical service of such city's health
and hospitals corporation or any person, firm, organization or
corporation providing ambulance service to divert ambulances to another
hospital only under the following circumstances:

A request for diversion of emergency patients with life threatening
conditions shall only be made by a hospital when acceptance of an
additional critical patient may endanger the life of that patient or the
life of another patient. A request for the diversion of other emergency
patients shall only be made when all appropriate beds are filled and
shall be withdrawn as soon as a bed is available. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, all requests for diversion must be renewed at the beginning
of each tour of duty as designated by the emergency medical service of
such city's health and hospitals corporation.

Diversion of patients with certain medical conditions which, in the
best interest of the patients, require their transport directly to
specialty referral centers shall be permitted following the designation
of such specialty referral centers. Diversion of patients with
psychiatric conditions to comprehensive psychiatric emergency programs,
as such term is defined in section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law, and
subject to the provisions of section 31.27 of such law, shall only be
permitted following the designation of the programs by the commissioners
of health and mental health to receive such patients.

* NB Effective until July 1, 2024

* 3. A general hospital within a city with a population of one million
or more may request the emergency medical service of such city's health
and hospitals corporation or any person, firm, organization or
corporation providing ambulance service to divert ambulances to another
hospital only under the following circumstances:

A request for diversion of emergency patients with life threatening
conditions shall only be made by a hospital when acceptance of an
additional critical patient may endanger the life of that patient or the
life of another patient. A request for the diversion of other emergency
patients shall only be made when all appropriate beds are filled and
shall be withdrawn as soon as a bed is available. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, all requests for diversion must be renewed at the beginning
of each tour of duty as designated by the emergency medical service of
such city's health and hospitals corporation.

Diversion of patients with certain medical conditions which, in the
best interest of the patients, require their transport directly to
specialty referral centers shall be permitted following the designation
of such specialty referral centers.

* NB Effective July 1, 2024

4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny to the attending
physician the right to evaluate the medical needs of persons arriving at
the hospital for emergency treatment and to delay or deny medical
treatment where, in the opinion of the attending physician, no actual
medical emergency exists. However, no person actually in need of
emergency treatment, as determined by the attending physician, shall be
denied such treatment by a general hospital in cities with a population
of one million or more for any reason whatsoever.

5. The staff of a general hospital shall: (a) inquire whether or not
the person admitted has served in the United States armed forces. Such
information shall be listed on the admissions form; (b) notify any
admittee who is a veteran of the possible availability of services at a
hospital operated by the United States veterans health administration,
and, upon request by the admittee, such staff shall make arrangements
for the individual's transfer to a United States veterans health
administration hospital, provided, however, that transfers shall be
authorized only after it has been determined, according to accepted
clinical and medical standards, that the patient's condition has
stabilized and transfer can be accomplished safely and without
complication; and (c) provide any admittee who has served in the United
States armed forces with a copy of the "Information for Veterans
concerning Health Care Options" fact sheet, maintained by the division
of veterans' services pursuant to subdivision twenty-three of section
three hundred fifty-three of the executive law prior to discharging or
transferring the patient. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and
regulations for notifying such admittees of possible available services
and for arranging a requested transfer.