Senator Gallivan Announces New Public Health Laws for 2024

Jim Ranney

January 2, 2024

Health care

New health care laws

Legislation to Address Staffing Shortages in Nursing Homes & Residential Care Facilities Among Bills Signed Into Law

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) says a package of bills aimed at protecting and improving public health has been signed into law.  As the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Health Committee, Senator Gallivan voted in favor of the six bills and co-sponsored two of them, including legislation to ensure state-regulated health plans cover biomarker testing for patients and a bill to help address staffing shortages in nursing homes and other residential health care facilities.

“New Yorkers deserve access to quality health care and these new laws will help improve health outcomes across the state,” Senator Gallivan said. “By expanding access to life-saving medical tests and treatment, addressing staffing shortages among those who care for our most vulnerable residents, providing administrative relief to local health departments and other measures, we can improve New York’s public health system.”

The bills signed into law by Governor Hochul include: 

S.1196-A – Co-sponsored by Senator Gallivan, it requires state-regulated insurance plans, including Medicaid, to cover biomarker testing for diagnosis, treatment, appropriate management, or ongoing monitoring of a patient’s disease or condition when the test is supported by medical and scientific evidence. 

S.6897 – Co-sponsored by Senator Gallivan, it will help address the staffing challenges associated with the pandemic that have resulted in an increase in the use of temporary agency staff throughout health care, including in nursing homes. The legislation will establish a four-year demonstration project to reduce the use of temporary staffing agencies in residential health care facilities by incentivizing a reduction in the use of temporary agency staff and better focus resources on full-time staff continuity. 

S.6641-A - Allows local health departments to provide "light touch" core public health services in the home without being subjected to all the requirements of a licensed home care services agency.

S.6521 - Re-establishes the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Assistance Program to reimburse the cost of providing health care or health insurance to eligible individuals who have cystic fibrosis.

S.5890-A - Authorizes life insurers to establish wellness programs in conjunction with the issuance of life insurance policies to ensure full or partial reimbursement for the cost of a device and associated subscription that can be used to track activity or biometric data and discounts on life insurance and on products or services intended to incent positive behavioral changes.  

S.7211 - Improves the reporting and resolution of issues at residential care facilities by establishing regular communication between long-term care ombudsmen who receive complaints and the investigators of those complaints.

The Senate and Assembly passed the bills as part of the 2023 legislative session and the governor recently signed them into law.



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