On March 4, 2021, the New York Assembly passed a bill that would strip health care facilities and professionals of their legal immunity.
As we previously reported, New York State passed the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act (EDTPA), codified as Public Health Law Article 30-D, which protected workers and their employers from liability involving treatment of COVID-19 patients or residents as part of the budget in April 2020. With the passage of Assembly Bill 03397, Article 30-D is repealed with the intent of holding health care facilities, administrators, and executives accountable for harm and damages incurred.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Kim, is not retroactive, but its effective date will be immediately upon passage. If the bill is passed in the Senate and signed into law, then nursing homes and other health care facilities, as well as their administrators and owners, could be criminally prosecuted and held liable for negative outcomes involving the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients.
Significantly, the bill is part of a package of reform legislation that the New York Legislature intends to pass to improve safety and quality of life for nursing home residents. This is a developing story that will significantly impact long-term care facility owners and operators and their insurance carriers. We will continue to monitor and report on future developments in this regard.
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