On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the New York Senate unanimously passed legislation that repeals protections for nursing homes and hospitals against liability for COVID-19 malpractice lawsuits. The bill had previously passed the New York State Assembly.
As we discussed in previous Life Science Matters posts, New York’s “Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act” went into effect with the New York budget in April 2020. In August 2020, we also reported that the state passed legislation to roll back legal immunity to hospitals and nursing homes.
The Treatment Protection Act repeals the extra protections against liability that were granted to nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care facilities for treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. It mandates nursing homes to provide a prominent display informing residents of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and requires the Department of Health to publish a patient bill of rights in the six most common non-English languages spoken in New York. It also reforms the review process for change of ownership or operations proposals filed with the Public Health and Health Planning Council, which is intended to add transparency regarding the ownership and operation of nursing homes.
We will continue to report on this issue as further developments may lead to increased litigation for nursing home and health care facilities related to the care and treatment of patients during the pandemic.
For more information or for immediate guidance, contact: