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New York Loosens Health Care Regulations, Offers Civil Liability Immunity in Response to Coronavirus

Key Takeaways:

  • NY Executive Order 202.10 relaxes various rules pertaining  to  the health care industry and provides immunity from civil liability claims

  • Notable exceptions from the immunity measure include long-term care companies and home health aides

  • It remains unclear exactly how this order will impact claims and curtail liability for these providers in future malpractice litigation

On March 23, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order significantly relaxing various rules and regulations pertaining to the delivery of health care services in the state.

The order, No. 202.10, lessens requirements regarding medical records and documentation. It also provides immunity to some health providers as follows:

All physicians, physician assistants, specialist assistants, nurse practitioners, licensed registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses shall be immune from civil liability for any injury or death alleged to have been sustained directly as a result of an act or omission by such medical professional in the course of providing medical services in support of the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, unless it is established that such injury or death was caused by the gross negligence of such medical professional.

Although this is a very positive development for health care providers, It remains to be seen how impactful this Executive Order will be in eliminating or curtailing liability for these providers in future malpractice litigation.

Note also that the order does not grant blanket immunity to all health care organizations or professionals employed in the industry. Among the notably excluded organizations and professionals are long-term care and assisted-living facilities as well as home health aides.

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