Three pieces of health legislation, sponsored by state Senator James Sanders, Jr. were recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The measures are related to improving nursing home care, tackling the opioid epidemic and clarifying the definition of palliative care.
Bill S4583 requires nursing homes to provide potential residents with their policy of granting physician privileges prior to the execution of a residency agreement.
“Potential nursing homes have a right to know which physicians will be available to provide care prior to signing a residency agreement,” Sanders said. “Many individuals enter nursing homes having pre-existing relationships with doctors in their community. Whether or not those physicians already have or have the opportunity to be granted privileges may play an important role in choosing a nursing facility.”
Bill S4650 requires the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to provide quarterly reports on the status and outcomes of various initiatives to address the heroin and opioid epidemic.
“The more we understand this epidemic, the better prepared we will be to address the negative impacts it has on our city, state and nation,” Sanders said. “The only way to tell if the methods we are currently using are working, and working well, is to periodically evaluate them.”
And Bill S482 relates to conforming the definition of palliative care under hospice provisions to be the same under the public health provisions. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This bill will add a definition for and update other references to palliative care in the hospice law.
“This type of care is very important because it aims to provide the relief of symptoms associated with serious illnesses, including managing the stress associated with them,” Sanders said. “By clarifying the current law, this legislation will aim to improve the quality of life for both patients and their families.”