NEWS: New version of Lyme bill being considered by NY State Senate
A new version of a bill to protect doctors who treat Lyme patients has been put forth by the New York State Senate. Activists who have been working on the legislation say, “This new bill is a step in the right direction and it is to our benefit to press for its passage at this time.” They urge New Yorkers to ask senators to approve it.
A message from the New York State Coalition on Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases:
A new bill, S7854, has been introduce by Senator Kemp Hannon and co-sponsored by all of the members of the NYS Senate Lyme Disease Task Force.
The bill is now before the Senate Standing Committee on Rules. Senator Dean G. Skelos is the Chair. Rules is the committee where bills that are introduced at the last days before session ends are sent. We have been told that bills which make it out of this committee are usually passed unanimously by the Senate.
The Senate Standing Committee on Rules:
The members of the NYS Coalition on Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases believe that this new bill is a step in the right direction and it is to our benefit to press for its passage at this time.
Please contact Senators Hannon, Skelos, Klein and the all the members of the Senate Lyme Disease Task Force to thank them and ask them to get Bill # S7854 to the floor for a vote ASAP, so it can pass this session.
Senate Leader & Rules Chair
Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases
ON FILE: 06/14/14Public Health Law
Prohibits the investigation of any claim of medical professional misconduct based solely on treatment that is not universally accepted by the medical profession
Prohibits the investigation of any claim of medical professional misconduct based solely on treatment that is not universally accepted by the medical profession.
June 14, 2014
2 new subdivision 9-b to read as follows:
3 9-b. Neither the board for professional medical conduct nor the office
4 of professional medical conduct shall identify, charge, or cause a
5 report made to the director of such office to be investigated based
6 solely upon the recommendation or provision of a treatment modality by a
7 licensee that is not universally accepted by the medical profession,
8 including but not limited to, varying modalities used in the treatment
9 of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. As used in this subdivi-
10 sion the term “licensee” shall mean a physician, physician’s assistant,
11 and specialist’s assistant. When a licensee, acting in accordance with
12 paragraph e of subdivision four of section sixty-five hundred twenty-
13 seven of the education law, recommends or provides a treatment modality
14 that effectively treats human disease, pain, injury, deformity or phys-
15 ical condition, the recommendation or provision of that modality shall
16 not, by itself, constitute professional misconduct. This prohibition
17 shall not exonerate such licensee from otherwise applicable professional
19 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
NEW YORK STATE SENATE
INTRODUCER’S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI. Sec 1
BILL NUMBER: S7854
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to the identification, charging, reporting and investigation of charges of professional misconduct by health care professionals
PURPOSE: To ensure that the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) shall not identify, investigate, or charge a practitioner based solely on their recommendation or provision of a treatment modality that is currently not universally accepted by the medical community.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends Section 230 of the public health law by adding a new subdivision 9-b to ensure that neither the board for professional medical conduct nor the office of professional medical conduct shall identify, charge, or cause a report made to the director of such office to be investigated based solely upon the recommendation or provision of a treatment modality by a licensee that is not universally accepted by the medical profession, including but not limited to, varying modalities used in the treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Section two of the bill provides for an immediate effective date.
In New York State, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) is charged with ensuring that appropriate medical care is given to all New York residents, through the investigation and prosecution of professional misconduct by physicians, physician assistants and specialist assistants. Because the medical profession is one that continually evolves with scientific breakthroughs, it is important that the OPMC maintains a flexible, case-specific, investigations policy – particularly where new treatments and acceptance by the medical community do not align.
This has been relevant to concerns raised regarding the investigation of alternative medical treatment of Lyme and tick-borne disease with modalities not universally accepted by the medical community. As the debate surrounding acceptable protocols continues, it is important that the State takes a treatment-neutral approach where possible in order to ensure that medical professionals remain the discerning voice in defining appropriate medical care. To that end, recognizing that the determination of appropriate diagnosis and treatment on a case-by-case basis is a responsibility solely held by a medical professional, it is also critical to ensure that bodies such as the OPMC do not inadvertently endorse or preclude innovative treatments with rules that may dissuade medical professionals from pursuing new methods.
In a memo dated June 15, 2005, the Director of the Office of Professional Medical Conduct “memorialized and endorse(d)” these very principles. The memo, circulated to the staff members of the OPMC advised that so long as a treatment modality effectively treats a medical condition,within certain specifications, its recommendation or provision cannot, by itself, constitute professional misconduct. Thus, the determination of effective and appropriate treatment remains in the hands of the proper entity, the medical professional. As such, this legislation codifies the existing policy of the OPMC to clarify that the OPMC shall not identify, investigate, or charge a practitioner based solely on their recommendation or provision of a treatment modality that is currently not universally accepted by the medical community
No fiscal implications.
This act shall take effect immediately.