December 21, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Improve Healthcare Services

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Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Improve Healthcare Services
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Legislation S.2119/A.228 Relates to Source Plasma Centers

Legislation S.4377/A.6222 Requires Nursing Homes to Offer Translation of Patients’ Rights and Requires Display of Contact Information for New York’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Legislation S.3543/A.3050 Relates to Workforce Development

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a legislative package aimed toward improving healthcare services. Legislation S.2119/A.228 authorizes the collection of source plasma at source plasma donation centers. Legislation S.4377/A.6222 requires nursing homes to offer the translation of patients’ rights into the most common non-English languages and mandates display of contact information for New York State’s Long-term Ombudsman Program. Legislation S.3543/A.3050 relates to workforce development by requiring certain professionals to provide, and the State Education Department to collect, information about the practice of their professions.

“After the unprecedented strain the pandemic placed on our healthcare system, it is crucial that we take steps to ensure we are better prepared in the future,” Governor Hochul said. “This legislation will allow New York to have a stronger response to future crises, and I am proud to sign these bills into law to expand access to healthcare and enhance services for all New Yorkers.”  

Legislation S.2119/A.228 authorizes the collection of source plasma at source plasma donation centers that comply with federal law, allowing for more centers to open statewide. Plasma is a vital resource in treating disease and this legislation expands access for donation.

Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “We need to ensure our laws keep up with advancements in medicine and streamlining how plasma donation centers are authorized to operate in New York State will do just that by helping more New Yorkers get access to this effective treatment while maintaining high standards of care. I want to thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law, and for continuing to work to improve our healthcare system to make it more accessible to New Yorkers." 

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried said, "Source plasma collection is the critical first step in creating therapies for patients with bleeding disorders, auto-immune disorders, and other life-threatening conditions. This bill will facilitate increased donation through a more appropriate, efficient regulatory system for source plasma centers. I commend Governor Hochul, Senate bill sponsor Gustavo Rivera, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for their assistance turning this bill into law."

Legislation S.4377/A.6222 requires the translation of patients’ rights into the most common non-English languages in nursing homes and mandates display of contact information for New York State’s Long-term Ombudsman Program. This program was established as part of the Older Americans Act and advocates for residents by investigating complaints made.

Senator Rachel May said, “Older New Yorkers and their families need to have access to information on many topics in order to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones. This bill will make critical information on the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, as well as the Residents' Bill of Rights, more widely and easily accessible. I am proud to have sponsored this bill and am very happy to have the Governor sign it into law. New York State must continue to do all it can to better support our growing aging population.”

Assemblymember Monica Wallace said, “Ombudsman in long-term care facilities act as resident advocates, ensuring residents are being cared for properly and are being treated with dignity. In order for ombudsman to be effective, residents need to know what they do and how to contact them. This law requires nursing homes and long-term care facilities to post information on the ombudsman program in every resident’s room and provide translation into other common languages, so that patients and their families know whom to contact for assistance. I thank Governor Hochul for her commitment to improving our long-term care system and supporting New York seniors."

Legislation S.3543/A.3050 requires certain professionals to provide, and the State Education Department to collect, information about the practice of their professions in order to expand data on New York’s healthcare workforce. This legislation will provide a more accurate view of workforce demands in New York State.

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many disparities in our state’s healthcare system. By collecting and analyzing this information, the Department of Health will be better informed as to which communities are in the greatest need of critical services, so they can address those needs accordingly. This law will help ensure all New Yorkers have equal opportunity to access the healthcare services they need.” 

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a gap in New York’s knowledge of how licensed healthcare professionals practice. This legislation gives the state Department of Health information about how different practitioners and specialists employ their licenses, in order to better address shortages found within New York’s healthcare workforce, as well as respond swiftly to future emerging public health threats. Thank you to Governor Hochul for signing this common-sense legislation into law and to Senator Stavisky for her advocacy in the Senate.”

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