Cuomo signs bill repealing COVID-19 liability

protections for health care providers

April 7, 2021

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo signed legislation repealing the liability protections afforded to certain healthcare providers last year.  As we communicated when the provision was enacted Lat March, SUD providers were never protected under the legislation whereas MH providers were.  At our request, OASAS looked into it but it was never clear why this was so.  With this latest development, neither tMH or SUD providers are protected, effective immediately.

Subject: Cuomo signs bill repealing Covid-19 liability protections for health care providers
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Cuomo signs bill repealing Covid-19 liability protections for health care providers
By Shannon Young, Politico
04/07/2021 10:36 AM EDT

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Tuesday that repeals liability protections granted to health care facilities — including nursing homes — at the beginning of the pandemic.

Key context: The governor, who has come under fire for his handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes, endorsed the bill, NY A3397 (21R) NY S5177 (21R), as state lawmakers debated a series of budget measures.

The legislation — which lawmakers sought in the wake of thousands of Covid-19 deaths recorded at nursing homes during the pandemic — immediately ends liability protections for health care facilities and professionals who treat individuals with Covid-19 “under conditions resulting from circumstances associated with the public health emergency.”Lawmakers previously approved a measure last July to narrow its scope.

Background: The provision was included in last year’s state budget, which passed as Covid-19 first began spreading in New York. Supporters have argued the protections shielded health care providers as they faced the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19. But critics say it has harmed patients.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill in late March, weeks after it cleared the Assembly passed by a margin of 149-1.