New York Passes New Law to Allow Outpatient Clinics and ASCs to Provide Off-Site ServicesJanuary 24, 2017 |
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has signed a new legislation that may pave the way for outpatient clinics and diagnostic and treatment centers, which includes ambulatory surgery centers (“ASCs”), to provide primary care services to their patients off-site under limited circumstances. The new law, codified in the Public Health Law § 2803(11), requires that the New York Commissioner of Health, Howard A. Zucker, allow outpatient clinics and diagnostic and treatment centers to provide off-site primary care services when the following conditions are met:
- the services are not “home care services,” as defined in Public Health Law § 3602(1) to include any services provided by a home care services agency, a nursing home or a home health aide or any other personal care or housekeeper services;
- the services are provided by a primary care provider and the patient receiving the services has a pre-existing relationship with such provider or the outpatient clinic or diagnostic and treatment center through which the services are provided; and
- the patient is unable to leave his or her residence without unreasonable difficulty to receive the services on-site at the outpatient clinic or diagnostic and treatment center.
The new law is intended to increase access to care for patients who are temporarily or permanently homebound due to a chronic illness or condition. So long as the above conditions are met, patients that are homebound, including those in adult care and nursing homes, will not have to be transported by ambulance to receive primary care from an outpatient clinic or diagnostic and treatment center.
The law becomes effective on April 1, 2017. Thereafter, the Commissioner and the New York Department of Health will need to pass a new regulation that will expressly authorize outpatient clinics and diagnostic and treatment centers to provide such off-site primary care services. The Department of Health has yet to release any additional guidance as to how such off-site services may affect billing guidelines for outpatient clinics and diagnostic and treatment centers or whether the Department of Health will impose any other restrictions on the provision of such off-site services in addition to those listed above.