COVID-19-Related Immunity for Facilities and Providers Clawed Back

August 25, 2020 | Ashley (Osadon) Algazi | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Nursing Homes

Earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill to limit the scope of immunity for healthcare facilities (including nursing homes and hospitals) and healthcare professionals for future non-COVID-19 related services. The bill reversed protections that had been included in a state budget bill at the height of New York’s coronavirus outbreak in late March.

The law continues to protect healthcare facilities and professionals who directly diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients, but has now removed immunity for (i) preventing COVID-19, (ii) arranging for COVID-19 care, and (iii) providing care to an individual for any other non-COVID-19-related reason during the declared emergency.

Healthcare professionals and facilities will not be able to take advantage of the immunity in the case of willful or intentional criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm. However, decisions resulting from resource or staffing shortages will still be covered by immunity under the law.

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