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Enclosed is this newsletter:
  • 2019 New York Legislative Recap
  • Supporting the Chapter's SurgeonPAC
  • Surgical Specific Issues (At-a-Glance) Addressed this Year
  • House of Medicine Highlights and Achievements
Legislative and Regulatory Updates

2019 New York Legislative Session Has Concluded

The New York State Legislature has concluded its 2019 Legislative Session.  This was certainly one of the most memorable in recent years given the range of issues addressed following the democratic power-shifting election. There were 935 bills that passed both houses and the Governor has signed 50 thus far into law.

Thank You

The New York Chapter wishes to thank our members who took the time to make phone calls, write emails and personally meet with legislators on this year's advocacy program.  Fellows responded to calls to action in support of vehicle safety and in opposition to trial lawyer supported malpractice legislation.

Be advised that we may be calling you to action during the summer to help secure vetoes from the Governor addressing the proliferation of e-scooters, e-bikes and unbalanced medical liability reforms.

Every interaction matters and we will continue to address the surgical community's concerns in the coming year.

Amplifying Your Voice

The ACS New York Chapter was particularly active working to add the surgeon voice to the major legislative debates on issues including access to care, single payer health care, tobacco purchase, recreational marijuana in addition to many other bills. A comprehensive list of legislation is below.

We encourage you to reach out to your legislators and continue to build a relationship off session. 

You can schedule a meeting, or even something as informal as coffee, with your legislator to thank them for their efforts and offer to help them as an expert on health care related issues.


Did you know? You can also contribute to the Chapter's SURGEONPAC which supports candidates who understand the current and long-term challenges that surgeons face when practicing in New York.

Click here to submit your voluntary donation online


2019 Advocacy Day

The NY Chapter in partnership with the ACS Brooklyn-Long Island Chapter hosted a lobby day at the capitol building in April that included a Stop the Bleed training for legislators and their staff in addition to meetings with Senate and Assembly leadership and legislators.

Fellows returned to the state house in May to be present for the passage of resolutions in the Assembly and Senate commemorating May as Stop the Bleed Month (pictured above).

The NY Chapter also submitted written memorandums on passage of Tobacco 21, funding for Stop the Bleed, Reductions in Prior Authorization Hassles, Medical Liability Reforms, Opposition to Inappropriate Scope of Practice Expansions and opposition to the institution of a New York Health single payer proposal.

Pictures from this year's adovacy day and stop the bleed event

Working with the Medical Society of the State of New York, our specialty partners and interested stakeholders, together we were able to achieve the following:

Surgical Specific Issues
  • Passage of legislation to reduce insurer prior authorization (PA) requirements when a PA for a related procedure has already been received
  • Passage Tobacco 21 raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor e-cigarettes to 21 years of age
  • Activated grassroots to support legislation to require individuals 16 and older to wear seat belt while as a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle. (Did not advance)
  • Defeat of inappropriate scope expansions by podiatrists, chiropractors, physical therapists, physician assistants, naturopaths, optometrists and estheticians
  • Defeat of efforts to impose a single payer health system in NY
  • Defeat of several mandates related to opioid prescribing that would have imposed even more requirements on physicians prior to prescribing opioids
Highlights on the behalf of the House of Medicine
  • Enactment of legislation which ensures that medical contraindications are the only acceptable exception to vaccine requirements
  • Establishment of a New York state and city maternal mortality review board
  • Advancement of efforts to license athletic trainers
  • Legislation that curtails health insurers making mid-year changes to their prescription formularies; or increasing patient cost sharing
  • Defeat of legislation which would have legalized adult use marijuana, as well as proposals that would have significantly expanded the medical marijuana program.  Instead legislation was enacted that provides further “decriminalization” of small amounts of marijuana
  • Defeat of the authorization of retail health clinic

Defeat of numerous trial lawyer backed bills that would have:

  • Exponentially expanded awardable damages in wrongful death lawsuit;
  • Prohibited a defendant physician’s defense counsel from interviewing a medical malpractice plaintiff’s treating physician; and
  • Permitted the admissibility of certain “hearsay” statements of employees in civil actions. 

It should be noted that the Legislature did pass a couple of smaller measures opposed many groups that will affect certain cases involving multiple defendants and where an adverse judgment has been reached.
Copyright © 2019 New York Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, All rights reserved.

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