Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

October 20, 2020



What is this new OPMC requirement? When does this go into effect?

Dr. E


The law, signed on October 7, 2020, took effective immediately, and amended Section 230 of the Public Health Law by adding a S. (h)

section 230 of the public health  law is
     2  amended by adding a new paragraph (h) to read as follows:
     3    (h)  The  office  of  professional  medical  conduct shall post on its
     4  website information on patients' rights and reporting options under this
     5  subdivision regarding professional misconduct, which shall  specifically
     6  include information on reporting instances of misconduct involving sexu-
     7  al  harassment  and  assault.    All physicians' practice settings shall
     8  conspicuously post signage, visible to their  patients,  directing  such
     9  patients  to  the  office  of professional medical conduct's website for
    10  information about their rights and how to  report  professional  miscon-
    11  duct.

accessible here. 

At a minimum, the law requires Physician Practices post the following in a CONSPICUOUS place - 

"For information about your rights as a patient of our practice and how to report professional misconduct, visit”

Why? (from the Bill Text)

To give patients greater access to information on how to report sexual
misconduct committed by doctors to the Office of Professional Medical
Patients place a great deal of trust in their doctors, and when doctors
abuse that trust and subject them to sexual violence it can be an
incredibly shocking and traumatizing experience. Marissa Hoechstetter, a
survivor who was sexually assaulted by her doctor during her pregnancy,
delivery and postpartum care, recently testified to the legislature on
how difficult it is for patients who have experienced these violations
to navigate the reporting system.  The website for the Office of Profes-
sional Medical Conduct offers no guidance on these issues and never
explicitly mentions their role in receiving complaints of sexual harass-
ment and assault by medical professionals. Because often the first step
a victim feels safe in taking is to privately look online for informa-
tion, it is essential this website is updated to provide clear, direct
information about their rights and reporting options. This legislation
will help ensure patients who have experienced sexual abuse in medical
settings can easily access the information they need on how to report to
the Office of Professional Medical Conduct.