Provided by: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
October 20, 2020
What is this new OPMC requirement? When does this go into effect?
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.
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 https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct.”
Why? (from the Bill Text)
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To give patients greater access to information on how to report sexual misconduct committed by doctors to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. JUSTIFICATION: 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.