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Governor Cuomo Rolls Back Health Care Provider Protections

On May 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.28 and rolled back many of the protections afforded to health care providers and facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to the pandemic has put health care providers and especially health care facilities like hospitals and nursing homes under tremendous strain, often in unexpected ways. In the early stages of the pandemic, there appeared to be widespread understanding that such strains required some degree of accommodation so that providers and facilities could focus on pandemic response and patient care.


Such accommodation manifested initially in the form of Executive Order 202.10 issued on March 23, 2020, that among other things temporarily suspended parts of the New York Education Law to the extent necessary to render physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals immune from civil liability for injury or death resulting from unintentional acts or omissions during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak. Executive Order 202.10 also relaxed the recordkeeping requirements applicable to health care providers to permit those providers to focus on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Section 415.22 of the Department of Health’s regulations mandating that nursing homes maintain certain clinical records and section 405.10 of the Department of Health’s regulations requiring hospitals to maintain certain medical records were also both relaxed by Executive Order 202.10.


With Executive Order 202.28, all those protections have been revoked effective May 8, 2020. The epidemic and the state and federal response to it continue to challenge health care facilities and providers and sap facility resources. Now providers and facilities are also losing what few accommodations and protections were afforded to them. Despite this, facilities faced with legal claims related to conduct during the March 23 through May 7, 2020 time period should still be able to rely on Executive Order 202.10 for some degree of immunity.


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This Legal Briefing is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or counsel. The substance of this Legal Briefing is not intended to cover all legal issues or developments regarding the matter discussed. Please consult an attorney to ascertain how the applicable law may relate to you or your business. © 2020 Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC

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