This Week in Government Affairs
June 15, 2015
- Pharmaceutical services
Legislation was recently introduced in the Senate that would allow non-network pharmacies to circumvent current law and regulation in order to sell medicines to workers’ compensation claimants and then demand payment for sales that were never authorized (S.5783 Martins/ A.7885 Cahill). The bill has already passed in the Assembly. The Business Council opposes this legislation. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
A bill that would require treatment by licensed acupuncturists to be included under the Workers' Compensation Law (A.2462 Bronson) is now on third reading on the Assembly Rules calendar. The legislation, which was vetoed by the governor the last two years, has no current Senate sponsor The Business Council’s memo in opposition can be found here. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Workers’ comp
Legislation introduced last week, which reads as a virtual organized labor wish list (S.5901 Martins/A.8124 Titus), includes provisions that would: allow the continuation of indemnity benefits upon incarceration of claimant; provide compensation for the first seven days of disability if the disability lasts longer than seven days rather than fourteen days; create new regulations on independent medical examinations; create new indemnity considerations based on earning capacity assumptions; presume disability based on the qualification for social security disability benefits; increase SLU awards and remove their indemnity offset; change review for determination of withdrawal from the labor; and permit judges to order forfeiture of business assets upon convictions of fraud. Although The Business Council does not expect action on this bill during the 2015 legislative session, we are monitoring it closely. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- PBM contract appeals process
Legislation that would mandate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to make available to contracted pharmacies access to the proprietary methodology used in determining the maximum allowable cost schedules and mandate a contractual appeals process for contracted pharmacies has passed both houses (S.3346-B Hannon/A.676-C Rosenthal). The Business Council had expressed concerns that the legislation would lead to higher drug prices. The amended bill was a significant improvement over earlier versions. Staff contact :Lev Ginsburg
- Pharmacy mail order options
Legislation that would limit pharmacy mail order options for health insurance purchasers and result in increased pharmaceutical costs passed last week in the Assembly (S.2530 Golden/A.6194 Joyner). The Business Council is working to prevent it from moving out of the Senate Insurance Committee. Click here to view The Business Council’s opposition memo. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Health insurance policy ratings
Legislation that would require any adjustment to a health insurance rate filing made by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to comply with generally accepted actuarial principles and include detailed explanations of the actuarial assumptions and methods used in the agency’s determination (S.4540 Seward/A.7439 Cahill) passed last week in the Senate. The Business Council supports this legislation. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Small group health insurance coverage
A bill that would extend the ability for businesses with 50 to 100 employees who currently purchase stop-loss insurance for health coverage to continue doing so (A.8125 Cahill - Same as A.8134 Seawright) was introduced last week in the Assembly. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Private right of action
Legislation that would allow a private right of action against insurance companies by policyholders alleging unfair claims settlement practices (S.4049-A Lanza. The bill is currently on third reading of the Assembly Rules calendar. The Business Council opposes this legislation.
- SLA authority
Legislation supported by The Business Council clarifying the State Liquor Authority’s enforcement authority (S.4446-A Boyle/A.5920-A Steck) was last week reported out of Assembly Rules. The bill is currently on third reading of the Assembly Rules calendar.
Pursuant to Part BB of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed two new definitions, one for "affordable housing project" and a second for "underutilized.” Click here to view the new definitions. The Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be available in the June 10 issue of the State Register. Written public comments will be accepted by DEC from June 10 through August 5. Additionally, the DEC will hold a hearing to receive public comments on July 29 at 1 p.m. at the New York City Department of Health (1235 Worth Street New York, NY).
- Part 212
The DEC recently finalized 6 NYCRR Part 212. The new rule establishes consistent terminology between Part 212 and the permitting program 6 NYCRR Part 201. It also clarifies the interaction between Part 212 and the federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants program. The new rule will become effective June 14, 2015.
The Business Council issued detailed comments to the DEC back in February regarding the amendments. The Business Council’s comments can be read here. The DEC prepared a series of responses to the comments received, which can be viewed here. The Business Council is the eighth commenter.
- Common Core event
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) is hosting a panel on the Common Core standards and assessments on July 14 from 8 – 10 a.m. at the Microsoft offices in New York City. The event, which is sponsored by the Public Policy Institute and the Committee for Economic Development, will provide the employer community and other stakeholders with crucial information on the state’s new education standards, and include a discussion of the essential role that assessments play in measuring student growth.
The New York State Education Department recently released an RFP for a third round of up to seven partnerships under the New York State P-TECH program. Awards will first be made to the high scoring partnership that meets a minimum scoring threshold on Long Island and in the Southern Tier. Click here to view the RFP.