Medical Society Alarmed As Bill Threatens Patient Access To Care From Harlem To Hollis

June 2, 2023

By Paul A. Pipia, MD,

“New York physicians are deeply concerned about the Assembly’s passage of bill (A.6698/S.6636) that would harm access to quality health care for patients, particularly in underserved communities.

As New York is already regularly ranked as one of the worst states in the country to be a physician due to its overwhelming costs associated with delivering medical care here, this single bill will drive countless physicians to other states.  It will also make it much harder for hospitals to recruit talented physicians to come to New York State to deliver patient care.

“Earlier this year, Governor Hochul vetoed a bill (S74A) passed by the legislature that would have greatly expanded damages awardable in wrongful death actions and dramatically increased liability insurance premiums. As noted in the Governor’s veto message, it would have greatly exacerbated the already significant challenges being faced by our community healthcare safety net providers and make it even harder for our patients to access the care they need.  


…this legislation does not address the concerns raised by physicians, hospitals, municipalities, businesses, and others … it would also dramatically increase (by 40%) our already staggeringly high liability premiums.

“Therefore, there is great alarm in the healthcare community that the New York State Assembly again passed the substantially same bill, which is also on the floor of the State Senate. Unfortunately, this legislation does not address the concerns raised by physicians, hospitals, municipalities, businesses, and others that contributed to the Governor’s veto, as it would also dramatically increase (by 40%) our already staggeringly high liability premiums. These untenable increases prompted by this new legislation would have the same drastic adverse impact on our healthcare system and patient access to care as the vetoed bill would have.

“New York’s physicians stand ready to work with the Senate, Assembly, and Governor on a revised bill to ensure legal remedies for grieving families. However, such a revised bill also must protect the ability of New York’s physicians, hospitals, and healthcare workers to deliver the care our patients expect and deserve. Physicians and other health care providers cannot deliver quality care if the legislature increases their enormous liability insurance cost burden, which already exceeds every other state in the country. Importantly, the impact of these new additional costs will be disproportionately felt by patients in underserved communities which are already financially stressed.


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“We urge our policymakers to go back to the drawing board to address this issue comprehensively, and not enact one-sided measures that will further damage our already distressed healthcare system.”

Medical Society of the State of New York

Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents, and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all. 

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