Publish Date: April 13, 2016
Starting in June, first assistant services performed by a RNFA in New York will be reimbursed by private payers, regardless of whether the RNFA is hospital-employed, physician-employed or self-employed.
In December 2015, New York Governor Cuomo signed S1233A, which requires private payers to reimburse RNFAs when they perform first assistant services. S1233A and A1241, the companion bill in the Assembly, passed both chambers unanimously in June 2015. However, when the bill was delivered to the Governor for signature, the Governor’s Counsel had concerns with the language and the Governor was considering vetoing the bill. It is important to note there was not concern with the intent of the legislation – to provide reimbursement parity for RNFAs in New York.
AORN members and the nursing community sent hundreds of letters to the Governor’s office encouraging him to sign the bill. After many meetings and conversations with the Governor’s Counsel, the Department of Financial Services, the bill sponsors, and many other stakeholders, AORN and Senator Little were able to persuade Governor Cuomo to sign S1233A with the understanding that during the 2016 legislative session, there would be a chapter amendment, which would make technical corrections to the legislation. On December 11, 2015, the Governor signed S1233A and issued an approval memo stating his office’s concerns.
In early January, bills making technical changes to new RNFA reimbursement law were introduced. On April 8, the Governor signed S6392A. The technical changes do not impact the intent of the 2015 legislation or the implementation of the new law. In fact, most the changes just rephrase what was stated. The most substantial technical change that the chapter amendment makes is that the law is now silent on worker’s compensation. It is not uncommon for states that require RNFA reimbursement to not address worker’s compensation in the RNFA reimbursement law.
If you are interested in pursuing legislation in your state requiring RNFA reimbursement, please contact Danielle Glover, Government Affairs Manager.