Committee on Legislation

A description of the committee and its mission –

The mission of the NYSPA Committee on Legislation is to review and provide advice and recommendation to the Area II Council and other NYSPA Committees, as deemed appropriate, on proposed legislation, regulations, and other State-initiated public policies that affect the practice of the profession and the well-being of the patients we serve.

A description of accomplishments over the last year or so

In the past year, the Committee on Legislation, assisted by NYSPA’s Government Relations and Central Office staff, counts among its accomplishment the following:

  • Successfully opposed legislation granting nurse practitioners the authority to voluntarily or involuntarily admit a mentally ill individual to hospital as well as legislation authorizing nurse practitioners to practice without a written practice agreement with a physician of the same specialty;
  • Successfully opposed several onerous scope of practice bills, including legislation authorizing mental health practitioners (mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychoanalysts and creative arts therapists) to diagnosis of mental illness;
  • Successfully opposed legislation that threatened the corporate practice of medicine doctrine to allow psychologists and non-psychiatrist physicians to go into business with each other as well as legislation authorizing licensed clinical social workers and mental health practitioners to form a limited liability company or partnership;
  • Successfully opposed unprecedented legislation that would have taken the definition of autism from DSM-IV and codified it into the Mental Hygiene Law, while offering amendments that would have ensured individuals would not lose access to services or insurance coverage.
  • Preserved prescriber prevails for antipsychotics in Medicaid Managed Care and expanded it to antidepressants as well;
  • Initiated legislation amending the New York SAFE Act’s mental health reporting requirement;
  • Pursued legislation to protect physicians employed by a hospital from liability should the hospital become insolvent or file for bankruptcy  and lack tail coverage for its employed physicians;
  • Maintained the funding and eligibility requirements for the Excess Medical Malpractice program; and,
  • Secured the re-appropriation of legislative grant ($165,000) to support NYSPA’s Veterans’ Mental Health – Primary Care Initiative, which will be conducted in conjunction with MSSNY.

The year ahead also promises to be a challenging one as the I-STOP rolls on; Medicaid Redesign efforts continue; New York’s health insurance exchange/marketplace (New York State of Health) becomes fully operational, and the Office of Mental Health’s Regional Centers of Excellence Plan is scrutinized by the Legislature. The Committee will continue to be engaged in all matters left pending from 2013, as well as anticipated legislation:  

  • Granting psychologists prescribing privileges;
  • Prohibiting conversion therapy for individuals under the age of 18;

In the past, Committee on Legislation played a key role leading to the passage of New York State’s mental health parity law (Timothy’s Law) and many other positive reforms to ensure access and quality mental health treatment/services. 

  • A proposed agenda for the October meeting 

Area II Council Fall Meeting
LaGuardia Marriott Hotel
Elmhurst, New York
Saturday, October 26, 2013 

Committee On Legislation


 I.      Call to Order — 9:30 A.M.

 II.     Chairman’s Report — Barry Perlman, M.D.  

         ♦ Appointment of Ann Sullivan, M.D., as OMH Commissioner
         ♦ Implementation of Prescriber Prevails in Medicaid Managed Care

III.     Government Relations Advocate’s Report — Mr. Richard Gallo

         ♦ 2013-14 NYS Enacted Budget
         ♦ Recap of 2013 Legislative Session
               NYSPA Initiated Amendments to SAFE Act (Mental Health Reporting Requirement)
               Scope of Practice Bills
               Corporate Practice Bills
          ♦ OMH’s Regional Center of Excellence Plan 

          ♦ I-STOP Implementation

          ♦ 2014 Legislative Session Priorities/Issues
sychology Prescribing Privileges
               Conversion Therapy Bill (A.6983/S.4917)
               Hospital Bankruptcy/Physician Liability
               Raise the Age (of Criminal Responsibility to 18) Bill (S.4489-A/A.7553-A)

          ♦ NYSPA Veterans’ Mental Health – Primary Care Initiative 

          ♦ NY State ofHealth, theOfficial Health Plan Market Place

 IV.        District Branch Reports

 V.           New Business