A new provision of Public Health Law Article 28 will address the primary healthcare needs of patients who are no longer able to travel to receive care. The law, which takes effect on March 28, 2017, will allow hospital outpatient clinics and diagnostic treatment centers (D&Ts) to provide off-site primary care services that are ordinarily provided by the clinic or D&T. These off-site primary care services may only be provided to patients:
- with a pre-existing clinical relationship with the clinic or D&T; and
- who are unable to leave their residence without unreasonable difficulty to receive services at the clinic or D&T.
These services cannot be services such as nutritional services, homemaker services or any other home care services as defined in PHL 3602(1).
Patients who are unable to travel to see their physicians may be lost to follow-up and are at risk for a change in condition going unnoticed or untreated. With this new provision, physicians will be able to provide continuity of care for these patients, which in turn, may prevent hospitalizations, reduce readmissions and reduce potential liability exposures.