SARANAC LAKE —
’LEGISLATION NOT NEEDED’
In Albany, Sen. Betty Little spokesman Dan Mac Entee said their office had discussed the option of part-time hospital hours with State Health Department officials.
“Our understanding is the Department of Health has indicated that legislation isn’t needed for this change in hours,” Mac Entee told the Press-Republican on Friday.
“The creation or operation of a part-time emergency room could be done so administratively (by the hospital board) and does not require legislation to change the law.
Doing so, he said, “would be something more than the urgent care clinic could provide.”
Little (R-Queensbury) had offered a bill in June to let Adirondack Health limit hours of operation specifically at its Lake Placid hospital. It passed the Senate with one dissenting vote.
But the bill never made it to the Assembly floor, as lawmakers ran out of time in the end of the 2013 session.
Randall said he understands that Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah has authority in hospital requests for such changes in operations.
“I’ve been told that the Department of Health and the commissioner of health have continued to review the legislation with the thought that the commissioner could intervene and grant permission to do that.
“I understood that Senator Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec were working on that prospect. It looks to me that perhaps that process is moving forward.”
Mac Entee did not know if the legislation, meant as a pilot project for hospitals statewide, would be taken up again next year.
“We won’t be back until January,” he said. “This issue itself wouldn’t be done until next year.”
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