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New York's RNFA reimbursement bill passes one chamber

Publish Date: 7/1/2014

The bill would require private payers in New York to provide reimbursement for registered nurse first assistants certified in operating room nursing for surgical first assistant services if the insurance policy otherwise provides reimbursement for surgical first assistant services. It moved quickly at the end of New York’s legislative session. Assembly bill 2753, which was introduced in 2013 and then spent many months in the Assembly Insurance and Ways and Means committees, was referred to the Rules Committee, passed the Assembly, and then was referred to the Rules Committee in the Senate late at night on June 19, 2014 – the night before recess. 

AORN members worked quickly to influence key lawmakers in Albany, and AORN sent an action alert to New York members urging them to contact the Senator Skelos, Senate Rules Chair, with a request to put the bill on the agenda. Unfortunately, the RNFA reimbursement bill was not added to the Rules agenda, so it did not have the chance to make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Senate bill 3056, the Assembly companion bill, never made it out of the Finance Committee.

While the RNFA reimbursement bill did not pass this session, the Assembly bill made it further than it ever has. This provides hope for the 2015-16 legislative session. AORN Government Affairs is currently working with New York members and legislative coordinators, Pat Gussey and Marlene Craden, on a strategy for the next session.  New York members who are interested in getting involved in next year’s efforts should contact Danielle Glover in AORN’s Government Affairs Department. 

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