Effective immediately, health care facilities that implement and maintain safe patient handling programs will receive Workers’ Compensation insurance premium credits. The requirement comes from an emergency regulation the New York State Department of Financial Services published this morning. Regulation 119 appeared in today’s issue of theNew York State Register, the official publication of all state rule-making activity. Insurers, agents and brokers who write Workers’ Comp policies for health care risks need to be aware of these new rules.
The rules implement part of the 2014 state budget that requires health care facilities to establish safe patient handling programs by Jan. 1, 2017. It required the NYSDFS to issue regulations allowing facilities that implement these programs to obtain reduced Workers’ Comp premiums.
The credit is available to:
- General hospitals
- Residential health care facilities
- Diagnostic and treatment centers
- Health care service facilities operating on State University of New York campuses, operated by the state Office of Children and Family Services, and operating in state prisons
- In-patient services of psychiatric centers and residential facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities
The safe patient handling program must include:
- Implementation of a safe patient handling policy
- Patient handling hazards assessments
- Processes for identifying appropriate use of the policy
- Ongoing employee training; processes for incident investigation and review
- Annual performance evaluations of the programs
- Consideration of patient handling when constructing or remodeling facilities
- Processes to allow employees to refuse to perform patient handling tasks that they believe will endanger patients
Insurers must verify that a facility has implemented a program meeting these requirements before providing the credit. The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (or the National Council on Compensation Insurance, for multistate risks with New York locations) must file the amount of the credit and the way it will be applied. The NYCIRB’s web site does not currently show a bulletin announcing the credit. The NYCIRB and NCCI must report specific information annually to the DFS about policies receiving the credit.
The emergency rule expires on Nov. 27, 2016.