On December 23, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed Assembly Bill Number 8472 entitled “An Act To Amend The Public Health Law, In Relation To The Establishment, Incorporation, Construction, Or Increase In Capacity Of For-Profit Hospice” (the Act). The Act was intended to prohibit the approval, incorporation, or construction of for-profit hospices and would have also prevented any existing for-profit hospices from increasing capacity. The Act would have gone into effect immediately had it not been vetoed.
In her veto memorandum Governor Hochul explained that, while the rationale for the Act is to protect New Yorkers from fraud and abuse in the for-profit industry, there are only two for-profit hospices operating in New York and the Department of Health has not found any issues with fraud or quality of care at either.
Governor Hochul further asserted that hospice services provide care for aging individuals and those with disabilities and data suggests that, in comparison to other states, hospice care is underutilized in New York, which strains other areas of the state’s health care system. Governor Hochul concludes her veto memorandum by noting that she will direct the Master Plan for Aging Council to assess the services offered by for-profit hospices and to provide a recommendation for their continued need.