On October 7, 2020, Gov. Cuomo signed into law a new requirement that all physicians post a sign in their office directing patients to the New York Office for Professional Medical Conduct (OMPC) for information about their rights and instructions for reporting professional misconduct. 

New York Public Health Law Sec. 203 (11) has a new paragraph (h) that states in part:

"All physicians' practice settings shall conspicuously post signage, visible to their patients, directing such patients to the office of professional medical conduct's website for information about their rights and how to report professional misconduct."

The same new paragraph (h) also requires that the OPMC website now include, "information on patients' rights and reporting options under this subdivision regarding professional misconduct, which shall specifically include information on reporting instances of misconduct involving sexual harassment and assault."

The law states, "all physicians' practice settings" but does not further define whether this means all settings in which a physician is practicing medicine, or is limited to office settings where a physician's practice is located. 

The law states the posted signage must be "conspicuously" posted such that it is "visible to all patients," but does not offer any additional guidance on where in a setting it is to be located.  

The law does not state exactly what language will be deemed compliant, only that it direct patients to the OPMC website, "for information about their rights and how to report professional misconduct."

It is anticipated that violations of this section shall not result in financial penalty but instead, when shown to be a "willful or grossly negligent" failure to comply, physicians shall be subject to OPMC discipline. 

The Medical Society for the State of New York (MSSNY) has consistently opposed this requirement. While encouraging public awareness on how to file a complaint, MSSNY does not support a requirement that signage be conspicuously posted in every physician practice setting, noting among other points, that it singles out physicians, as opposed to any other health professionals, adds anxiety and distrust to the physician-patient relationship, and discourages respect for physicians and the life-supporting work that they do.