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May 8, 2012

HANYS Calls on State to Reform Regulations that Hinder Health Care Innovation

ALBANY, N.Y. – In its new report, Still Tangled Up in Rules, the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) calls on New York State to make common-sense regulatory improvements that will advance greater efficiencies and better care demanded by health care reform.

"State and federal initiatives require health care providers to be more efficient and innovative, yet out-dated state regulations hinder reform," said HANYS President Daniel Sisto. "While we have been successful in advancing some significant changes, Still Tangled Up in Rules shows the critical areas where much more needs to be done in order for New York State to become an incubator for innovation and a leader in health care."

In the report, HANYS recommends the creation of firm deadlines for oversight agencies to respond to Certificate of Need (CON) proposals, enabling the Department of Health to accept independent expert certification for "pre-opening" surveys of new construction, and modifying the state's patient observation rules to align with Medicare regulations.

For example, inflexible rules covering patient observation services are different for Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurers, creating uncertainty about how the varying rules apply. HANYS recommends the state observation services requirements for Medicaid to be the same as those for federal Medicare.

Also, currently registered nurses must have one year of clinical experience before he or she can work in an emergency department, which deviates significantly from the national standard. Conforming to the proven approach of a mentoring and training program within an emergency department would provide the experience needed to ensure good nursing care, but is prohibited by current New York State regulations.

Still Tangled Up in Rules also calls for increased flexibility in allowing doctors employed by hospitals to make house calls or nursing home visits to longtime patients, and maximizing limited practitioner resources through the use of telemedicine. HANYS also recommends the state establish a multi-agency workgroup to identify duplicative or inconsistent regulations among state and federal oversight agencies and work to standardize these rules.

This report builds upon 2009's Tangled Up in Rules, which helped HANYS advance significant regulatory reform into law.

Questions?

William Van Slyke - (518) 431-7770

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 500 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.

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