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January 7, 2011 News Headlines

Governor Outlines Agenda; HANYS and Members to Serve on Medicaid Redesign Team

In his first State of the State Address, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his agenda for the coming year. Facing a projected $9 billion to $10 billion deficit this year and tens of billions of dollars in deficits in upcoming years, the Governor discussed transforming New York’s economy, state and local government, and the budget process, and enacting an emergency fiscal plan that includes a state spending cap that would limit spending growth to the rate of inflation.  T

The Governor outlined plans to redesign and restructure the Medicaid program to achieve long-term efficiencies and focus on services that improve health outcomes. He emphasized the need to improve care coordination for high-cost populations that account for the majority of spending.   

The Governor created a Medicaid Redesign Team charged with “reducing costs through program redesign rather than traditional rate or formula reimbursement changes.” New York State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson will serve as the Team’s executive director and the state Budget Director will serve as a non-voting member.

The Governor provided the following list of Team members:

  • Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties
  • Karen A. Ballard, President, New York State Nurses Association
  • Stephen Berger, former Chairman, Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century
  • Frank Branchini, President and Chief Operating Officer, EmblemHealth
  • Max Chmura, Acting Commissioner, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • Michael J. Dowling, President and Chief Executive Officer, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
  • Senator Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan), former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health
  • Eli Feldman, President and Chief Operating Officer, Metropolitan Jewish Health System, and Chairman of the Continuing Care Leadership Coalition
  • Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor of New York City for Health and Human Services
  • Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R-Olean); currently sits on the Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse Task Force
  • Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, nominated Commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
  • Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan), Chairman, Assembly Committee on Health
  • George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
  • Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Westbury), former Chairman of the Senate Committees on Health and Housing
  • Michael Hogan, Ph.D., Commissioner, Office of Mental Health
  • James Introne, Deputy Secretary for Health and Director of Healthcare Redesign
  • Lara Kassel, Coordinator, Medicaid Matters New York
  • Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City
  • Ann F. Monroe, President, Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York
  • Carol Raphael, President and Chief Executive Officer, Visiting Nurse Service of New York
  • Kenneth E. Raske, President, Greater New York Hospital Association
  • Dennis Rivera, Senior Advisor to the International President, SEIU
  • Jeffrey A. Sachs, Ph.D., Co-Chair, JFK Jr. Institute for Work Education at City University of New York
  • Daniel Sisto, President, HANYS
  • Nirav Shah, M.D., M.P.H., nominated Commissioner of Health
  • William Streck, M.D., Chair, New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council
  • Elizabeth Swain, Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Care Association of New York State

More details on the Governor’s restructuring proposals will be provided in his first Executive Budget proposal, which will be released by February 1. HANYS’ Task Force on Improving New York State’s Medicaid Program issued detailed recommendations for restructuring Medicaid and addressing high-cost populations.

We all understand New York is facing a very difficult financial challenge and we are encouraged by the Governor’s willingness to work with HANYS and other Medicaid stakeholders,” said HANYS President Daniel Sisto in a press statement. “We agree that a fundamental restructuring of the program is overdue and that better coordination of care for individuals with complex needs can produce both savings and better care.” Contact: Nicholas Henley

 


HANYS Teams Up With Press Ganey to Improve Patient Satisfaction

HANYS and Press Ganey Associates, Inc., developed a three-part Webconference series for members on specific ways to improve patient satisfaction. Hospitals across New York are committed to patient satisfaction and have implemented many innovative programs aimed at ensuring patients have a pleasant hospital stay. Improving patient satisfaction is becoming even more important because the federal government will use Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores this year to help determine hospitals’ Medicare reimbursement levels.   Hospitals that do not demonstrate improvement in patient satisfaction scores will receive less Medicare reimbursement.  The Press Ganey Webconferences will focus on ways to improve hospital HCAHPS scores. 

The Webconferences will cover identifying underlying causes of patient dissatisfaction, areas needing improvement, implementation strategies, and best practices.  Press Ganey will provide actionable and field-proven solutions to move patient satisfaction to the next level.

Registration for the Press Ganey Webconference series is available online.

The one-hour Webconferences will be held on the following dates, each starting at 10 a.m.:

  • Tuesday, February 15—Education and tools to identify underlying causes of poor performance.  Presenter: Deidre Mylod, Vice President, Improvement Services, Press Ganey
  • Tuesday, March 15—Step-by-step education on how to implement best practices. Presenter: Deborah Paller, M.B.A., R.R.T., Senior Vice President, Strategic Consulting and Education Services
  • Tuesday, April 12—Best practices from hospitals that have improved their performance in areas that directly relate to HCAHPS.  Presenter: Deborah Paller

Press Ganey works with more than 10,000 health care organizations, including more than 41% of U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve their quality of care. Contact: Rachel Hajos


HANYS’ Survey Shows Worsening Physician Shortage

HANYS’ new report, Help Wanted: New York’s Physician Shortage Continues to Worsen, shows persistent physician shortages, with a projected need for 1,000 physicians reported by 74% of hospitals outside of New York City. The report, which provides the results of HANYS’ 2010 member survey regarding physician shortages, was developed in collaboration with Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association, and Western New York Healthcare Association. The report corroborates studies by the State University of New York Center for Health Workforce Studies and American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The survey found:

  • sixty-nine percent of responding hospitals experienced times when their emergency department was not covered for certain specialty services, and patients were forced to travel to other hospitals, often long distances, to receive needed care, an increase of 50% from the previous year;
  • thirty-three percent have had to reduce and/or eliminate specialty services at their hospitals because they are unable to recruit physicians; and
  • nearly 1,600 physicians retired or left their communities in 2009 

Adding to the alarm of the findings is New York’s aging physician population. According to AAMC, New York ranks second in the number of physicians over age 60. The average age of physicians in New York State is 52, and 16% are over the age of 65.

HANYS will work to address the physician shortage on many fronts this year. In addition to advocating for additional funding for the Doctors Across New York program, HANYS will advocate to increase telemedicine opportunities across the state by removing regulatory barriers and address reimbursement issues. Further, HANYS will work to explore opportunities for both nurse practitioners and physician assistants to serve in communities needing physicians. Contact: Sherry Chorost


HANYS Seeks 2011 Community Health Award Nominations

HANYS issued its 2011 call for nominations for its annual Community Health Improvement Award.  HANYS presents this award to a health care provider that demonstrates leadership by collaborating with local organizations to improve the health and well-being of their community. Nominations should reflect programs that have been in existence at least one yearlong enough to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative outcomes and sustainability.

A panel of community health experts will judge award submissions on relevance to the community, extent of collaboration with community groups, ability to demonstrate health improvement in the community, and ability to demonstrate sustainability of the initiative. The nomination deadline is March 14. Contact: Sue Ellen Wagner

 


Prepare for the New SPARCS Outpatient Data Collection Requirements

HANYS Solutions will hold a Webconference on Wednesday, January 12, at 10 a.m. on the newly expanded Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) outpatient collection requirements. SPARCS is expanding its data collection requirements to include outpatient visits to hospitals and freestanding diagnostic and treatment centers licensed under Article 28. SPARCS will implement the expansion in phases.

This complimentary, one-hour program will cover: 

  • history of the DOH initiative to expand outpatient data collection;
  • the phase one data collection process;
  • which outpatient visits will qualify under the expanded definition;
  • specifications for expanded data collection;
  • how outpatient data editing will be handled; and
  • additional phases likely to be implemented.

Contact: Eric Niehaus