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Infrastructure plan must include investments in hospitals, healthcare

Just as our nation’s roads and bridges have aged, so too have our hospitals and health systems.

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Infrastructure is the talk of the town in D.C. as the Biden administration and Congress negotiate what may ultimately be a massive spending package. Significant investments across a range of industries have the potential to impact Americans’ daily lives in a myriad of ways.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a strong and modern healthcare infrastructure. At the same time, the financial devastation experienced by hospitals during the pandemic has forced numerous healthcare infrastructure projects to stall – many indefinitely. Investment in hospital and healthcare infrastructure must be a priority of our federal government this year.

HANYS recently sent a letter to New York’s congressional delegation urging Congress to push for investments in healthcare infrastructure. Briefly summarized, we call for critically needed action in the following areas:

  • physical infrastructure: New York’s hospitals and health systems are among the finest in the world; however, as a collective group, our hospital buildings are the oldest in the nation. We urge Congress to support substantial federal infrastructure grants to help hospitals and health systems modernize their facilities.
  • preparedness: HANYS urges Congress to increase annual funding for, and consider improvements to, the historically under-funded Hospital Preparedness Program, which assists hospitals in responding to a variety of emergencies. Additionally, the federal government must strengthen the medical supply chain and reinforce strategic national stockpiles of key medical supplies.
  • workforce: The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S.834/H.R.2256), would increase the number of Medicare-supported resident slots in teaching hospitals and help build the healthcare workforce. We urge Congress to pass this legislation and secure additional funding for educational loans and grants to support training for frontline healthcare workers and clinicians.
  • digital infrastructure: Robust access to affordable broadband, expanded telehealth capacity, strengthened national cybersecurity defenses and funding for hospitals, health systems and other providers to modernize their healthcare data infrastructure are critical to making sure New Yorkers have equitable access to the healthcare of the future.

The hospitals and health systems that cared for us during the pandemic need robust investment now to recover and rebuild stronger for the patients and communities that rely on them.

Healthcare is a critical part of a community’s infrastructure. It must be a critical part of this infrastructure package.

Read our April 22 letter to New York’s congressional delegation for more details on each of our recommendations.