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March 2, 2016

Healthcare Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Protect Access to Care

Legislators Called on to Fully Fund Any Minimum Wage Increase, Establish a Guaranty Fund, Add Much-Needed New Capital Dollars in Budget

ALBANY, N.Y. — More than 300 hospital and health system leaders from across New York State called on lawmakers to address the urgent need for capital funding, fully fund any minimum wage increase, establish a guaranty fund to address unpaid Health Republic claims and future insolvencies, and release $3.4 billion in previously promised healthcare funds.

As part of the Healthcare Association of New York State’s (HANYS) annual Healthcare Advocacy Day, in meetings with legislative leaders and local elected officials, hospital representatives explained how current policies are affecting their patients and organizations—and urged legislators to enact investments and oppose reductions in their one-house budgets.

“New York’s hospitals and health systems need the state to invest in the healthcare system to ensure continued access to care in every community,” said HANYS President Dennis Whalen. “The proposed budget did not address the significant financial challenges our providers are facing as they lead innovation and transform care to create the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow.”

New York’s average statewide hospital operating margin is the second worst in the country and far below the national average—and our healthcare facilities are the sixth oldest in the nation.

Despite these difficulties, every year New York’s hospitals provide quality healthcare to 53 million outpatients, 8.5 million emergency room patients, and 2.2 million inpatients. As cornerstone to their local economies, hospitals statewide generate $138 billion in economic activity and 777,000 jobs. Regional information is available online.

HANYS and its members also urged the Legislature to reject budget proposals that cut and redistribute previously dedicated healthcare capital funds, prevent cuts to the excess medical malpractice program, invest in Doctors Across New York, preserve and expand safety net funding, support requiring future nurses to obtain a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing degree, and oppose harmful proposals such as piecemeal medical malpractice proposals and arbitrary statewide nurse staffing ratios.

Today’s advocacy efforts were in partnership with Healthcare Trustees of New York State and HANYS’ allied associations.

Questions?

Melissa Mansfield
Associate Director, Public and Media Relations
(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 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other healthcare organizations.