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May 31, 2019 News Headlines

Single payer: HANYS asserts opposition to New York Health Act

In testimony submitted for a joint legislative hearing of the Senate and Assembly health committees Tuesday, May 28, HANYS President Bea Grause expressed HANYS’ opposition to the New York Health Act (S.3577/A.5248), which would establish a single payer system in New York.

Our testimony stated that while we support the goal of universal coverage, we oppose passage of NYHA because of concerns about how a state-based single payer system would be funded, how hospitals and doctors would be paid and the effect such a system would have on healthcare innovation.

"Implementing the New York Health Act without first understanding the reasons for healthcare spending growth and second having sound strategies to manage costs would be a grave mistake."

HANYS emphasized our serious concerns that under this bill, provider reimbursement across the state would be reduced, which could lead to financial instability, reduced services and constrained access to care. Instead, we urged lawmakers to build on the great progress we have made in partnership with the state in transforming the healthcare system to achieve the Triple Aim.

"Rather than a quick fix, consumers and taxpayers would benefit from a bipartisan, long-term approach that manages cost growth over time, takes advantage of technology and innovation and strives to continuously find more effective and efficient ways to deliver high-quality care to all who need it." Contact: Jim Clancy

HANYS testifies on challenges facing rural healthcare providers

Today, Friday, May 31, Jim Clancy, HANYS senior vice president, state policy, testified on behalf of HANYS before the Assembly Committee on Health about the challenges facing rural healthcare.

Our testimony highlighted the critical roles rural hospitals, nursing homes and health systems play in their communities and the challenging environment they face, as well as HANYS’ state agenda on rural health issues.

HANYS joined other rural health stakeholders in highlighting the many challenges of serving the patients who live in, work in or visit New York’s rural communities. Nationally, rural hospitals are on the brink of survival, with researchers at the University of North Carolina documenting 106 rural hospital closures since 2010. Rural hospitals are challenged by inadequate payments for the care they provide, challenging demographics and workforce shortages, including those impacting hospital partners, such as emergency medical services agencies.

In our testimony, HANYS pointed out the critical role of rural hospitals, often serving as the only providers of primary care, behavioral health services and dental care in their communities.

HANYS will continue to advocate for payment adequacy, workforce support, telemedicine expansion and regulatory flexibility for our rural members. Contact: Karen Rauch

Community Health Spotlight – NYC Health + Hospitals adapts treatment to meet needs of homeless patients

Homeless populations face numerous barriers to receiving quality healthcare. New York City has the largest homeless population in the country. In 2018, NYC Health + Hospitals began an initiative to help identify and better address the health needs of the city’s homeless population.

To learn more about this initiative and its results, read our full story.

This story is just one of the many initiatives profiled on HANYS' Community Health Spotlight website that demonstrate how New York healthcare providers are improving population health, addressing regional health disparities and delivering valuable benefits to local communities.

New York’s age-friendly policies initiative wins award; Attend our upcoming age-friendly panel

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced recently that the National Network of Public Health Institutes has recognized New York’s Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly NY Initiative with its 2019 Public Health Innovation Award. This award is given to an organization that “has taken a risk or developed an out-of-the-box solution resulting in new approaches, scalable ideas and ways of working together.”

“New York State leads the nation in implementing positive healthy aging policies, and this award recognizes our bold commitment to public health and older New Yorkers,” Gov. Cuomo said. “By creating livable communities for all ages, we are addressing health needs while promoting economic prosperity and social equity.”

HANYS will host a panel discussion, New Developments and Strategies for Being Age-friendly, on Thursday, June 20, at our 2019 Annual Membership Conference. This session will review what goes into making a health system age-friendly to people who are aging. Panel speakers will include Mark L. Kissinger, special advisor to the commissioner of health, New York State Department of Health Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management, Greg Olsen, acting director, New York State Office for the Aging, and Amy Rottger, RN, BS, senior staff assistant, TCU director, Upstate University Hospital.

HANYS members are encouraged to attend; please register online by June 5. Contact: Courtney Burke