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June 7, 2019 News Headlines

State legislative activity update

The following bills of interest to HANYS and our members have passed both houses of the state Legislature over the last two weeks:

  • Offering plant-based food options in hospitals – requires hospitals to offer patients a plant-based food option as an alternative to every meal or snack offered in food service; requires the plant-based food option to be offered at no additional cost to the patient beyond what would be charged for a comparable non-plant-based food option; and requires all of the hospitals’ written material describing food offerings to include the availability of a plant-based food option. This bill does not apply to patient nutritional support products, such as infant formula and nutritional modulars. A.4072-A (Gottfried)/S.1471-A (Hoylman)
  • Removal of prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted treatment – requires commercial health insurers to provide immediate coverage, without prior authorization requirements, for all buprenorphine products, methadone or long-acting injectable naltrexone for the detoxification or maintenance treatment of a substance use disorder. A.2904 (Quart)/S.4808 (Harckham)
  • Doctors Across New York Workgroup – requires DOH to appoint a workgroup, including associations representing physicians, general hospitals and other healthcare facilities, to evaluate the current DANY grant application process. The workgroup will assess the impact of the switch from DOH administering DANY grants to the New York State Grants Gateway on the number of individual applicants versus institutional applicants in underserved areas. The workgroup’s findings would include the level of accessibility and fairness for individual applicants and would be reported by March 31, 2020. A.5425 (Gottfried)/S.4269 (Rivera)
  • Nursing home patient rights and responsibilities statement – requires every nursing home’s patient rights and responsibilities statement to include the nursing home’s policy regarding the granting of physician privileges to residents. A.407 (Cahill)/ S.4583 (Sanders)

Throughout the final weeks of the state legislative session, HANYS will continue to provide updates on bills of interest that have passed both houses. Bills that pass both houses of the Legislature must go to the governor for his approval or veto.

Should you have questions on the information provided or any other legislative activity or issue, please contact our State Government Affairs team: Amy Nickson, vice president, governmental affairs; Katie Gordon, director, research and legislation; and Scott Janke, director, governmental affairs.

House Committee considers how to address Medicaid DSH cuts

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health this week held a hearing on how to address key healthcare “extenders” under the Committee’s jurisdiction, including the impending Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts that will take effect Oct. 1, absent congressional action. HANYS appreciates the continued leadership of Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx), who discussed during the hearing his legislation to eliminate the Medicaid DSH reductions.

Given the critical role Medicaid DSH dollars play in protecting access to care in vulnerable communities, there is strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for averting the scheduled reductions. Still, some members of Congress are advocating for reforms to the way in which Medicaid DSH funds are distributed. Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said in his opening statement, “Let me be clear, Republicans have never supported the DSH cuts and worked successfully to prevent them, but we should not surrender our ability to reform and modernize the program to ensure that funding is directed to those that need it.”

Last month, over 300 members of the House, including nearly the entire New York delegation, signed onto a HANYS-supported letter led by Reps. Engel and Pete Olson (R-TX) that calls for a clean two-year delay of the DSH cuts. Unless Congress takes action, New York's hospitals and health systems will be subject to $7 billion in cuts over 10 years starting on Oct. 1. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Community Health Spotlight – Mercy Hospital of Buffalo emphasizes heart health

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. Treating heart disease through early intervention and promoting ideal health behaviors such as nonsmoking, lowering body mass index, physical activity and healthy diet while identifying risk factors and health disparities can prevent the onset of heart disease and reduce avoidable healthcare costs and admissions. In 2018, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo began the Heart Smart for Life program to improve heart health in its community.

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.

Make your final plans for Saratoga

HANYS’ 2019 Annual Membership Conference is less than two weeks away!

This year’s conference agenda includes keynotes by top industry leaders as well as panel discussions and presentations covering digital transformation, the changing workforce, targeted clinical improvements, improving the care experience, social media, value-based payment and more.

Online registration is closed; contact learning@hanys.org or call 518.431.7867 to register. We look forward to seeing you in Saratoga!

NCQA annual reporting education program to take place at HANYS July 23

NCQA will host PCMH Recognition Annual Reporting: Succeeding through Continued Transformation at HANYS' offices in Rensselaer on Tuesday, July 23.

This program has been designed to help PCMH practices understand the larger goals of annual reporting and prepare for submission under the redesigned Patient-Centered Medical Home program, with details included on New York state-specific requirements. An examination of the annual reporting requirements will be discussed, including expectations for those transitioning from 2014 recognition as well as those achieving recognition under the 2017 requirements.

HANYS Solutions’ Practice Advancement Strategies staff will attend as well to discuss NYS PCMH and annual reporting questions.

Information and registration details are available online. Contact: Lindsay Milchteim