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October 18, 2019 News Headlines

HANYS weighs-in with CBO on surprise billing; Members speak on national panel

As part of our ongoing efforts to shape federal legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills, HANYS met this week with the Congressional Budget Office and key members of the New York congressional delegation to address the agency’s assumptions on the budgetary impact of New York’s surprise billing framework. While no official score on the 2015 “New York model” has been released by the CBO, committees of jurisdiction have asked the agency to project possible budget impacts should legislation be developed that reflects New York’s 2015 law. Reports have surfaced that, unofficially, the CBO estimates it could cost the federal government tens of billions of dollars if a similar model is implemented at the national level.

HANYS was pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the data that show the positive impact the 2015 law has had on consumers and providers. HANYS will continue to advocate for surprise billing laws that effectively protect patients and do not set a benchmark rate or include other policies that would undermine hospitals. HANYS thanks Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit) for their leadership at yesterday’s meeting and continued partnership, as well as the partnership of our colleagues at the Greater New York Hospital Association who were also at the meeting.

Earlier this week, hospital leaders were on Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to protect patients from surprise medical bills during a briefing hosted by the American Hospital Association. HANYS member Richard Miller, executive vice president and chief business strategy officer at Northwell Health, discussed the positive actions hospitals and health systems have taken to hold patients harmless and cautioned about the unintended consequences of certain proposals, like those that would set a federal benchmark rate for surprise medical bills. HANYS thanks Mr. Miller and all of our members for their continued engagement on this important issue. Contact: Cristina Batt

Federal courts block implementation of public charge rule

A federal judge from the Southern District of New York last week blocked implementation of the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, finding that the administration’s rule oversteps the reasonable interpretation of the law and was not instituted through proper procedure. The ruling overlaps with similar findings in two other federal courts that were also issued last week. 

HANYS urged DHS not to finalize the rule, arguing that the changes would have profound negative consequences for individuals, New York’s hospitals and health systems and the communities they serve. HANYS commends the court on its decision and will continue to fight against this rule as the legal process unfolds.

Under existing immigration law and guidance, certain individuals who are deemed likely to become primarily dependent on the government for financial support (a “public charge”) can be denied admission to the United States or the ability to become a lawful permanent resident.

The rule finalized by the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year was set to take effect Oct. 15 and would have made significant changes to the standard DHS uses to make public charge determinations, expanding the types of benefits considered as part of a public charge determination, and applying the new standard to additional populations. In doing so, the proposed rule would have influenced the use of certain crucial benefits, including Medicaid. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Expert faculty to present at HANYS' Quality Residency Program

HANYS' Quality Residency Program will feature five 90-minute virtual sessions by expert faculty from New York state academic medical centers and health systems, including NYU Langone, Northwell, NYC Health + Hospitals, Strong Memorial Hospital and Saratoga Hospital. These virtual sessions, taking place December 2019 through March 2020, will provide a deep dive into critical topics such as:

  • building a culture of safety;
  • implementing a quality program;
  • driving improvement;
  • using data effectively; and
  • communicating efforts and successes to stakeholders.

The Quality Residency Program kicks off with an in-person session at HANYS in Rensselaer on Nov. 14, and will culminate with an in-person capstone event in Tarrytown on March 31, 2020.

This program is designed for quality staff, frontline caregivers, middle managers, leaders, physicians and other providers. Continuing education credits will be available.

 The cost of the program is $700 per person. Space is limited — register now to secure your seat. Online registration closes Oct. 31.

 Visit our website for complete program details. Contact: Kathy Rauch

Member Spotlight – Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center targets MRSA infection

Prevention and control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection is a crucial challenge of infection prevention as MRSA is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections, particularly in critically ill patients. In 2017, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Health Center, recognizing that hospital-acquired MRSA is a major cause of illness and death in the hospital population, began an initiative to reduce the infection among their patients.

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' Member Spotlight website that demonstrate how New York healthcare providers are investing in forward-looking initiatives that improve care quality and health outcomes.