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April 3, 2020 News Headlines

Update on COVID-19 response

HANYS continues to be inspired by the work of our members and their healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are working around the clock to support their efforts.  

State response                         

Gov. Cuomo announced a new hospital network Central Coordinating Team this week that “will help facilitate a more coordinated and strategic approach among the state's healthcare system in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.” HANYS is a member of this team and is actively involved in coordination efforts related to capacity, supplies, staffing and patient transfers. While government agencies are determining allocation of specific supplies, HANYS continues to make specific inquiries on behalf of members experiencing delays in accessing urgently needed equipment and supplies.

HANYS was pleased to see the final state budget include language we advocated for that protects healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, and healthcare professionals from liability that may result from the treatment of individuals during the period of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, which is currently set to expire Sept. 7.

Federal response

This week, HANYS sent a letter to HHS Secretary Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma urging them to directly fund hospitals and health systems with resources allocated through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund as outlined by the CARES Act and to consider the urgent, critical needs of New York’s hospitals. As the spread of the virus continues rapidly across the state, it is absolutely essential that New York’s hospitals receive an immediate influx of funding to ensure their capacity to care for patients before, during and after the COVID-19 surge. We thank Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for speaking to our members this week and for his demands for the swift distribution of critically needed federal funding to New York hospitals.

In response to requests by HANYS, on Monday, CMS announced new waivers and flexibilities, including extensions and delays of reporting requirements to help healthcare providers meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. HANYS appreciates that CMS took our concerns into consideration in issuing these delays/suspensions during the public health emergency period. However, we still have concerns because not all reviews/audits were delayed. HANYS will continue to work with its national and regional partners and the New York congressional delegation to ensure that our members are not stretched beyond their capacity dealing with the current audits and reviews during this public health emergency.

Resources and updates

Please see our COVID-19 Member Updates for our latest news and notifications. We continue to post resources for our members on our COVID-19 webpage. Please reach out to HANYS if you have any questions, need assistance or would like to make us aware of issues you are facing to inform our work with policymakers.


Legislature passes SFY 2020-2021 budget

This week, the legislature passed and Gov. Cuomo signed into law a $177-billion budget for state fiscal year 2020-2021. The final budget includes key initiatives, such as common-sense managed care reforms and liability protections for healthcare facilities and professionals involved in the COVID-19 response.

The budget also includes significant funding reductions, which are especially challenging at a time when health systems, hospitals and continuing care providers face unprecedented fiscal pressures resulting from your tremendous emergency response efforts.

The budget provides the executive with extensive authority to modify this final budget as result of the extraordinary fiscal pressures and economic uncertainties associated with the state’s response to COVID-19. This includes authority to make across-the-board reductions with limited exceptions at different points throughout the year to ensure the budget remains in balance if the state’s economic situation declines. The budget also grants the executive authority to delay implementation of many of the healthcare-related provisions in recognition of the significant fiscal challenges facing the healthcare system.

HANYS will provide a more in-depth analysis of the healthcare-related provisions in the coming days. We will continue to stay highly engaged with both federal and state policymakers to press for critically needed federal fiscal relief and for a state budget implementation strategy that mitigates the negative impacts of funding reductions on healthcare providers. Contact: Amy Nickson 


April is National Donate Life Month

April is National Donate Life Month, a month-long event featuring local, regional and national activities to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved and improved lives through the gift of donation.

 

HANYS supports Donate Life New York State to help save lives with an awareness campaign to increase participation in the New York State Donate Life Registry, thereby promoting a “donation-friendly New York.” New York has the third highest demand for organs in the country, yet has among the lowest registry participation.

 

For more information about organ, eye and tissue donation, visit Donate Life NYS’s website, call (518) 326-3237 or email communications@dlnys.org. Contact: Kristen Phillips


HANYS cancels 2020 Annual Membership Conference

After careful consideration and in consultation with members, HANYS has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 HANYS Annual Membership Conference, which was scheduled to be held June 17-19 in Buffalo.

This decision follows the cancelation and postponement of many other HANYS events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we do not know whether the pandemic will have subsided by mid-June, we do know that even if it does, our members will be focused on recovering from this crisis. We believe we can best serve our members by continuing to provide support through this difficult time and in the aftermath.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this cancelation might cause. Please direct any questions about HANYS events to learning@hanys.org.