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August 14, 2020 News Headlines

HANYS testimony cites COVID-19’s $20-25B fiscal impact on New York hospitals

Wednesday, HANYS President Bea Grause testified before a joint legislative hearing on the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York’s hospitals and their heroic response to this unprecedented challenge.

Ms. Grause’s testimony cited the severe fiscal damage inflicted by the pandemic. A new analysis completed for HANYS by Kaufman, Hall and Associates, LLC, estimates that New York’s hospitals will have suffered between $20 and $25 billion in losses and new expenses through April 2021. In her testimony, Ms. Grause urged legislators to protect healthcare providers from any further cuts at the state level and to continue to support efforts to obtain desperately needed federal relief.

HANYS’ new briefing sheet explores the fiscal crises facing New York’s hospitals and the state; please share this briefing sheet in your advocacy. We encourage you to reference our COVID-19 advocacy materials and contact federal lawmakers directly at protectnyhospitals.org. Contact: James Clancy

Reps. Stefanik, Delgado introduce HANYS-supported bill to protect critical access hospitals

This week, Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) and Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) introduced the Protecting Rural Access to Care Act, HANYS-supported legislation that would protect small and rural hospitals across New York state that are at risk of losing their critical access hospital status due to administrative policy changes made by CMS.

CAH designation allows certain limited-service, acute care facilities with up to 25 beds to receive enhanced Medicare reimbursement rates to ensure access to essential healthcare services in rural communities. In general, CAHs must be located more than 35 miles away from similar hospitals or 15 miles in areas with mountainous terrain or where only secondary roads are available. However, changes implemented by CMS in July 2015 further restrict this mileage criteria, threatening the status of many of New York’s 18 CAHs.

HANYS appreciates the leadership of Reps. Stefanik and Delgado on this important issue and will continue to work closely with New York delegation members, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), to seek passage of this Act.

The bipartisan Protecting Rural Access to Care Act would:

  • restore the pre-2015 standard permanently for CAHs certified prior to 2015, ensuring the rules don’t change as they seek recertification;
  • require CMS to engage in a public notice and comment period for any future guidance or regulation changes made to the designation criteria for CAHs; and
  • ensure that unless any formal update to distance criteria is finalized, hospitals seeking CAH certification or recertification will be subject to the pre-2015 standard.

Contact: Elyse Oveson

MCTAC updates behavioral health billing tool

The Managed Care Technical Assistance Center of New York has updated their billing tool, developed in partnership with the New York State Office of Mental Health and New York state managed care plans. The updates include new details for billing requirements and guidance for fields requiring additional information. Contact: Sarah DuVall

Member Spotlight – St. Peter’s Health Partners facilitates food security

Food insecurity is detrimental to individual and community health, aggravating chronic conditions, increasing risk of emergent illness and compounding the negative effects of health disparities. This year, St. Peter’s Health Partners proudly sponsored a free drive-up food pantry to help address the growing issue of food insecurity in the Capital Region.

Read our full story to learn more about this initiative and its results.

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. 

HANYS Recovery and Preparedness Webinar Series continues

In the HANYS Recovery and Preparedness Webinar Series, national and state experts explore strategies and considerations for the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and readiness for another emerging event. Programs are held Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Additional sessions are held Mondays at the same time, as needed. Upcoming sessions are:

August 17: Moving Telehealth and Digital Care beyond the COVID-19

This session will teach how telehealth solutions – from one-to-many models of care, to digital biomarkers and asynchronous telehealth, chat bots and symptom checkers – can create a fully integrated digital and in-person experience.

August 19: Configuring ICUs in the COVID-19 Era

This session will review the recently released Society for Critical Care Medicines guidance on how to innovate your existing ICU or convert other spaces into an ICU to improve workflow, manage capacity and minimize staff exposure to COVID-19 based on the evolving experiences from more than a dozen hospitals and healthcare professionals on the front line.

August 26: Patient Access to Health Information During COVID-19 — Emerging Innovations and Benefits

This session will focus on the benefits of giving patients easy access to their health information, and explore opportunities surrounding health data interoperability in the context of COVID-19.

Additional sessions are regularly being scheduled. Visit our education page for the latest events and available recordings. 

Upcoming events

HANYS continues to closely monitor the governor’s reopening guidelines and assess how we can continue to best and safely offer our robust educational programming in this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check out our current offerings in our events listing, including our wide array of COVID-19-related webinars aimed at helping our members recover from this unprecedented experience.

Register now for HANYS’ 10th annual Workshop for Executive Assistants to the C-Suite and Board Coordinators. This year, we are offering four virtual programs to help strengthen your professional skills and adjust to new work environments as New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing for a possible second wave.