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February 26, 2021 News Headlines

HANYS advocates for member priorities in budget hearing

“While it is never a good time to cut state support for healthcare, this year it would be devastating. Medicaid already reimburses providers at a level that is less than the cost of providing care. Further deterioration of that support — especially as we work to end and recover from the pandemic — would worsen an already fragile safety net system and put patients at risk.” Read HANYS President Bea Grause’s full state budget hearing testimony.

House poised to advance COVID-19 relief package

House and Senate Democrats are pressing forward with the budget reconciliation process — a legislative tool that will allow Democrats to advance their COVID-19 relief package with a simple majority. The package largely reflects the framework laid out in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

In its current form, the bill includes $350 billion for state and local funding, a top HANYS priority. Of the $350 billion state stabilization pool, New York would receive $23.3 billion, with $12.6 billion flowing directly to the state and the remainder to localities, including $4 billion to New York City.

The bill also includes $46 billion for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, $14 billion for COVID-19 vaccines, premium assistance for COBRA and grants for rural health providers to help bolster their efforts to address COVID-19.

What’s next?

Lawmakers are eyeing the March 14 expiration of unemployment benefits as the deadline to ensure the emerging bill is signed into law.

While the reconciliation process will circumvent the threat of a Republican filibuster in the Senate, the slim Democratic majority will give key senators on the margins of their caucus significant influence over the final outcome of the package. Further, the parliamentary process in the Senate will require close scrutiny of all provisions to determine they are eligible for inclusion.

HANYS will continue to seek every opportunity to secure additional hospital and health system priorities as outlined in our recent letter to the New York congressional delegation. Our ongoing efforts are in close partnership with the American Hospital Association and our other advocacy partners in Washington, including Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D) and the entire New York delegation. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Last chance: Register now for Advocacy Days

Register now and join us March 2-3 for our virtual Healthcare Advocacy Days.

Our shared and persistent advocacy is crucial as the state faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit and, without federal aid, New York’s Medicaid program could see significant cuts. We face many other significant dangers in this state budget and legislative cycle — such as the threat of mandatory nurse staffing ratios. We need to collectively advocate in a unified voice to protect healthcare and advance our proactive agenda in Albany.

Join us, and make your voice heard! Contact: Allison Manny

State legislative activity update

To date, Gov. Cuomo has approved 57 bills in 2021. There are seven bills that have passed both houses and are awaiting delivery to the governor.

Over the past two weeks, the following bills of interest to HANYS and our members were signed into law:

  • Information on Pre-term Labor and Delivery Complications (Chapter 66 of 2021) better aligns state law with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, clarifying that the informational leaflet on pre-term labor must be provided to maternity patients at the time of pre-booking and further delays the effective date of the bill. This new law will take effect on Dec. 22, provided that the provision requiring hospitals to update their protocols for the management of emergency medical conditions related to pregnancy for expectant mothers takes effect June 20. 
  • Public Health Planning Council Member Reduction (Chapter 42 of 2021) reduces the number of PHHPC appointees from 26 back to the current membership of 24, while maintaining one additional healthcare consumer advocate appointee, effective immediately.  

The following legislation is awaiting delivery to the governor:

  • Nursing Home Star Ratings requires nursing homes to post their most recent CMS quality rating to their website and in a conspicuous location visible to residents and the general public. The bill also directs DOH to post the CMS rating for every New York nursing home on its website. A.2037 (Dinowitz) / S.553 (Sanders)

For questions on the above or any other legislative activity or issues, please contact our state governmental affairs team: Amy Nickson, vice president, governmental affairs; Katie Gordon, director, research and legislation; Scott Janke, director, state governmental affairs.

CDC health alert

The CDC is providing new information about and guidance for treatment of extensively drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi infections, some of which have been found among U.S. residents without international travel. Contact: Maria Sacco

Member Spotlight: White Plains Hospital eases effects of community violence

Stop the Bleed is a national public awareness campaign that was launched by the White House in 2015 with the goal of improving victim survival rates following mass shootings and other intentional acts of violence. In 2018, White Plains Hospital formalized an STB training program to help create safer communities and provide individuals with the skills needed to potentially save a life during an emergency.

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.

Upcoming events

March 2-3: 2021 Healthcare Advocacy Days

March 9: Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Patients Amid and Beyond COVID-19

March 17: MSSNY – Physician Wellness and Peer to Peer Program

March 19: HANYS Government Relations Update

See all of HANYS’ current offerings in our events listing