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March 5, 2021 News Headlines

Healthcare workers urge 2021-2022 state budget to protect and invest in healthcare

It’s never a good time to cut state support for healthcare. This year it would be devastating. In our new video, doctors and nurses from across the state share their frontline experiences from the pandemic and explain why cuts to healthcare at this time would be harmful to the recovery and rebuilding needed ahead.

Learn more about proposed healthcare cuts and HANYS’ 2021-2022 state budget priorities in HANYS President Bea Grause’s latest blog post.

Healthcare Advocacy Days: HANYS and members urge action on key priorities

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Healthcare Advocacy Days. We successfully delivered our message in a unified voice during virtual sessions and member meetings with legislators.

This week, participants heard from key legislative leaders including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) and the chairs of the Senate and Assembly health and insurance committees.

The legislative leaders expressed their sincere thanks and recognition for the efforts of hospitals, nursing homes and our frontline healthcare workforce over the past year. They voiced concerns about and opposition to reductions in healthcare funding, particularly while providers are still operating under an unprecedented public health emergency. They also provided valuable insights on the issues currently consuming the attention of Albany and the Legislature, in addition to their thoughts on HANYS’ priorities.

HANYS members are encouraged to help build on the success of this event by continuing their advocacy in the days and weeks ahead. Contact: Amy Nickson

House committee examines future of telehealth

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health this week lauded advancements in telehealth during a hearing on Tuesday.

Committee members on both sides of the aisle praised the benefits of telehealth realized during the pandemic but cautioned that careful consideration of current waivers is needed before making them permanent.

Key concerns include equitable access, infrastructure improvements, fraud prevention and services and payments needed to ensure quality care.

HANYS continues to support efforts to make permanent or extend critical flexibilities and changes implemented in response to the pandemic to enable greater access to telehealth. The Telehealth Modernization Act (S.368) would help achieve this goal in part by lifting geographic and originating site restrictions and expanding the list of covered telehealth services. HANYS is also committed to ensuring adequate provider reimbursement for telehealth services, among other important policies as outlined in HANYS’ telehealth chart. Contact: Elyse Oveson

State legislative activity update

Over the past week, the following bills of interest to HANYS and our members have passed both houses and are awaiting delivery to the governor:

Reimagining Long-term Care Task Force - would establish the Reimagining Long-term Care Task Force to study long-term care services, options and challenges and reimagine how the state can better meet the existing and projected needs in ways that prioritize safety, affordability and quality of life. The task force would consist of 26 members, including HANYS. A.3922-A (Cruz)/S.598-B (May)

Caregiving Visitation in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities - would require DOH to develop regulations to allow personal and compassionate caregiving visitors in nursing homes and adult care facilities. A.1052-B (Bronson)/S.614-B (May)

Adult Care Facility Quality Assurance Plans - would require adult care facilities to include the development and maintenance of infection control performance standards in their mandated quality assurance plans and establish a quality improvement committee. A.5846 (Kim)/S.1784-A (Skoufis)

Nursing Home Violations - would require nursing homes to provide information on how a potential resident and their family can look up complaints, citations, inspections, enforcement actions and penalties taken against the facility. A.5848 (Wallace)/S.3185 (Skoufis)

Residential healthcare facility transfers and discharges - would codify several federal (42 CFR § 483.3) and state (10 NYCRR § 415) regulatory provisions into state law and establish new requirements related to discharging a resident to temporary housing assistance or to the home of another individual. A.3919 (Hevesi)/S.3058(Rivera)

For questions on the above or any other legislative activity or issue, 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.

March webinar confronts health disparities among culturally and linguistically diverse patients

COVID-19 laid bare the health disparities that plague culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The next webinar in our Turning the Tide series will feature experts presenting strategies, interventions and best practices to help providers increase awareness and access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Register now for the March 9 session. Contact: Kenya James

WCB releases medical treatment guidelines tool

The Workers’ Compensation Board’s new medical treatment guidelines lookup tool is now accessible via its Medical Portal.

This tool allows users to determine whether a particular condition or treatment/test combination is recommended, not recommended or conditional, according to the MTG. Providers can also create a PDF confirming the lookup and listing treatment recommendations and patient-specific information. Watch this video tutorial for additional details. Contact: Vic Aufiero

Member Spotlight: United Health Services helps COVID-19 patients recuperate at home

Recent studies have found that COVID-19 patients convalescing at home show improved recovery and outcomes, emphasizing the benefits home health treatment offers to patients. In 2020, United Health Services launched its “Hospital Care at Home” program, which enables COVID-19 patients meeting certain criteria to be treated in the comfort of their own home.

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 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

March 24: COVID-19: Bacterial and Fungal Co-infections; Update for Clinicians, Antimicrobial Stewards and Infection Preventionists

March 24: Beyond the Behavioral Health Unit: Managing Mental Health

March 25: Health Information Management User Group Meeting

See all of HANYS’ current offerings in our events listing.