New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s declaration he would take on crippling Medicaid spending prompted a guarded response from the state’s leading health care organizations, which essentially agreed that a redesign of the system is warranted but warned that a focus on long-term strategies were necessary.
“Governor Cuomo is right – New York’s Medicaid program must be redesigned to help us reduce healthcare costs and provide better care to patients,” the Primary Care Coalition said.
“New York’s healthcare system is at a crossroads. We can continue to pour billions into the current broken system and get only mediocre results, or we can transform our healthcare system into one that values results and puts the patient first.
“This transformation is only possible if New York invests in robust, patient-centered primary care that reduces the need for more expensive interventions, particularly for patients with multiple chronic illnesses.
“The Primary Care Coalition is delighted that Governor Cuomo has called for primary care investment and is making Medicaid redesign a top priority. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo’s administration, the Legislature and our colleagues in the healthcare community to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to transform New York’s healthcare system into one that truly lowers costs, reduces disparities and improves the lives of New Yorkers.”
Founded in 2006, the Primary Care Coalition consists of the Community Health Care Association of New York State; the Primary Care Development Corporation; the New York State Area Health Education Center System; the American College of Physicians, New York Chapter; and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. For more information, visit www.nyprimarycarehome.org.
Healthcare Association of New York State President Daniel Sisto stated, “We all understand New York is facing a very difficult financial challenge and we are encouraged by the Governor’s willingness to work with HANYS and other Medicaid stakeholders. We agree that a fundamental restructuring of the program is overdue and that better coordination of care for individuals with complex needs can produce both savings and better care.
“The Governor said ‘the planets have aligned,’ providing an opportunity to address longstanding, fundamental problems. We agree very much with that assessment and urge him to resist the past practice of damaging across-the-board Medicaid cuts, and instead institute reforms that address the real issues. For too long, short-term solutions have been pursued that were designed simply to hit budget targets, while doing nothing to fix these core problems. We are hopeful that Governor Cuomo has ushered in an era where we can now focus on necessary long-term strategies that will yield a more sustainable and more effective system.”
The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing more than 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.
HANYS pointed to layoffs announced a two Utica-area hospitals yesterday of nearly 50 staff and the elimination of 44 other positions, citing millions of dollars in state Medicaid cuts as a key factor in their decision. These layoffs follow similar recent actions in regions across the state, and the closure of 30 hospitals in just the last decade.
“In the last 2 1/2 years alone, the state has cut Medicaid reimbursement by $5.3 billion, without instituting any meaningful or lasting reform measures. These recent layoffs are a result of those short-sighted actions,” stated Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) Vice President for Communications, William Van Slyke.
“It is imperative that we act now to fundamentally redesign the Medicaid system, and stop pursuing the failed short-term strategy of instituting damaging across-the board Medicaid cuts. If we fail to truly fix the system for the long haul, many more of these layoff notices will follow, many more families will be forced to flee the state, and many more hospitals and health care facilities will be lost, further diminishing New Yorkers’ access to essential care.
“We must act now build a sustainable system that provides efficient and effective care, and that protects the more than 686,000 hospital and health system jobs that fuel economic activity in communities across the state.”
–Karen Rubin, Long Island Populist Examiner
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