Advocacy

 

An indispensable voice in Washington, Albany, and the health care community, GNYHA uses its policy expertise, vast analytical tools, and uncommon resources to advocate for our members. GNYHA educates policymakers and State and Federal legislators on the complexities and constraints hospitals face in delivering care. The topics below reflect GNYHA’s current advocacy agenda. The Advocacy section will be modified as issues arise and are resolved in Albany and Washington.


Drug Shortages

Drug shortages have become a major problem for providers across the country, posing serious consequences for

patient safety, quality of care, and access to essential medications. GNYHA advocates for policies aimed at addressing the drug shortage problem. Find resources on this topic.

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Federal Budget & Deficit Reduction

Every year, Congress and the President debate a budget that often includes important health care funding and policy

decisions that can impact a variety of health care programs. In recent years they have also debated major deficit reduction proposals. These debates have focused on changes to Medicare hospital reimbursement and Medicaid funding to states. GNYHA advocacy focuses on protecting vital Medicare and Medicaid payments that enable hospitals to continue providing high-quality patient care. Find resources on this topic.

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Federal Legislative Agenda

Each year GNYHA identifies the health care-related legislative and regulatory issues of most importance to our member

hospitals and develops the Federal Legislative Agenda. This publication contains comprehensive reviews of those issues and GNYHA's lobbying position. As always, GNYHA will continue to work closely with members of Congress and our national partners to ensure that our member institutions can focus on their core mission of providing the highest quality care to their patients. Find resources on this topic.

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Geographic Variation in Medicare Spending

Some Federal proposals have attempted to implement provider-based Medicare reimbursement policy changes that would

result in redistribution of Medicare dollars from metropolitan areas and larger states to smaller states. GNYHA advocacy against these proposals is supported by research from the Institute of Medicine, MedPAC and others that shows no relationship between regional spending and service use. Find resources on this topic.

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Government Affairs Forum

GNYHA’s Government Affairs Forum convenes representatives from member hospitals to discuss a variety of issues at the State and Federal level. Find resources on this topic.

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Graduate Medical Education

GNYHA focuses on a variety of graduate medical education (GME) policy and programmatic issues in recognition

of the importance that medical education and residency training plays in its member hospitals. In addition, GNYHA works directly with members' institutional officials and residency program directors on accreditation and regulatory requirements and assists in the development of public materials that further their GME mission. Find resources on this topic.

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Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs)

Hospital operations rely on all manner of medical/surgical supplies to function smoothly and deliver high-quality,

cost-effective care. GPOs such as GNYHA Services, Inc., ensure that hospitals have access to the best prices, technologies, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals. GNYHA advocates for policies that ensure that health care providers can utilize GPOs to reduce their costs and increase efficiencies. Find resources on this topic.

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Health Information Technology (HIT)

GNYHA provides practical assistance to hospitals for the efficient adoption and implementation of HIT systems. GNYHA

also provides support for members to meet the Federal criteria for “meaningful use” of electronic health record technology, which in turn will determine hospital and physician eligibility for Federal funding. Through ongoing advocacy at both the Federal and State level, GNYHA continues to strive to ensure that requirements and incentive payment eligibility criteria are flexible and realistic. Find resources on this topic.

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Medicaid

With over 50 million people nationwide enrolled in state Medicaid programs, hospitals have become increasingly reliant on

Medicaid payments to accomplish their safety net mission of caring for their communities. GNYHA advocates for protecting vital Medicaid payments to states.  Find resources on this topic.

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Medical Malpractice/Liability

To truly achieve health care reform, medical malpractice costs must be addressed. GNYHA advocates aggressively at both

the State and Federal level for legislation that would reduce the unsustainably high costs of medical malpractice insurance for hospitals. Find resources on this topic.

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Medicare and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Payments

The Medicare and Medicaid programs provide supplemental funding to DSH hospitals–so named because of their share

of patients with severe socio-economic challenges. Hospitals provide services to such Medicaid and uninsured patients at a significant loss and consequently rely on Medicare and Medicaid DSH funding to sustain their operations. GNYHA advocates for adequate Medicare and Medicaid DSH funding to ensure safety net hospitals can provide quality care for the vulnerable communities they serve. Find resources on this topic.

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Medicare Bad Debt Payments

The Medicare program reimburses hospitals a percentage of their bad debts for unpaid Medicare beneficiary co-payments and

deductibles. GNYHA advocates against proposals that would eliminate or reduce Medicare bad debt payments. Find resources on this topic.

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Medicare Documentation and Coding

Over the past several years, a series of payment reductions to Medicare rates have been implemented to recoup perceived

overpayments associated with documentation and coding. GNYHA advocates against any further cuts to offset document and coding-related payments. Find resources on this topic.

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Medicare Payments for Hospital Outpatient Services

Over the past few years Congress has considered several damaging proposals to cap payments to hospitals for certain

outpatient services at the significantly lower rate paid to physicians for providing the services in their private offices. These proposals, often referred to as “site-neural” Medicare payment cuts, ignore the legitimately higher costs of providing services in a hospital setting. GNYHA advocates against legislative proposals that would impose site-neutral Medicare payment cuts to hospitals. Find resources on this topic.

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Oversight and Audit

Hospitals are burdened by redundant program integrity and fraud control initiatives. While audit and oversight are a necessary

and proper part of health care operations, GNYHA advocates for reasonable limits and reforms to the government agencies and contractors permitted to scrutinize hospital activities. Find resources on this topic.

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Physician Payments

The current Medicare physician payment system has produced steep reimbursement cuts for physicians every year for the past

decade, and every year Congress has passed legislation blocking the implementation of the reductions. GNYHA advocates for legislative proposals that permanently reform the Medicare physician payment system, but not at the expense of hospitals. Find resources on this topic.

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Readmissions

GNYHA members seek to improve care transition processes across all settings of care by identifying the factors that

contribute to preventable hospital readmissions, and effect solutions to avoid them. The Affordable Care Act implements readmissions policies designed to incentivize better care coordination for patients following their discharge from the hospital. GNYHA advocates for improvements to readmission policies to create a better system that is fairer for hospitals and their patients.  Find resources on this topic.

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Tax Deductions for Charitable Giving

Limits on income tax deductibility for charitable contributions and other expenses have been discussed in recent deficit reduction

talks in Washington, DC. GNYHA advocates against these proposals because of the harmful impact they would have on not-for-profit hospitals.  Find resources on this topic.

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Tax Exemption

GNYHA’s members are mindful of their mission and obligations as not-for-profit and public organizations. GNYHA works to

support them on issues relating to tax-exempt status, in terms of broad issues impacting the larger not-for-profit community and more tailored developments that only concern health care providers. GNYHA’s work in this area spans State and Federal activities, and it is coordinated closely with our efforts relating to community benefit reporting. Find resources on this topic.

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Behavioral Health

New York State’s behavioral health system is undergoing a transformation through the Medicaid Redesign Team

and the implementation of behavioral health organizations (BHOs). GNYHA is working with the State, members, and BHOs on implementation issues and advocating for members. Find resources on this topic.

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Government Affairs Forum

GNYHA’s Government Affairs Forum convenes representatives from member hospitals to discuss a variety of issues at the State and Federal level. Find resources on this topic.

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Managed Care & Insurance

As the nation’s health care delivery system continues to evolve and undergo reform, managed care and its emphasis on cost

control and primary care will continue to grow in importance. GNYHA’s expertise in a wide variety of managed care and insurance issues helps its members in their complex relationships with managed care organizations. Find resources on this topic.

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Medical Malpractice/Liability

To truly achieve health care reform, medical malpractice costs must be addressed. GNYHA advocates aggressively at both

the State and Federal level for legislation that would reduce the unsustainably high costs of medical malpractice insurance for hospitals. Find resources on this topic.

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New York State Budget

Every year, the New York State budget includes important health care funding and policy decisions that can impact a variety

of health care programs, from Medicaid spending to programs that encourage physician placement in underserved areas. GNYHA advocates in Albany every year for a State budget that protects health care funding for hospitals. Find resources on this topic.

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New York State Legislative Agenda

Each year GNYHA identifies the New York State legislative and regulatory issues of most importance to our New York

member hospitals and develops the New York State Legislative Agenda. This publication contains comprehensive reviews of those issues and GNYHA's lobbying position. As always, GNYHA will continue to work closely with members of the New York State Senate and Assembly, the Executive Branch, and our State partners to ensure that our member institutions can focus on their core mission of providing the highest quality care to their patients. Find resources on this topic.

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Nursing & Workforce

GNYHA recognizes the nursing workforce as essential to hospitals’ ability to deliver quality patient care and meet

organizational goals under health care reform. GNYHA’s advocacy and programming focuses on ensuring that the workforce is satisfied by partnering on professional development and workplace programs; adequate by advocating for policies that address nursing shortages and nurses practicing to the full extent of their license; and competent through effective partnerships with academia. Find resources on this topic.

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Organ Donation

GNYHA advocates for policies and procedures that encourage organ donation and ensure that donated organs are fairly

allocated around the country, including the New York area. Find resources on this topic.

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Patient Safety

GNYHA’s work extends to the front lines of health care delivery through initiatives to improve quality and patient safety that go far

beyond report cards and performance measures. By focusing on hands-on, hospital-level systems improvement, GNYHA helps members achieve institutional culture changes that support safe, high-quality, patient-centered care, and assists with the implementation of successful, sustainable safety initiatives that improve clinical outcomes. Find resources on this topic.

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Surrogate Decision-Making & the Family Health Care Decisions Act

GNYHA advocates for legislation and policies that empower patients to be active participants in their health care, including

policies that protect patients’ privacy, promote advance directives (where appropriate), and include patients and families in appropriate end-of-life decision-making. GNYHA also provides support and guidance to hospitals in implementing processes that help comply with these laws and regulations. Find resources on this topic.

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