The April 1 deadline for an on-time budget is fast approaching amid considerable uncertainty in Albany.
Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal contains numerous substantial hospital cuts, which the Executive justified by noting the financial pressure on the State due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, two recent developments have delivered significant relief: an agreement by the Legislature and Executive that State has $2.4 billion in additional revenue and passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, which contains $350 billion in state and local aid.
GNYHA believes that Albany must use these resources to reverse all hospital cuts. Hospitals are facing increased costs and reduced revenues and battling a second COVID-19 surge. We urge you to tell your legislators to support New York’s hospitals in the budget. You can amplify our advocacy by texting HELPHOSPITALS to 52886, clicking here, and delivering the below messages:
- Provide new hospital funding while rejecting cuts. In the past 13 years, hospitals have only received a one-time 2% increase in hospital inpatient Medicaid rates, which has been more than wiped out by the current 1.5% across-the-board cut, let alone the Executive’s proposed 1% increase to this cut. Now that Washington, DC, has passed significant state and local aid, it’s time to eliminate the cuts in the Executive budget.
- Rein in the extremely abusive practices of for-profit insurance companies by passing “pay and pursue.” While hospitals were saving thousands of lives during the pandemic—and losing revenues while absorbing enormous new costs—for-profit insurance companies made huge profits. A “pay and pursue” law would require insurance companies to pay legitimate inpatient and emergency room claims to in-network hospitals before requesting a medical review.
- Now is not the time for new mandates, including costly forced nurse staffing ratio legislation. Cornell University reported last year that ratios will cost hospitals and nursing homes $4 billion annually. During the pandemic, our hospital systems successfully “load balanced” patients to handle the surge. A one-size-fits-all staffing mandate would have crippled these efforts.
GNYHA will provide an update when the respective budget proposals become available.