Council Looks at Hospital Costs, Preparedness for Weather Emergencies

October 25, 2021

The City Council Committee on Hospitals and Committee on Health held a joint oversight hearing on October 15 on “Hospital Costs—Impact on Access to Care.” GNYHA Executive Vice President David Rich testified about the uniqueness of hospitals among health care providers and their precarious financial condition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also described the complexity of hospital pricing and how the soaring profits of pharmaceutical and health insurance companies have fueled health care’s rising costs.

The New York Health Plan Association testified about State and Federal requirements mandating insurer spending on patient care and noted that hospital consolidation drives costs upward. Unions such as 32BJ-SEIU, District Council 37, and the United Federation of Teachers also testified, focusing on purported differences in hospital prices and transparency.

Assembly Member Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) and Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn) testified and promoted legislation they sponsor known as the Hospital Equity and Affordability Legislation Act (A.8169/S.7199). They said the bill would promote transparency and competition among providers.

The Committee on Hospitals and Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will hold a joint oversight hearing on October 27 on “NYC Hospitals Preparedness for Weather Emergencies.” GNYHA plans to participate. More information is available here. A live stream of the hearing will be available here.