June 28, 2022

Below please find a number of interesting articles and announcements:

UHF Medicaid Conference To Be Held July 21st
United Hospital Fund’s Annual Medicaid in New York Conference will be held both in-person and virtually on July 21, 2022. The conference will feature a keynote by Amir Bassiri, Medicaid Director at the New York State Department of Health. Topics to be discussed at the conference include improving Medicaid through regional health planning, addressing social care needs through networks of community-based organizations, and reducing health care access barriers for people in the criminal justice system.
Click here for registration and sponsorship »


Still-Unreleased Union Deal Rains Cash on State Workers – Empire Center for Public Policy


Commonwealth Fund on Reimbursement Rates and Racial Justice


Federal Budget Update:  As we mentioned previously, last week the House of Representatives voted 402-20 to pass the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 (H.R.7666). This legislation invests in over 30 federal programs that support mental health and substance use disorder care, treatment, and recovery. Further, the legislation funds critical block grants, establishes a Behavioral Health Crisis Coordinating Office and crisis response continuum of care standards, and incorporates two other bills, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, which eliminates the X-waiver and increases access to buprenorphine, and the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, which strengthens and standardizes prescriber education on substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder (OUD). The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

FEMA Hospital Agreement

(PoliticoPro, 6/28)  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s reached an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency that could unlock an estimated $250 million in federal funds for New York hospitals, POLITICO’s Shannon Young reports.

The agreement, shared exclusively with POLITICO, creates a pathway for reimbursement on previously rejected expenses that hospitals incurred in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Schumer’s office. That includes costs for employee transportation, child care and housing expenses, which will now be eligible for reimbursement.

“This flexibility will unlock hundreds of millions in federal funding for New York hospitals, as well as hospitals across the country, who took the necessary actions to protect heroic doctors, nurses, staff, and their families,” Schumer said in a statement. “With this agreement and increased flexibility, our hospitals will not have to shoulder these expenses alone, enabling them to be better equipped to handle future COVID-19 surges.”

FEMA will allow New York and impacted hospitalsto enter into an agreement — similar to a memorandum of understanding — stating that actions facilities took to protect doctors, nurses and support staff (and their families) were in service of the state’s legal responsibility to protect New Yorkers, hence making those expenditures eligible for FEMA funding, Schumer said.

Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth E. Raske and Healthcare Association of New York State President Bea Grause praised the announcement, noting that hospitals continue to face Covid-related expenses. “Pandemic costs are not going away,” Grause said in a statement. “These new FEMA program flexibilities will go a long way to helping cover hospitals’ COVID-related expenses so they can continue serving their communities