Advocacy Update – Winter 2022 Newsletter

IHA proudly serves its members, representing their interests to state and federal lawmakers. As we prepare for what 2023 brings, IHA has begun executing its legislative and policy strategy using its data driven advocacy to bring to light the current and enduring challenges our members face. On Wednesday, December 7, IHA President and CEO, Gary Fitzgerald participated in a press conference hosted by the Assembly Upstate Majority Delegation. The press conference was focused on the fiscal needs of Upstate hospitals and the workforce crisis that continues to build.

The press conference was well timed and well covered by media outlets across New York State. IHA is very pleased that the Assembly members present highlighted that these issues would be among their top budget priorities. Likewise, Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie announced a few days later that he would be focused on the current healthcare workforce crisis.

These activities put IHA in good positioning to build on our fight for meaningful inclusion in the budget, prevent the implementation of harmful regulations, and ensure that the needs of Upstate healthcare are being clearly heard and considered.

2023 will bring a big shake up to the legislature due to the newly drawn district lines and an inordinate number of freshman legislators. The midterm elections resulted in the Senate and the Assembly losing several Democratic seats, however the supermajority was maintained in both houses.

Looking to 2023, IHA will forge ahead and continue advancing the needs of Upstate and rural healthcare with several priorities on the forefront that include;

• Significant Medicaid Trend Factor increase
• Increased funding and expanded eligibility for the Directed Payment Template funding directed to Upstate Hospitals, CAHs, Sole Community Hospitals and a reasonable threshold of combined public payers
• Including hospitals in Economic Development planning
• Workforce Pipeline Solutions
• Permanent Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund for Hospitals to access
• 1115 Waiver WIO Funding
• Funding for our Take a Look Program that introduces physicians to upstate

In addition, to these 2023 priorities, IHA continues to track and urge the payment of unreleased budget funds allocated to health care in the current year’s state budget.