Advocacy Update – Winter 2023/2024 Newsletter

Advocacy Update

IHA is preparing for the upcoming state budget and legislative session by meeting with state officials and lawmakers to lay out our priorities.

This December we leveraged a joint press event to bring attention to persisting problems. In collaboration with Dr. Dennis McKenna, CEO of Albany Health System, Sean Fadale, CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home, Assembly Member John McDonald, and the Upstate Assembly Delegation we highlighted the stark truth that you all face daily, financial turmoil, inability to recruit adequate levels of staff, and insufficient reimbursement. The event received broad media attention and sparked appropriate concern. This event received great attention by several news outlets across the state.

Building on the work we did with the legislature last year, we will carry this momentum into the upcoming state budget and legislative session. We will tirelessly pursue the of fair treatment of upstate healthcare to ensure enduring access to services.

Political Landscape

We are coming up on an election year which will influence what actions lawmakers make as they prepare for electoral contests in November. Elections in New York will be held for all members of the State Senate and Assembly. In addition, at the national level we will see contests for U.S. Senator Gillibrand, the entire U.S. House of Representatives, and, of course, President. The U.S. House has experienced several shake-ups over 2023 including the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, replaced by Louisiana representative Mike Johnson, as well as the turmoil surrounding Long Island Republican, Congressman George Santos, both of whom are no longer serving leaving the Republican Majority in the house with razor thin margins with which to accomplish anything.

New York’s highest court also ordered the state to redraw its congressional map, which could have a heavy influence on how House elections play out next fall. The court put the responsibility of drawing the map into the hands of the state Legislature, giving them an opportunity to do so in a way that benefits Democrats in key races.

Governor Hochul made her annual State of the State address on Tuesday, January 9th in Albany. She presented her vision for the state and provided some insight into what she will focus on for the next year, and beyond. She did not spend much time outlining plans to support and improve the healthcare landscape in her address. We will continue our tireless advocacy to ensure the funding Upstate hospitals need to ensure access to services. In addition to the State of the State on January 9, there were several other exciting announcements for which IHA has been strongly advocating.

These include:

  • The release of three grant funding opportunities.
    • Up to $250 million from Statewide IV to drive transformative health care investments
    • Up to $650 million to support investments in technology and cybersecurity in health care facilities
    • Up to $50 million for nursing home innovation projects
  • The long awaited CMS approval of New York’s 1115 Waiver, which will invest nearly $7 billion new dollars into the state’s Medicaid system.
FY 2025 Budget Priorities & 2024 Legislative Priorities

This year IHA plans to advocate for a variety of measures that will strengthen Upstate healthcare. We will push for the funding of programs including:

  • Capital funding (healthcare transformation fund)
  • Distressed hospital funding for Upstate hospitals
  • DPT for Upstate hospitals
  • Recruitment & Retention funding

Along with these programs IHA will also advocate to keep increases made to the Medicaid rate in 2023.

There are also a number of workforce bills that IHA had high involvement in the creation of last session that we will continue to work diligently on with legislative members. These include:

  • Temporary Licensure original draft
  • Scope of Practice
  • Licensure Compact
  • Mobile integrated health/community paramedicine expansion
  • Workplace violence
New Workgroups

IHA continues to strive to provide additional opportunities for member engagement and to connect with our organization and each other. We have long been convenors of dedicated forums, for years we have hosted a Human Resource Forum. This past year we expanded our offering to include a Chief Financial Officer Forum, a Chief Nursing Officer Forum, and a Workplace Violence Workgroup. We find immense value in these meetings as spaces for collaboration, creative problem solving, as well as a chance for us to hear about our members’ day to day solutions and challenges.