Thanks MRT, for bringing NY one step closer to health care equality!

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) voted in favor of recommending to streamline and improve access to Emergency Medicaid as part of a series of proposals aimed to reduce disparities in healthcare throughout New York State.  This, along with several of these other measures, has long been a part of HCFANY’s “to-do” list.  In fact, HCFANY recently issued a memo of support to the MRT in favor of this proposal.

Along with streamlining Emergency Medicaid, the package includes proposals to:

  • streamline and improve access to Emergency Medicaid;
  • provide reimbursement to hospitals, clinics and community health centers that make language assistance services available to their limited English proficient patients (LEP);
  • ensure that prescription drug labels are easier to understand for patients with low health literacy, seniors and LEP communities, among others;
  • improve data collection on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability and housing status by health providers, consistent with federal health reform;
  • eliminate discrimination against Medicaid beneficiaries at major teaching hospitals in New York State; and
  • reform the state’s distribution of charity care funding to hospitals to ensure that safety net providers who serve the uninsured are appropriately and equitably compensated.

This is great news for New York and as these proposals seek to reduce health disparities and improve access to care for people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities and LGBQT populations, among others.

But there’s still work to do on this!  In order for these proposals to take effect, they need to be included in the Governor’s upcoming budget.  Here’s what you can do to help make this happen:

  1. Contact members of the Medicaid Redesign Team and thank them for voting “yes” on the Health Disparities package of proposals.  A list of all members can be found by clicking here.
  2. Contact Governor Andrew Cuomo and tell him to put the Health Disparities package of proposals – including the “streamlinging Emergency Medicaid” proposal – into his Executive Budget.  Call the Governor at (518) 474-8390 or email him here.