2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up
The New York State Legislature gave final passage to an extraordinarily difficult State Budget for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year that seeks to close what could be upwards of a $15 Billion Budget deficit. With a Budget consideration process that was very different than previous years due to the managing of the coronavirus pandemic, MSSNY and MCMS staff continues to go through the thousands of pages of Budget bills, but some of the top line highlights include:
Importantly, the Budget would also put into statute liability protections that had been set forth in a recent Governor’s Executive Order to provide qualified liability immunity to a physician or health care facility (a) that is arranging for or providing health care services pursuant to a COVID-19 emergency rule; (b) the act or omission occurs in the course of arranging for or providing health care services and the treatment of the individual is impacted by the health care facility's or health care professional's decisions or activities in response to or as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and in support of the state's directives; and (c) the health care facility or health care professional is arranging for or providing health care services in good faith.
Of significant note is a provision that will give the Governor significant discretion to adjust Medicaid payments across the Board throughout the fiscal year based upon the significant variability of revenue coming into New York State. At the beginning of the year, the Governor implemented an across the Board 1% Medicaid cut, and the MRT2 recommended an across the board 1.875% cut. This provision has the potential to bring about significant Medicaid cuts through the fiscal year based upon how quickly New York’s economy can recover.
MSSNY thanks the countless physicians for their grassroots advocacy on these key issues, as well as the great partnership with county medical and specialty society leaders in advocating for the many successful outcomes in this Budget, particularly during this extraordinarily difficult time.
We will follow up with a more in-depth report on the litany of health provisions in the State Budget that impact physicians and their patients.
Physician Advocacy Network
In collaboration with MSSNY, MCMS has developed a robust Physician Advocacy Network! Whether you already have existing relationships with your state legislator OR have been looking for an opportunity to do more “hands-on” advocacy, MCMS wants to partner with you as Physician Advocacy Liaison.
The Physician Advocacy Network will be the compilation and collaboration of physicians within EACH legislative district. Dubbed “Physician Advocacy Liaisons” (PAL) you will lead the physician – legislative outreach for your assembly person or senator. This PAL network makes advocacy more personal and ongoing.
The advocacy of MCMS / MSSNY is the single biggest benefit of your membership. As you’ve seen this year there is a near constant attack on physicians in NY State by well-intentioned (but non-medical) legislators. If we are not at the table we are on the menu!
If you are interested in the Physician Advocacy Network please contact:
Christopher Bell, MS, MBA