Medicaid reimbursement your local hospital receives plays an important role in every patient’s life, even if you are not enrolled in the program, because it’s important to hospitals. It’s the healthcare safety net for more than one-third of New Yorkers with modest incomes, children, the aged and the disabled.
Because the program covers the sickest and most vulnerable populations, its 7.4 million beneficiaries often need hospital care. But Medicaid reimbursements only cover 61 percent of what it costs to provide that care, and reimbursements haven’t increased in 14 years. This threatens the fiscal stability of providers, which in turn jeopardizes access to care in the communities they serve.
State legislators could address this problem in the 2022-23 state budget by increasing Medicaid reimbursements to reflect rising costs and ensuring that rates will continue to adjust in the future on par with inflation.
One of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is that costs are rising sharply, especially labor costs. Healthcare is facing significant shortages for key roles such as nurses, nurse’s aides, and laboratory techs, which raises costs even higher. Bringing Medicaid rates in line with actual costs helps providers invest in their workforce to overcome the current crisis and build a pipeline for the future. With New York State projecting a multibillion-dollar budget surplus, now is the time to invest in the quality and sustainability of New York’s healthcare system.
Hospitals on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley are urging the state legislature to ensure the final budget agreement includes additional Medicaid funding, beyond what has been proposed, for hospitals, health systems and nursing homes.
Protect your hospital care by reaching out to your local legislator and urging them to invest more into the Medicaid program for the sake of all New Yorkers. Use these simple links to find your Senate and Assembly member and send them an email. And, share this blog post on your social media platforms.
Learn more about hospitals’ state budget priorities here.