Gov. Cuomo announces funding to protect New York health care

Photo courtesy of FEMA

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $491 million is being awarded to projects statewide to preserve and expand access to high quality health care.

This announcement comes in the middle of an intense week in the U.S. Senate as Republicans attempt to get enough support to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“Now, more than ever, we need to protect health care in New York and ensure the system in place is meeting the needs of current and future generations of New Yorkers,” said Cuomo.

“While others seek to decimate our hospitals and reduce access to quality healthcare, we are investing to help ensure a stronger, healthier New York for all.”

The funding is being awarded through the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program which is administered by the Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

The Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program provides grants to health care providers to support projects that would strengthen access to health services throughout the state.

The awards are also focused on projects that would help ensure the financial sustainability of safety net health care providers.

“Investing in the infrastructure of New York’s healthcare system will yield dividends for the millions of residents who rely upon these vital services,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Health Commissioner. “This program will help motivate providers to develop new and innovative services that both improve the quality of care and create a health care system that saves taxpayer dollars down the road.”

The funding will also help support the objectives of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program.

The Delivery System Reform Incentive Program’s primary goals are to reduce avoidable hospital visits by 25 percent by 2020 and to improve health outcomes by expanding access to care through regionally integrated health care delivery services.

The announcement was supported by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, R-East Northport, praised the achievements of the New York State health care system.

“New York is a national leader in delivering first-class health care to individuals and families, and remains committed to building upon these achievements to provide the best patient care possible,” said Flanagan. “The funding we are announcing today – combined with an additional $200 million Request For Applications that was a priority of the members of our Senate Republican Conference and will be released soon – are significant steps in our ongoing work to help those most in need of quality health and mental health services.”

Long Island, where Flanagan’s district is located, is receiving $47.2 million dollars to help fund 13 different projects.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, also praised the announcement.

“Encouraging more New Yorkers to avoid costly, time-consuming, and often unnecessary trips to an emergency room by investing in other medical facilities is a common sense way to improve patient care,” said Stewart-Cousins, “Utilizing state funds to advance programs serving New Yorkers’ primary care, mental health, and substance abuse needs will streamline the health care process, provide communities with better services, and save money. This investment is a win-win for New York, and I commend the Governor for taking action.”

The funding was enacted as part of the fiscal year 2017 budget and additional funding was made available in the recently enacted fiscal year 2018 budget.