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Healthcare groups lobby for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates in NY

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  • Staff Report 

Major healthcare organizations in New York are launching a multi-million-dollar campaign to persuade Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates. This effort, led by the Healthcare Education Project—a collaboration between the health care union 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Greater New York Hospital Association—aims to address the funding challenges faced by safety-net hospitals. These hospitals, crucial for lower-income New Yorkers, have been struggling financially, with a reported 30% shortfall between Medicaid care provided and the state funding received.

The campaign follows a 7.5% increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates last year, the first raise in a decade, which hospital officials say is insufficient in bridging the existing funding gap. They point to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare access and the persistent underpayment for Medicaid services. The healthcare groups are now calling on Governor Hochul to further increase rates in her upcoming executive budget, without resorting to tax hikes.

This lobbying effort underscores the critical state of safety-net hospitals that serve a high number of Medicaid patients. The financial challenges these hospitals face are leading to potential cuts in services, as evidenced by the possible closure of the Burdett Birth Center in the Capital Region. This situation highlights the urgency for adequate state funding to ensure quality care for Medicaid recipients in New York.