Tag Archives: Health Care

Health care cost transparency needed

Capital New York is reporting that state health commissioner Nirav Shah reacted to a New York Times story on the the high costs of minor services at hospitals by decrying “the lack of transparency in hospital pricing.”

At a health summit in New York City, Shah addressed the need for smarter healthcare spending and  promised the stat would soon reveal new plans to address the issue.

Shah’s stated commitment to cost transparency is welcome news as New York consumers have been at a distinct disadvantage in anticipating their health care costs.  Most consumers don’t learn of the costs of their health care until after care is completed and they receive bill.  As the cost of health care continues to rise, transparency is needed as a key component that would allow employers and employees tools to manage their costs.

Municipal unions offered cheaper health care

Cities and towns across the country are pushing municipal unions to accept cheaper health benefits due to part of the Affordable Care Act known as the “Cadillac tax.”

Municipalities are warning unions that if health care costs are not reined in now, once this tax goes into effect in 2018, the added cost of the tax will threaten raises and jobs.

Under the tax, plans that cost above a certain threshold in 2018 will be taxed at 40 percent of their costs in excess of the $10,200 limit annually for individual plans and $27,500 for family plans.  The thresholds are set to rise with inflation after 2018.

This would drive property taxes up and would be very costly to local governments, many of which are already struggling to balance their budgets and operate within the state’s two-percent tax cap.

Catholic Health’s new website gives detailed hospital information

The following story written by Stephen T. Watson of The Buffalo News is an interesting look at Catholic Health’s effort to provide important information to current and prospective patients which go way beyond doctor listings, descriptions of departments and directions to its hospitals. The health system will be providing important data that patients can use to make important decisions.

Click here to read more.

Health insurance exchanges info is trickling in

Lev Ginsburg, director of government affairs responsible for The Business Council’s advocacy on Health Care & Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance issues, will be attending the Capital District/Mid-Hudson/Northern New York Health Exchange regional advisory committee in Albany tomorrow. The committees were formed to provide advice and make recommendations on the establishment and operation of the Exchange.

Lisa Singer, writer for the Democrat and Chronicle, posted a story about the Central New York/Finger Lakes committee meeting held Tuesday. She wrote that committee members “expressed concern about how many people, particularly those already underserved by the health care system, will learn about the exchange.” Click here to read Singer’s good overview of the program.



A New York company teams with the Mayo Clinic to study treatment of multiple sclerosis

This story came to us from John Golden writing for the Westchester County Business Journal. “Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., located in Ardsley and the Mayo clinic have enrolled the first patient in the first clinical trial of an antibody being studied for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS),” writes Golden.

More than 400,000 people in the U.S. are affected by multiple sclerosis. Treatment is costly: the average lifetime of treatment is $1.2 million.

Click here to read more.


New Health Care Law tax surprise

Stephen Stock and Jeremy Carroll of NBC Bay Area wrote the following piece about the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s criticism of the IRS’s lack of transparency of its plans to “to implement a little know strategy to garnish tax refunds for taxpayers who don’t purchase health insurance under the new Federal Affordable Care Act.”

Click here to read.

HealthCare Quality Cost Containment Commission

Another Small Business Day issue is supporting the empanelment of the Healthcare Quality Cost Containment Commission.  The Business Council supported the legislation creating the Healthcare Quality Cost Containment Commission when it passed in 2007 yet the Commission was never empanelled.  The Business Council reiterates the need for the Commission to be empanelled every time a mandate on private health insurance is introduced in the legislature.

Memo of Support

To register for Small Business Day contact Erin DeSantis Assistant State Director at NFIB for more information. 877.434.1262 or email Erin.DeSantis@NFIB.ORG.

Mandated Out-of-Network Provider Payouts

Small Business Day on April 17th will focus on supporting mandated out-of-network provider payouts. This measure was included in the Senate version of the 2014 state budget yet taken out of the final budget.  It is now a one house bill.  The Business Council will issue an updated memo of support if  it becomes a two house bill.  See this year’s version of the bill below along with last year’s memo (note the bill number this year has changed).

A.5216 (Gottfried)/ No Same As
Memo of Support 

To register for Small Business Day contact Erin DeSantis Assistant State Director at NFIB for more information. 877.434.1262 or email Erin.DeSantis@NFIB.ORG.