BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York announced yesterday that the Gates Vascular Institute/Buffalo General Medical Center and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo have been named Blue Distinction Centers+. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program recognizes hospitals across the country that have a proven track record for delivering better results – including fewer complications and readmissions.
The hospitals were recognized for excellence in cardiac care and are the only in in the Buffalo/Niagara region to receive this designation. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the US health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this cost by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.
Healthy consumers could see insurance rates double, or even triple, when they look for individual coverage under the federal health law later this year. An analysis by The Wall Street Journal shows that while the premiums paid by those who are sicker will become more affordable, others will pay more. A review of rates proposed by carriers in eight states also shows boundaries for the least-expensive and most costly plans on the exchanges.
Read the full article or watch a video on The Wall Street Journalwebsite.
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.
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).
Will insurance premiums rise because of the new health care law? Health insurers expect they will. This Wall Street Journalarticle outlines how premiums might rise for individuals and small businesses.
A thank you for Casey Seiler of the Times Unionand Kyle Hughes of NYSNYS.com for posting a video of Governor Cuomo’s comments on the budget resolutions, minimum wage, pension “smoothing,”casinos and more. The governor took questions from the press following Monday morning’s cabinet meeting. Starts about 1:15 in.
Michael Gormley, Capitol editor of the Associated Press, writes that New York’s health commissioner will make a recommendation “to the governor ‘in weeks’ on whether the state should approve hydraulic fracturing.”
[message_box title=”Create Jobs, Strengthen the Economy. Say Yes to Natural Gas Development” color=”red”]As the rest of the nation looks for new opportunities to create jobs and lower America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, New York is still working to create a balanced approach to shale development. After four years of extensive study, research and hearings, the state should now move forward with safe and responsible shale gas development. The State must bring to a close its review and allow the people of New York to directly benefit from America’s new energy future.
The benefits of shale energy development are undeniable. This advance in technology has created 1.75 million jobs over the past few years alone, and is expected to account for 2.5 million jobs in 2015 and 3 million jobs in 2020. Additionally, between now and 2035, shale energy development is expected to contribute more than $2.5 trillion in government revenues.