March 24, 2011
Dear Assemblyman Lancman:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. As we discussed, New York Hospital Queens along with all other hospitals and providers in New York State are making tremendous sacrifices in the Medicaid Reform Team (MRT) agreement. We want the proposals by the MRT accepted in full with the proposed medical malpractice reform.
I want to emphasize that the replication of the findings of the recent study of clinical practice in obstetrics and gynecology is unaffordable and represents an unfunded mandate from the State Legislature. New York Hospital Queens has implemented many of the same quality initiatives and agree that it would be a tremendous asset to be able to implement all of them. The findings of this study should not be used in lieu of enacting the serious program reform proposed by the Governor.
New York Hospital Queens agrees that real reform requires a continued commitment to patient safety, together with significant and immediate changes to our current system. It is important for the Legislators to understand that implementing a similar program would cost New York Hospital Queens approximately $5 million on top of the additional significant cuts / taxes. Few hospitals, especially in New York, have the capital to create the program cited in the study and we simply cannot afford to implement it.
These medical malpractice reforms and the associated savings for hospitals and physicians are critically important to the ability of New York’s health care system to endure not only the relentless Medicaid cuts / taxes it has absorbed in the last several years, but also the significant cuts in the current budget proposal.
Healthcare needs to have comprehensive med-mal reform and the obstetrical reform is only the beginning of true reform. We urge the Legislature to enact this program.
Thank you again for your commitment to the people of this community who we mutually serve. I want to restate that I am available to help provide any necessary information that you may require related to both liability and healthcare reform, as well as on the complexity of facility operating budgets.
Stephen S. Mills
President and Chief Executive Officer