Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order for New York to implement a health insurance exchange by 2014 as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
A “health care exchange” is an online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can choose among competing health insurance plans. Seventeen states have either enacted, or are in the process of passing, health insurance exchange legislation. We believe that a health care exchange presents several benefits for the community, physicians and hospitals.
Benefits of a Health Insurance Exchange for the Community
Through the creation of Web-based marketplaces for health insurance exchanges, individuals or small businesses in need of coverage can find health plan information in a standardized format with coverage options and pricing that can be quickly and easily compared. Another guaranteed benefit of the exchange would be that insurers cannot refuse to insure any individuals.
The goals for establishing a health insurance exchange are to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable, quality health insurance coverage and to drive down the overall cost of insurance. Increases in health care costs are driven by increases in costs per case, not merely the overall prevalence of disease. It makes sense that by having greater access to health coverage, the pool of uninsured people decreases, and so would the cost per case. Earlier entry in the health care system with community-based, preventive care has been shown to reduce the severity of illness and critical care expenditures. An exchange can help reign in health care costs and preserve the health of the community.
Physician Involvement in Health Insurance Exchanges
The American Medical Association is in support of health insurance exchanges due to the potential for more Americans to have health coverage. The AMA is advocating for physicians to serve in health insurance exchange governance. Governor Cuomo’s executive order includes health care providers as part of the advisory panel to establish the NYS health care exchange. Additionally, the AMA recommends that qualified health plans should be allowed to participate in the exchange to increase competition in health insurance markets. It asks that plans maintain adequate physician networks, not restrict enrollee access to out-of-network physicians and not mandate physician participation in a particular health plan.
How Hospitals Can Benefit from a Health Insurance Exchange
For uninsured individuals, emergency rooms are a medical last resort as hospitals are obligated to provide care regardless of ability to pay. However, health care comes at a price, and hospitals absorb the financial burden for paying for that care. It is prudent to have affordable options for individual health insurance coverage. And, since hospitals already have extensive experience in helping patients identify and seek assistance for health insurance coverage, including working with Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Medicaid), it makes sense that hospitals should be actively involved in promoting a state-based health care exchange.
The Affordable Care Act is being hotly contested in this year’s presidential campaign. In March, the Supreme Court heard arguments that could nullify all or parts of the ACA including the federal mandate for state-based health care exchanges. The ACA remains law until determined otherwise. We stand united with the Health Care Association of New York State, the Greater New York Healthcare Association and the American Medical Association in supporting health insurance exchange and increasing access to care for all New Yorkers.
Stephen S. Mills, FACHE
P.S. Please see the article below for an important announcement and enhancements I’ve made to the NYHQ Office of the President.
John E. Sciortino, F.A.C.H.E
Stephen Rimar, M.D., M.B.A.,
On April 26, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Stephen S. Mills, FACHE, and the
Board of Trustees announced the restructuring of
the Office of the President to add the new
position of Executive Vice President and Chief
On May 1, we welcomed our new chairman of
Surgery and surgeon-in-chief, Pierre F.
Saldinger, M.D. He comes to us from Danbury
Hospital in Danbury, Conn., where he served as
chairman of the Department of Surgery, and
program director of the Surgical Residency
Program. Dr. Saldinger is a professor of
clinical surgery at the University of Vermont
College of Medicine. He previously held academic
appointments at New York Medical College and
Harvard Medical School.
Jason Hu, M.D., attending surgeon, Orthopaedics and
Rehabilitation, was appointed to the faculty of Weill Medical College of
Cornell University as an Instructor in Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York Hospital Queens.
Congratulations to Peri Millman, M.D., (pictured, left) director, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition and the FitKids Program, and Marta Kazandjian, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P, B.R.S.-S., (pictured, right) director, Speech and Swallowing Disorders, for being selected as Top Women in Business for 2012 in Queens by the Queens Courier. They were nominated by the Division of Public Affairs and Marketing.
Christopher Calandrella, D.O., attending physician, Emergency
Medicine, has been appointed medical director, Middle Village Volunteer
Edward Choi, M.D., international ambassador to South Korea, American College of Emergency Physicians, and attending physician, Emergency Medicine, coordinated a month-long NYHQ visit by Dong Eun Lee, M.D., a senior Emergency Medicine resident, Kyungpook University Hospital, South Korea.
Alison Suarez, M.D., assistant residency director, Emergency
Medicine, Mark Kindschuh, M.D., M.B.A., associate chairman,
Emergency Medicine, and George Benedetto, Jr,, M.P.A., E.M.T.-P.,
director, the Patient Simulation Center, presented “Critical Care
Strategy: Building Team Competence Through Simulation” at the 12th
Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in San Diego.
Harmony Leighton, D.O., medical resident; Hormoz Kianfar, M.D., cardiology fellow, Stephen Serynek, M.D., cardiology fellow, and Todd Kerwin, M.D., director, Non-Invasive Cardiology, presented “Effect of an electronic ordering system on adherence to American College of Cardiology Guidelines for Cardiac Monitoring,” at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session and Expo. The abstract of the same name was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Marta Kazandjian, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P, B.R.S.-S., director, Speech and Swallowing Disorders, presented “Managing Communication and Swallowing for Tracheostomized and Ventilator Dependent Adults Across the Continuum of Care,” at the 2012 American Veterans Administration Speech and Language Pathology National Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Ms. Kazandjian presented her experiences as a medical speech pathologist in acute, subacute and long term care settings at Hunter College Alumni Night, her alma mater.
Center for Wound Healing
New York Hospital Queens is pleased to announce the start of a new program, The New York Hospital Queens Center for Wound Healing at Silvercrest. The center is located on the first floor of the Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at 144-45 87th Avenue, Briarwood, N.Y. and is scheduled to begin treating patients in June. When it opens, the center will offer a comprehensive approach for patients with chronic wound issues. The center will have a multi-disciplinary health care team, which includes physicians with advanced training in wound management and hyperbaric medicine, and nurses skilled in chronic wound care treatment. The center will offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a state-of-the-art facility. For more information about the center, call (855) 480-HEAL (4325).
Grants Program Update—Medicaid EHR Incentive
NYHQ successfully registered and attested to the NYS Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, which provides incentives to eligible professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The hospital will receive $3.7 million over the next three years.
Residents and Fellows Research Day
The Theresa & Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education is holding the 7th Annual Residents and Fellows Research Day on May 16, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Lang Auditorium. This program was created to foster research among NYHQ physicians-in-training. This year will feature 14 oral and 63 poster presentations in 15 specialty areas. Awards for excellence will be given at 1 p.m., following the presentations. No RSVP is necessary to attend the oral and poster presentations. All are welcome. For the presentation schedule, contact the Lang Research Center at (718) 670-2914.
Mother’s Day Screening Breast Cancer Initiative
One in eight woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. If you are 40 or older, New York Hospital Queens is participating in the Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Initiative co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the New York State Department of Health Cancer Services Program and the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Program. For more information on how to get a mammogram in May at little to no cost through the Eastern Queens Cancer Services Program, call (800) 564-6868.
Palliative Care Symposium
Palliative care is a comprehensive plan of care for improving the quality of life for individuals with any serious illness at any age. Palliative care also helps patients and families with decision making during serious illness and navigating a complex health care system. The NYHQ Palliative Care Program presented a symposium to medical professionals about the principles of palliative care as it applies to patients who have dementia, and identifying those at risk for moral stress, such as seriously ill patients and their families.
Diabetes Clinical Research Study
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States and approximately 700,000 people in New York City. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the five boroughs, according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A research team at New York Hospital Queens is studying the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. To be eligible for the study, participants must have type 2 diabetes, be 18 years of age or older, and have taken only Metformin, or no other anti-diabetic medication for 12 weeks or more. Qualified participants will receive all study related procedures and the study drug and will be reimbursed for time and travel expenses. Daniel Lorber, M.D., associate director, The Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education, New York Hospital Queens, is the principal investigator of the research study. For more information, contact Susan Ingenito, senior medical assistant, at 718-670-2414.
A Spring Night Gala
A Spring Night Gala, the hospital’s premier fundraising event, will be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 31, 2012. The honorees are Prabha and Kanak Golia, a member of the New York Hospital Queens Board of Trustees. For ticket and sponsorship information, please contact Julie Varghese at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-670-1564.
NYHQ Day at CitiField
The hospital is hosting a new special event, NYHQ Day at CitiField, for employees, medical staff, colleagues, family and friends on Sunday, August 12, when the New York Mets will be playing the Atlanta Braves. There will be special recognition for NYHQ in the stands. Children 12 and under can run the bases at Citi Field following the game with the Mr. Met (weather permitting). For more information, contact Julie Varghese, director, Special Events, 718-670-1564.
NYHQ Updates Queens Borough Cabinet on Progress
An update about the programs and progress at New York Hospital Queens and The Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation was presented to the members of the Queens Borough Cabinet. The Cabinet consists of the Borough President, all Queens community boards leaders, as well as F.D.N.Y. and N.Y.P.D. leaders. Presenters from the hospital included Maureen Buglino, R.N., M.P.H., vice president, Ambulatory Care & Emergency Services; Debra Pagano Cohen, R.N., M.S.N., director, Community & Government Affairs; Mary Godfrey, R.N., vice president, Professional Services and Strategic Planning; Kenneth Ong, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical informatics officer; Cynthia X. Pan, M.D., director, Palliative Care Program, and from Michael Tretola, F.A.C.H.E., L.N.H.A., senior vice president, Continuum of Care, and, administrator, Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
Earth Day Fair Featured Green Initiatives
The hospital hosted an Earth Day Fair to feature environmentally friendly “green” practices added over the past year. NYHQ has implemented “green” enhancements that have begun to reduce the amount of waste in landfills, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They include a green roof project with Manhattan College and a biodigester machine in the kitchen to reduce organic waste. For more information about our “Go NYHQ Green” initiatives, visit the hospital Web site: http://nyhq.org/gogreen.
Neuroscience Institute to Focus on Stroke Awareness in May
In recognition of stroke awareness month in May, the Neuroscience Institute will host a free Stroke Assessment Day for the community on May 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the hospital’s Lang Lobby and Auditorium. For more information or to register for an assessment call 800-282-6684.
Community Symposium on Bones, Muscles and Joints
Medical experts from NYHQ’s Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation hosted a free community symposium to discuss hand, back, shoulder, knee, hip and balance issues. HealthGrades, an independent source of physician information and hospital quality ratings, presented the hospital with the Orthopaedics Award of Excellence to kickoff the Community Symposium on Bones, Muscles and Joints. NYHQ has ranked among the top 5% of hospitals in the nation for joint replacement for two years in a row. Following the lectures, attendees were offered free balance assessments by the rehabilitation team.
NYHQ Participates in Upcoming Events Throughout the Community
New York Hospital Queens collaborates with community organizations throughout the year. Health information and screenings by New York Hospital Queens will be provided at the following community events:
• Queens Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at CitiField on May 22
• Community Board #3 Leon Von Holden Memorial Health Care Expo 2012 at the Corona Center on June 9
• Friends of Fort Totten Parks 8th Annual Family Fun Day at Fort Totten Park on June 16
• Community Board #8 Health Fair at Cunningham Park on June 28
For further details about these events or for a full list of upcoming events, visit www. nyhq.org.