On the largest advocacy day in its history, the Community Health Care Association of NYS (CHCANYS) and 900 community health care supporters told Albany lawmakers and the Cuomo administration that New York’s health care safety net is at risk.
“If the state is going to meet its health care transformation goals, our community health providers need funding to help cover the cost of caring for uninsured patients and meaningful capital investment,” said Harvey Lawrence, President and CEO of Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center in Brooklyn and a CHCANYS board member.
CHCANYS represents the state’s network of non-profit, community-based comprehensive health care facilities, known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). They provide comprehensive health care regardless of a patient’s insurance status or ability to pay.
Working out of 650 sites statewide, FQHCs serve two million New Yorkers annually – an increase of 35 percent since 2008. Some 86 percent of patients are near or below the poverty line.
CHCANYS top priority this year is a request for the state to increase funding for indigent care by $20 million – an increase will maintain 2016 funding levels and avoid undue financial harm to FQHCs and other safety net providers that serve high numbers of uninsured New Yorkers. Without these additional dollars, many FQHCs may be forced to reduce staff, eliminate expansion plans and/or limit access precisely at a time when it is anticipated the numbers of uninsured may increase statewide, unnecessarily increasing reliance on more costly forms of care. read more >>