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The implementation in 2014 of the New York State Health Benefit Exchange is one of the most important issues facing businesses today. In 2013 The Business Council of Westchester will be providing a “road map” so that businesses will be able to understand their responsibilities once the law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
The fact is that the rising cost of health care continues to be a major concern to the business community. Questions still remain if the new State health exchanges that are being created through the federal reform legislation will provide access but will not address affordability. Our goal in 2013 is to achieve progress in examining and controlling the escalating costs of health care and Medicaid to achieve meaningful reductions in health care premiums and Medicaid spending. We will keep focusing on cost-containment issues especially in regards to the implementation of the Health Exchange Program. We must create flexibility in New York’s health insurance regulations to permit more innovative offerings to give businesses more diverse and affordable choices.On other legislative issues The Business Council of Westchester believes we should:
- Place a moratorium on new mandates due to the changes imposed by the federal health care reform legislation
- Evaluate existing mandates to determine how they align with federal mandates and determine if mandate relief is possible
- Reduce taxes and assessments that raise the cost of health insurance
- Look for more savings in the state’s Medicaid Redesign effort. Much of the effort to redesign New York’s complicated Medicaid system calls for fundamental changes to the roles and compensation for many of the providers in the system. The redesign of the Medicaid system can not just be acrossthe-board provider cuts and manipulated reimbursement rates to achieve real savings and not cost-shots to the private pay health insurance market. In addition, we support the concept of the Medicaid Redesign’s team efforts to have the state take over the cost of Medicaid Financing from local municipalities.
- Reform Medicaid to resemble the more typical benefits offered by other states and supports a crackdown on Medicaid fraud to restore taxpayer confidence in this program
- Endorse the enactment of medical liability tort reform to rein in the costs of medical malpractice insurance
- Advocate for restoring flexibility to New York’s health insurance regulations to permit more innovative and targeted health plan offerings that meet the consumer’s needs; flexibility in health insurance offerings gives businesses more diverse and affordable choices.
- Advocate for aligning provider incentives to promote cost-effective primary care; the current reimbursement system rewards providers for high utilization of expensive procedures at the expense of primary and preventive care services.
- Advocate for the development of pay-forperformance programs and centers of excellence that reward providers for delivering higher quality health care and targeting investments toward results
- Support wellness programs offered by health insurers, featuring incentives and rewards for employers; employee contributions would be voluntary
- Create incentives for the use of electronic medical records
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