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Senate Passes Bills To Provide Funds For Hospitals And Nursing Homes

 

New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan announced New York State Senate legislative passage of two bills that will provide $122 million in additional funding for hospitals improve the quality of patient care and help nursing homes afford the increasing cost of energy.

"These bills begin to address an expansion of quality of care programs for hospitals, as well as addressing rising energy costs," said Senator Morahan.

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Program (S.8077) provides $82 million to community based health providers, including physicians, and to hospitals throughout the State. Grants would be provided to help facilities in implementing programs that would improve the quality of patient care. Funds may be used for staffing, equipment, and training.

The Resident Health Care Facility Emergency Energy Assistance Program (S.8076) provides $40 million in General Fund support to private and public nursing homes to help them afford the increasing cost of energy. The grants would be distributed to each facility based on their percentage of the "net total patient revenue" for all facilities Statewide.

The bills will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

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Fact Sheet on S.8077 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Program

Ÿ S. 8077 establishes the Patient safety and quality improvement program and provides $82 million in General Fund support;

Ÿ Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to provide annual grants to community based health providers, including physicians, and to general hospitals throughout New York State;

Ÿ Grants would be provided to assist facilities in implementing measures and programs that would improve the quality of care provided to the patients of New York State. Funds provided for these quality improvement programs may be used for staffing, equipment, and training;

Ÿ Grants to community based health care provider and physicians would be distributed as follows:

Ÿ $2 million or 2.4 percent would be distributed proportionately based on the total annual threshold visits

Ÿ $80 million or the remaining amounts would be provided as grants to general hospitals as follows:

Ÿ 31.25 percent to general hospitals located in cities with a population of more than one million based on their bad debt and charity care losses;

Ÿ 30 percent to general hospitals located in cities with a population of more than one million based on their salary costs;

Ÿ 30 percent to general hospitals based on in-patient days;

Ÿ 6.25 percent to major public hospitals based on their bad debt and charity care losses; and

Ÿ 2.5 percent to general hospitals located in Westchester County based on their bad debt and charity care losses.

Ÿ Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to establish a working group, which would be responsible for establishing clinical measures and measurement criteria to be used in order to evaluate the improvement in quality performances by each facility that receives a grant award;

Ÿ In order to remain eligible for grant funding for the annual period January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008, facilities must be re-certified by the Commissioner of Health. This re-certification process would include review of annual reports submitted by each facility and a determination that each facility has met the established criteria for improvement in quality measures;

Ÿ The Patient safety and quality improvement program would expire on December 31, 2008