State Health Commissioner Outlines Key Health Reforms

Testifies at Legislative Budget Hearing

ALBANY, NY (Feb.6, 2008) — Emphasizing that Governor Spitzer's budget takes "additional steps toward achieving a high-performing, cost-effective health care system," today State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., outlined key health reforms contained in the Governor's proposed 2008-2009 Executive Budget at a joint Assembly-Senate legislative hearing in Albany.

Despite ranking among the nation's highest spenders on health care, New York ranks poorly compared with most other states on measures of quality and access, Commissioner Daines said. He noted that New York ranks 39th in avoidable hospital use, 30th on selected public health indicators, 30th on quality of care, and 11th on access to care.

Reforms provided in the new budget build on last year's steps to improve access, quality and affordability in the health care system, Dr. Daines said.

Specifically, funding to cover uninsured children continues New York's progress toward achieving universal access to care, he said. Changes in Medicaid reimbursement will provide incentives for increased emphasis on primary and preventive care to improve health outcomes. The budget ties improved quality and safety to each reform and supports a new initiative to address physician shortages in certain geographic areas.

Dr. Daines' testimony can be viewed or downloaded at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/commissioner/testimony/2008-02-06_budget_testimony.htm