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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Health care

Health care

  • Despite State Budget Funding, Little Progress Bringing Psychiatric Beds Back Into Service

    Hospital staff (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    New York State has made little progress bringing 1,000 shuttered psychiatric beds back into service after they were closed during the covid pandemic, raising questions about a signature element of the mental health and public safety agendas of Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams.

    In the April budget, Hochul and the Legislature allocated $27.5 million in state funding, matched by federal dollars, to restore the roughly 1,050 psychiatric beds shifted at the height of the pandemic when hospitals scrambled to make room for the

  • New York Overpaid $194 Million for Medicaid During the Pandemic, Comptroller Audit Finds

    Then-Gov. Cuomo holds a health care meeting (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)

    New York State overpaid more than $194 million in Medicaid payments during the pandemic after state officials failed to move eligible recipients to a cheaper funding plan, according to the Office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

    An audit of Medicaid payments from March 2021 to March 2022 found the state Department of Health continued to pay higher premiums to care management organizations even after receiving federal authorization to move some Medicaid recipients to a different plan at a fraction of

  • Our Behavioral Healthcare System is in Crisis; Here’s How We Fix It

    Getting help (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Very often patients with serious issues such as active hallucinations, self-harm behavior, severe depression, and suicidality wait for days in common spaces or crowded hospital hallways for observation or the next available inpatient psychiatric bed. I’ve seen patients in need of hospitalization far exceed available beds in New York City.  For someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such an experience can be traumatic and triggering. It impacts quality of care and prolongs and complicates treatment. It

  • New York Must Expand the Definition of Primary Care Provider; The Governor Can Sign the Bill to Make It Happen

    Gov. Hochul visits health care professionals (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)

    Preventive health and primary care are the key to a healthy population, and programs like Medicaid are essential for New York State’s most vulnerable people to access this care. Unfortunately, in New York, physician assistants (PAs) are not recognized as primary care providers (PCPs) for Medicaid managed care patients.

    And while I personally provide this care daily to this very patient population, this lack of recognition prevents

  • ‘You Come Back a Year Later and Fight for More’: Retiring Dick Gottfried Reflects on 52 Years in the State Assembly

    Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (photo: @cannaparade)

    After 52 years as a member of the New York State Assembly, Richard “Dick” Gottfried is retiring. His half-century career makes him the longest-serving Assembly member in New York State history, a journey that began in 1970. A Democrat representing the 75th Assembly District, which includes parts of Manhattan’s West Side, Gottfried will also be leaving his post as chair of the Assembly Health Committee, which he has held for a mere 35 years, since 1987.

    Gottfried announced his

  • Leveraging the Power of Health Care Spending to Build Community Wealth in Brooklyn

    Local health care spending spurs economic activity (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    As leaders of two of Brooklyn’s largest health systems – representing six hospitals, employing almost 14,000 individuals, and with combined non-personnel spending of over $655M per year – we understand firsthand the role healthcare institutions play in supporting the health and wealth of our communities. This is why we have made an unprecedented commitment to procure 10% of our non-clinical goods and services from local minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) by

  • City Council Examines Bills to Address Maternal Health, Racial Disparities in Reproductive Care

    City Council hearing on maternal health (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council)

    At a hearing this past week, New York City Council Members discussed a package of legislation related to maternal health, mortality, and morbidity and seeking to address healthcare inequities as well as the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade constitutional abortion protections. The joint hearing held by the Council’s Committee on Health and Committee on Hospitals dealt with...

  • The Governor Must Act to Protect Health Care for LGBTQ New Yorkers

    Gov. Hochul at a Pride parade (photo: Don Pollard/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    As we celebrate Pride Month, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has just released asobering report revealing the startling health disparities faced by LGBTQI+ New Yorkers. We need continued action to advance equity in our health-care system.


  • The Right to Reproductive Health in the Wake of Roe

    Health care (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is an affront to the key principles of United States citizenry by failing to protect the life, liberty, autonomy, and health of those who can become pregnant. The recent cascade of total bans or severe restrictions on abortion is not based on science, but ideological biases, and is clearing a legislative path to a draconian future in reproductive freedom and health.

    The ramifications of this decision on health

  • Max Politics Podcast: Dick Gottfried on 52 Years in the State Assembly

    Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)

    June xx, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Dick Gottfried on 52 Years in the State Legislature

    Assemblymember Dick Gottfried is retiring after 52 years in the Legislature. He joined the show to reflect on his tenure, including 35 years chairing the Assembly health committee, how state government has changed over time, his major accomplishments, the New York Health Act, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • How New York Must Build Back a Better Primary Care System


    Mayor Adams gets health care (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    If you spotted a nickel on the ground, would you stop to pick it up? Probably not—it seems too small, too insignificant. Why bother?

    But that small amount is how we value primary care within the context of our whole health care system. It is estimated that only5–7

  • Winning the Public Health Recovery from Covid

    Mayor Adams visits health care workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    In its battle against COVID-19, New York City, even under a notably disorganized mayor, arrived at an impressive level of health organization. As may be recalled, Mayor de Blasio switched the lead role in the covid fight to Health + Hospitals, the city’s public hospital system, from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which retained major responsibilities but not its usual lead position in epidemics. It is to the credit of both agencies that, under this forced and

  • We’re Assembly Members, Healthcare Experts, Women of Color, Mothers, and Fed Up: It’s Time to Pass the New York Health Act

    "Healthcare is a right" (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The fact is, New York’s profit-driven health-care system continues to fail marginalized communities like those we represent in the State Legislature. As a matter of racial and gender justice, we must finally pass single-payer health care this state legislative session.

    Before we were elected to office, we each worked in or around New York’s health-care system – Assemblymember Reyes as an oncology nurse, Assemblymember Forrest as a maternal-child health nurse,

  • A Stronger Social Safety Net in the Next New York City Budget

    Getting local help (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The COVID-19 pandemic revealed glaring gaps and limitations in New York City’s social safety net, leaving many low-income families struggling to meet basic needs. As the city rebuilds from the pandemic’s destructive economic and health consequences, investing in social services should be at the core of our recovery plan. Moreover, it will be crucial to invest in the community-based organizations (CBOs) that help connect communities to these services.

    New York's Home Care System is on the Verge of Collapse; It Can Be Fixed in the State Budget

    A rally for Fair Pay for Home Care (photo: @JFREJNYC)

    For people with disabilities and older New Yorkers, home care is the lifeline that enables them to stay in their homes and lead independent lives. Right now, the home care sector faces an alarming workforce crisis, jeopardizing the availability of at-home assistance and community living that enable people with disabilities and older New Yorkers to live their lives with dignity.

    We are facing a growing demand to increase the home care workforce. While agencies

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on Crunch-Time State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)

    March 30, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Senate health committee, joined the show to discuss final state budget negotiations, touching on a variety of key issues, as well as the overarching process, Mayor Adams' Albany agenda, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the

  • New York Leaders Must Not Let Health Insurance Companies Coopt Patient Protection Law

    Seeking health care (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    In 2014, New York became the first state toenact a law addressing surprise medical bills. Congress followed suit in 2020 with the

  • Time for New York to Act: Everyone Deserves Quality Health Care, No Matter Their Immigration Status

    Avoiding the emergency room (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Mateo first came to the United States to be a caregiver for his terminally ill brother, who had cancer. Shortly after his brother passed away, Mateo went to a regular doctor’s check-up. He had not been feeling well lately. After further tests, doctors determined that his kidneys were failing. Since then, Mateo has been reliant on hemodialysis, a treatment intended to help a patient with kidney failure survive while they wait for a transplant.

    New York Needs to Protect Medicaid Members in the State Budget

    Good health care is essential (photo: Don Pollard/Governor’s Office)

    More than 5.5 million New Yorkers rely on Medicaid managed care health plans for their care. Many of these members are among the state’s most at-risk residents, with multiple health conditions that require coordination of numerous services. This includes both physical health and mental health care, long-term services and supports, as well as help coordinating social services, such as housing, employment, education, and food access. They often rely on Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) and other

  • This International Women’s Day, Let's Commit to Building a New York Economy That Works for Women

    Ana Maria Archila, the author (photo: Claudio Papapietro)

    It is said that International Women’s Day, which we celebrate today, March 8, started in 1857 when a group of women garment and textile workers marched in New York City for better wages and working conditions. Though this origin story is probably a myth — in fact, Women’s Day originated with a suffragist march through Manhattan six decades later — its popularity

  • I Had A No-Cost Childbirth, Other New York Moms Should Be Able To Do The Same

    A new mom (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)

    When I had my first child, I couldn’t believe how expensive it was to give birth. Thankfully, I had no complications, but the bills related to my brief hospital stay added up and compounded the financial strain of caring for my new baby.

    Eighteen years later, I was pregnant with my third child and worried that the costs would again be too high for me to afford. But this time, I was able to participate in the SEIU 32BJ Health Fund’s Maternity Care Program in partnership

  • History Demonstrates That Diversity Is the Future of Medicine

    Health care workers on the front lines (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    As we celebrate Black History Month, I often reminisce on the saying, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." As a cardiologist,Vivien Thomas is one of the many African-American giants whose shoulders I’m privileged to stand on. To me, he is a pillar of cardiac surgery, a master anatomist, an exemplary scientist,

  • California’s Moving to Expand Health Coverage to Immigrants; What About New York?

    ca mov expand

    Health care in New York (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a $2.7 billion expansion to his state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, in his state budget proposal. This transformative policy would extend to all immigrants, regardless of their status, covering an estimated 700,000 individuals. As California moves forward to expand immigrants’ access to health care,

  • How Health Care, Tech, and the New Federal Infrastructure Law Must Connect

    health care internet hospital patients

    Getting health help through infrastructure (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    President Biden and Congress took a significant step in shoring up access to health care by enacting the infrastructure bill.

    The COVID-19 crisis shined a spotlight on broadband inequity and its impact on access to health-care services. While our country leapt forward on digital health, some of the neighborhoods and families who need it most were left out.

    In July 2020, EmblemHealth surveyed New Yorkers and found nearly one-third of Black-led and almost

  • Removing Obstacles to Gender-Affirming Care Will Help New York End the HIV Epidemic

    protect lgbtq honor

    An affirmation of transgender rights (photo: Don Pollard/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    World AIDS Day is an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, while recommitting ourselves to Ending the Epidemic once and for all. While we have come a long way since the 1980s, some communities have been left behind. Ending the Epidemic will require a sustained focus on populations placed at highest risk, particularly people of transgender experience.

    Recent finding shows that...