Iroquois is the regional voice in Albany and Washington for Upstate hospitals and health care system members. Iroquois promotes a broader understanding of, and builds support for, the health care systems serving Upstate New York. Iroquois provides representation and advocacy at the state level by effectively lobbying the state Legislature, and establishing close working relationships with the Governor's office, state agency officials, and regulatory representatives. Iroquois influences public policy development through both legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts. Regional activities, such as hosting legislators and meeting with local officials, are critical to maintaining a unified voice for legislative and regulatory action. Iroquois continues to work with the Cuomo Administration to address issues affecting Upstate hospitals, review the Executive Budget Proposal, and also work with the State Legislature.
All of our advocacy efforts focus on the simple truth that hospitals exist to serve. Their ability to serve well requires a relationship with their communities built on trust and compassion. To serve communities well, hospitals must also manage resources in a challenging environment. The hospital industry faces many challenges.
- Payment shortfalls for Medicare and Medicaid
- Physician and worker shortages
- Rising demand from sicker and older patients
- Continued regulatory burdens
- Rapidly rising costs
- Decreased access to capital
- Increased insurance company consolidation and leverage
- Increased charity care
Iroquois' advocacy agenda will be guided by the following principles:
- Cutting State Medicaid rates is not health care reform.
- Balance must be established with regard to funding between hospitals and payors.
- Hospitals continue to provide free care and free community services. Payors, both not-for-profit and for-profit, need to contribute to the community as well.
- In Upstate, efforts must be made to attract and retain health care workers. The physician shortage is critical and has been an unfunded cost to hospitals that must be addressed.
- Hospitals and physicians need more leverage in negotiating with payors as payors consolidate and dominate the market.