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New York State Assembly
Notice of Public Hearing

Committee on Health
Richard N. Gottfried

Monday, October 29, 2007 at 10:30 AM
Legislative Office Building, 2nd floor
Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Friday, November 2, 2007 at 10:00 AM
250 Broadway, 19th floor
Assembly Hearing Room 1923
New York City


Developing a Primary Care Agenda

Earlier this year the Department of Health began implementation of the health facility closing and restructuring recommendations of the "Commission on Health Care in the 21st Century" (aka "The Berger Commission"); and this summer Governor Spitzer announced "Partnership for Coverage," a joint initiative of the Department's of Health and Insurance to develop a plan for universal coverage for New York. These and other actions reflect movement toward transformation of New York's health care system. Developing a strong primary care system which assures timely access and adequacy of care through development of a "medical home" is also an essential element of health care reform and restructuring.

These public hearings will examine the adequacy of New York's primary care system and identify what action is needed to strengthen it.

Issues which the Committee is interested in exploring, and which witnesses should address, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To what extent are existing primary care services adequate to meet the existing and anticipated need of New Yorkers? Have we lost capacity over the last several years and, if so, to what extent and where?

  • Is access to primary care a particular problem for the uninsured? If yes, are there successful strategies for assuring access? Please describe.

  • Do particular geographic regions or special segments of the population exhibit special unmet primary care needs? Please describe.

  • To what extent are health personnel shortages contributing to the adequacy of primary care capacity in New York? If so, what causes these shortages?

  • Do successful strategies exist for professional schools and training programs to increase the recruitment and training of primary care practitioners to serve the needs of urban and rural New Yorkers? Please de-scribe.

  • Does the current system of third-party public and private reimbursement for primary care adequately sup-port effective primary care? If not, what reforms are needed?

  • Community health centers are a centerpiece of the primary care delivery system. What is the current state of their financial health? Have operating margins eroded over recent years compared to historic patterns? If so, why?

  • A substantial portion of primary care services is delivered in hospital out-patient departments. To what extent does this care meet appropriate standards for continuity and quality of care? Are there successful strategies for addressing these issues?

  • Are there models of primary care that are particularly effective in preventing and managing illnesses? What do we know about their effectiveness in reducing cost and improving health status?

  • What information technology (IT) investments are needed for the primary care delivery system? Are they different from the rest of the health care sector and, if so, how? What strategies are available for such in-vestments?

  • What are the key defining characteristics of a "medical home" and how are they measured?

Persons wishing to testify or attend should complete the hearing reply form below and return as indicated as soon as possible, but no later than Tuesday, October 23, 2007. It is important that the form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes in length. All testimony is under oath. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. This request should be made on the reply form or communicated to Committee staff as soon as possible. Ten copies of any written statement should be submitted at the hearing registration table. In addition, written testimony for the record may also be e-mailed as an attachment to: healthhearing@assembly.state.ny.us. Written testimony should be submitted no later than one week after the hearing date.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the New York State Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admis-sion to Assembly facilities and activities.

Questions about this hearing may be directed to Richard Conti of the Assembly Health Committee staff at 518-455-4941 or contir2@assembly.state.ny.us.

Developing a Primary Care Agenda Public Hearing Reply Form -- Respond by Tues., Oct. 23rd

Mail or fax to: Dick Gottfried, 822 LOB, Albany, NY 12248; fax: 518-455-5939

box I plan to testify at the __ [October 29/Albany] __ [November 2/NYC] hearing.

box I plan to attend, but not testify at, the __ [October 29/Albany] __ [November 2/NYC] hearing.


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