Over Forty Family Physicians, Residents & Students Travel to the State Capitol to Advocate for Patient-Centered Care, Disease Prevention and Primary Care Investments

By Vito Grasso, EVP | February 26, 2024

“Today, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP) held its annual Advocacy Day with over forty family physicians, residents and students meeting with more than sixty Senate and Assembly representatives at the State Capitol to discuss the budget and legislative priorities of family physicians on behalf of their patients.”

“NYSAFP members lauded the investments in primary care included in Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget including increased Medicaid reimbursement for primary care medical homes and nearly $16 million in continued funding for the Doctors Across New York (DANY) program for primary care physician loan forgiveness and practice support for recruitment and retention efforts. NYSAFP further supports the $2.2 million in the budget for area health education centers (AHEC), a critical partner focused on addressing healthcare workforce shortages through pipeline and mentorship programs.  In meetings with lawmakers, NYSAFP sought support for related legislation to require at least 12.5% of overall healthcare spend to be on primary care services (S1197B, Rivera/ A8592, Paulin) and a bill to enhance DANY award opportunities for those who go into private practice (S6882, Skoufis/A7942, McDonald). NYSAFP also advocates for state funding to support enhanced reproductive healthcare training in family medicine and support for physician use of telemedicine for those in need of medication abortion care in prohibitive states.”

“NYSAFP members raised their concerns with an Executive Budget proposal to weaken the current standards in place for physician supervision of physician assistants delivering primary care and other services, and to extend the law which removed collaboration requirements between physicians and nurse practitioners. These proposals could sacrifice quality and result in increased costs through overprescribing and overutilization of diagnostic imaging and other services, without any demonstrable value for patients.  Both fragment the current care team model and require far more study and stakeholder input, rather than being pushed through the very condensed, two-month budget process.”

“NYSAFP further opposes the Governor’s budget proposal to restructure the excess medical malpractice program which would thrust 50% of the cost of the program for the extra layer of coverage on the approx. 15,000 physicians currently enrolled at a time when physicians are already dealing with increased costs and federal CMS cuts.”

“On the legislative front, members are calling for the enactment of the Medical Aid in Dying Act (S2445A, Hoylman-Sigal/A995, Paulin) to expand options at end-of-life to include medical aid in dying by means of a patient directed, patient administered prescription medication.  This bill includes a series of safeguards modeled after successful laws in other states to prevent misuse or abuse.”

“NYSAFP also strongly supports and requests the passage of legislation to ensure that all vaccines given to adults are included in the Statewide or New York City vaccine registry, similar to child vaccines.  This legislation (S1531, Hoylman-Sigal/ A7154, McDonald) would move New York from an opt-in standard to a patient opt-out option for adult vaccine records to be entered into the State of NYC registry to ensure that New Yorkers only receive the vaccines they need and so we are better prepared for the next pandemic.”

“Finally, NYSAFP called on NYS leaders to implement comprehensive system reforms necessary to truly close gaps in health coverage by enacting the New York Health Act (S7590, Rivera/ A7897, Paulin) to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to high quality and meaningful healthcare coverage. Many New Yorkers remain uninsured or underinsured without coverage that is affordable, accessible and comprehensive to cover their needs. This measure would ensure patient access, while also authorizing physician collective negotiations with the payer.”  

NYSAFP represents nearly 6,000 family physicians, residents and students across the State. NYSAFP Family Physicians are board-certified and specialize in family medicine. Family physicians focus on the whole patient providing care throughout their lifetime. They provide comprehensive healthcare services to treat diseases and injuries in all age groups from newborns to the geriatric population and across all medical fields. Family Physicians focus on prevention, wellness and overall care coordination for patients and family medicine is the only specialty to focus on the care of the entire family unit. Family Physicians are also a main source of primary health care in New York and across the country.