The New York Times reached out to HCA President Joanne Cunningham seeking HCA’s perspective on assertions made by Governor Cuomo’s administration about Medicaid spending in the state budget. As HCA has extensively reported to the membership, the Governor singled out home care in his budget speech on February 1 using misleading data and politically-charged rhetoric about home care administrative costs and rates of spending.
Responding to Times questions about these issues, Ms. Cunningham explained that the points made in Governor Cuomo’s speech rely on inaccurate data used by the state Health Department which fail to account for the fact that: a) what the state considers to be “administrative” costs are actually patient-care-related activities and other core functions; b) most of the system’s truly “administrative” costs stem from the state’s own thrusting of unfunded mandates onto the home care system; and c) administrative costs — including for those “administrative” functions that have a direct bearing on patient care — are capped by the state.
In the Times piece, Ms. Cunningham states that the overwhelming majority of home care providers are operating in the red and that (according to the Department’s own data) any aggregate spending growth in the industry is attributable to a very small minority of providers, with the responsibility resting on the state Department of Health to determine the reason for these trends and to more accurately reflect these trends in its data.
“We’ve asked the Health Department to use its tools and resources, which are many, to figure out what is happening related to that growth,” Ms. Cunningham is quoted as saying.
Read the article here.