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VNSNY’s government affairs department works to maintain and expand programs that improve our patients’ lives, and to maintain funding that covers their care so they can remain at home and in their communities, living as independently as possible.
We act as a liaison between patient and government bodies such as the state and federal legislatures, as well as regulatory bodies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the New York State Department of Health and Department of Insurance.
Adequate funding is critical to our mission. When we receive sufficient reimbursement from programs like Medicare and Medicaid, we are able to hire and train the best nurses and clinicians, and to have a large enough staff to meet all of the needs of all of our patients. Cuts in government funding are not usually transferred to patients as out-of-pocket costs but typically result in reduced services and reduced staff.
Adequate funding also allows us to develop new and creative ways of providing care. Among the programs and services our government affairs department has helped to bring about are:
In addition, VNSNY’s government affairs department works to change legislation. Most recently, we helped to change laws in New York State that limited hospice residences to a maximum of eight beds. Our hospice department recognized a need for larger residences, and through our efforts, the law has been changed to authorize 16-bed residences. VNSNY is one of the three designees in New York State for a larger residence.