New York lawmakers demand data to prevent health insurance overpayments

Proponents estimate that New York state could pay more than $1 billion in medical bills as the disparity in hospital costs widens depending on where you get treatment.

Some lawmakers are working to find out how much.

Democratic State Senator Andrew Gunardez said, “Overall, hospitals charge wildly variable costs, billing patients or under various insurance plans for some really basic care. We have a lot of data showing that we do.” Originally from Brooklyn.

Gounardes and state legislator Catalina Cruz, a Queens Democrat, wrote a letter requesting data to assess the costs of the 1.2 million state employees enrolled in New York’s health insurance program and how much that amount was. government officials and state health commissioners. The state pays too much to its beneficiaries.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, medical costs have increased by more than 200% since June 2000, and hospital costs are highly variable.

For example, an MRI scan for an uninsured person costs less than $500 at the Mt. Sinai Health System in New York City, while the New York Presbyterian across the street costs $7,400 for patients with health insurance. It costs more than a dollar.

In the letter, lawmakers asked the Office of Civil Service for a list of questions to determine which hospital systems are overcharging for standard procedures.

They are spent on state health insurance plans and employee hospital care to ensure that the state, New York State’s largest purchaser of health care, manages taxpayer funds appropriately. would like to know the amount of public funds

“That helps us get a sense of how big a problem this really is,” Gunardez said.

Lawmakers chose to evaluate state health insurance programs, or the data they manage, taking a step toward affordable equity for hospitals. But it is an issue that affects all workers when negotiating benefits.

“What they learned [budget] At last year’s hearings, the state didn’t even track this information,” said Manny Pastrike, secretary of accounts for union SEIU 32BJ.

Several trade unions and health care providers have joined forces to form a coalition for affordable hospitals.

People with health insurance can pay up to three to four times what hospitals charge the government for Medicare, Pastrich said.

“We think the state is probably overpaying for health care by over $1 billion,” he said. “What could the state do with $1 billion for other priorities other than overpaying for expensive hospitals?”

Lawmakers did not give the Office of Civil Service a deadline to receive the data, but expect it could take several weeks as the state compiles the information during the open registration period.

“We are reviewing the letter. With medical costs trending upwards nationwide, the Office of Civil Service is working to provide comprehensive and affordable health coverage while protecting New York taxpayers. , remains committed to working with the state’s union of workers and the 1.2 million NYSHIP participants, state health plan letters and public officials when asked about costs.

The state health department, which regulates state hospitals, cannot oversee the state’s medical plan and referred all questions to the Department of Civil Service. The department responds to lawmakers’ offices with letters to direct them to other agencies.

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