Memos of Support 2012

American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, New York State
Supportive Positions on Pending Legislation in New York State

Index:

 

Memo of Support
S.6500/A9381
February 28, 2012

Contact: Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy
eward@aap.net
518-441-4544

The American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, New York State, representing almost 6,000 pediatricians across the state, enthusiastically supports S.6500/A.9381.  This legislation requires any hospital with a newborn nursery to offer new parents, and others who may be regular caregivers in the household of a newborn, immunization against pertussis (whooping cough).

Newborns are at very high risk of serious illness or death should they contract the pertussis.  Most recently, nine babies in California died of complications from pertussis.  Here in NYS, we have had several outbreaks of pertussis in various parts of the state including on Long Island and in several areas upstate.  We have also had to treat some very sick babies.

For clinical reasons, it is not advisable to vaccinate newborns.  Therefore the parents and caregivers  in  the home of newborns need to be immunized.  They are the primary pathway through which newborns are exposed to pertussis. Offering parents and other key caregivers the opportunity to be immunized by the birthing hospital prior to newborn’s discharge will go a long way to protecting infants across the state from life threatening dangers of pertussis.

Families who are dealing with the challenges of birth and the needs of a newborn are often overwhelmed with new and complicated responsibilities.  Requiring hospitals with newborn nurseries to offer immunization to parents and caregivers will lessen the burden of potential serious illness in highly vulnerable infants.  It will also allow parents to take the most responsible action on behalf of their babies without adding additional scheduling and travel requirements to already overstressed families.

This approach, termed, cocooning, is an effective public health approach to protect infants too young to receive their own protection through immunization.  This legislation will also help New York address the current breakthrough episodes of pertussis in the general population.

We encourage the legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign this bill, as soon as possible so that we may begin to help protect our vulnerable infants across the state of New York.

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Memo of Support
A.02474A/S.3186
January 17, 2012

Contact: Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy
eward@aap.net
518-441-4544

     The American Academy of Pediatrics, representing more than 5,500 pediatricians across the state supports A.02474/S.3186 providing legal support for physicians to negotiate with insurers for fair service and reimbursement contracts.
Due to the current imbalance of negotiating power in favor of the managed care plans, physicians are offered take-it-or-leave-it contracts by health plans that can significantly hamper their ability to provide quality patient care.   These contracts often permit burdensome processes and unjustifiably long wait times for obtaining pre-authorization to provide needed patient care; impose limitations on whom a physician or other health care provider may refer a patient for necessary care; permit demands for refunds of payments long after the time that such payments were originally made; permit health plans to make major changes to key elements of a contract without physician consent; and cede to physicians and other health care providers the legal consequences for patients harmed by health plan utilization review decisions.
Right now, the playing field in health care contract negotiations strongly favors large managed care plans and disempowers physicians to represent the needs of their patients.
By allowing independent contractor physicians and health care providers to conduct some collective negotiations while being closely monitored by the state, this bill would give physicians greater ability to advocate for patients in contract negotiations.  This bill would also create a system under which the state could closely monitor those negotiations, and any negotiations involving fee-related matters would only be permitted when an individual managed care plan controls a substantial share of the managed care market. This legislation would not authorize strikes or boycotts of health benefit plans by physicians.
We fully support A.0274/S.3186 because we believe it will not only help improve health care, it will also create an equitable partnership between health care service providers and large managed care insurers across the state.   This legislation will have the ultimate effect of improving patient care and keeping more highly skilled physicians in New York State.

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Memo of Support
A.7285B
February 9, 2012

Contact: Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy
eward@aap.net
518-441-4544

AN ACT to amend the Public Health Law to prohibit smoking in private passenger cars, vans and trucks where a minor less than 14 years of age is a passenger in such vehicles; provides for rebuttable presumption; provides that violations of such provisions shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, NY representing 5,500 pediatricians across the state and the millions of New York children we care for, enthusiastically supports A.07285B.
The AAP has had a consistent and strong policy on tobacco control and cessation.  It has also been in the forefront of research on the negative health impacts of second hand smoke (SHS) on children through the work of its Julius B. Richmond Research Center.

The data is clear, second hand smoke has significant negative impacts on infants, toddlers, young children and pre-adolescents.  In fact, SHS has a negative impact on the health of all people, but the outcomes for children are especially concerning.  Children who are exposed to SHS have more respiratory and bronchial infections and irritations.  They are more prone to develop asthma and other breathing challenges.  Additionally, children who are already at risk of poor health outcomes because of asthma and other chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to SHS.

Passing this legislation will put New York squarely in favor of protecting children’s health.  Protecting children from SHS within the confines of a car will go a long way to reducing negative health impacts of SHS across the state.  In addition, passage of this legislation provides an opportunity to mount a focused public education campaign about the dangers of second hand smoke.  Not smoking in cars can be equated with securing your child in a child seat or a seat belt.  It is the safe and smart thing to do.

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Position Statement on Legislation Before the Assembly Health Committee
February 7, 2012

Contact: Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy
eward@aap.net
518-441-4544

The Academy of Pediatrics, representing more than 5,000 pediatricians across the state
Supports:

  • A. 3621  This bill has the potential to push landlords to do appropriate lead abatement in housing units in a more timely manner.  The increased fines may reduce childhood exposure to lead, while at the same time providing additional resources to government.  AAP supports this bill.
  • A. 3815  This bill can impact on the availability of toxic candies and toxic child specific products.   We firmly support the goals of this legislation, but believe for the State Department of Health to do a credible job in interdicting toxic candies and child specific products, it would need resources to hire more inspectors and more public educators to help parents in targeted communities understand the dangers that these products pose to their children.
  • A.04285  This bill provides parity for the state’s Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus programs.   It is imperative that this legislation is passed to assure that children and parents in state subsidized health insurance programs have access to the same mental health benefits as those covered by Medicaid and by private insurance.   This is a bill that guarantees equity and should be supported.

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American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, New York State
Supportive Positions on Pending Initiatives in New York City

Memo of Support
May 31, 2012

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, NYS representing more than 3,000 pediatricians working in the five boroughs, enthusiastically supports and endorses New York City’s initiative Supporting Women’s Choice to Breastfeed.  The Academy has been on record in support of breastfeeding as the best choice for babies and for mothers. Most recently  the AAP released clear recommendations in its professional journal Pediatrics detailing its specific support for breastfeeding and citing the overwhelming scientific evidence to support breastfeeding as the best option unless medically contraindicated.

In support of the City’s Breastfeeding Initiative the District will:

  • Stand with the Department leadership to call for hospitals voluntary commitment to support breastfeeding and reduce infant formula promotion in hospitals and pediatric offices
  • Participate with the Department in a public awareness campaign in support of Breastfeeding
  • Link our website to all Department materials in support of Breastfeeding
  • Link our website to the State’s Breastfeeding Bill of Rights and encourage members to print it out and make it available to all patients with newborns.
  • Work with our members to assure that they all support Breastfeeding as the best option for their patients.
  • Work with our members to help them help their patients get the support they need to sustain their commitment to breastfeeding, such as Lactation Counseling.
  • Prepare and disseminate our own Press Release detailing AAP’s support for the City’s Supporting Women’s Choice to Breastfeed initiative.

Contact: Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy
eward@aap.net
518-441-4544

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