AAP District II is funded by your NY Chapter dues                                                  January  2012

In This Report
NYS Budget's Impact on Children
Other Changes Effecting Health Care in NYS
New AAP District II Committee
Quick Links 
Save The Date!
 Feb. 28, 2012
AAP District II's Advocacy Day
University Club
141 Washington Ave.
Save The Date!
 Feb. 29, 2012
 Upstate EHDI Symposium
DoubleTree Hotel
Syracuse, NY

Presented by:
AAP, District II (NYS)
& NYS EHDI Program

Click to Register  
Save The Date!
 May 18, 2012
2nd Annual
Pediatric Nutrition Update
New Yorker Hotel
New York, NY
Presented by:
AAP, District II (NYS)
Dear District II Member, Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP

The 2012 legislative and budget session is a pivotal time for New York State. The decisions of our state leaders have significant impact on the work of pediatricians and the children and families we serve. Legislative and Administrative Agency decisions also have a direct relationship to payment for essential health benefits.  Given this, your District leadership must keep us all informed about state budget and policy decisions, and provide opportunities for you to advocate for investments that can improve children's health and well-being.


Please read on for details.

Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP
Chair, AAP District II, New York State

NYS Budget's Impact on Children




We are pleased to report that although the Governor made little mention of children in his state of the state report, in the proposed state budget he ensured the health and well-being of New York's children with either level or enhanced funding for most major initiatives. The implementation of the Medicaid Redesign Task Force's recommendations impacts on children's health on several levels inclusive of programmatic issues as well as budget and service system perspectives. Behavioral health, health homes, and wrap around care all have potential to improve children's health and access to services. The success of these initiatives depends on the details of the program design and financial support. For example, the initiative to provide payment for lactation counseling and lactation support services in the Medicaid program will help ensure that more new mothers breastfeed, and that they continue for longer periods of time.


In the State Department of Health budget itself, we see level funding for most children's health services.  Although there are some disappointments, like to cuts to anti-tobacco programs, there are no cuts to children's Medicaid, no cuts to the CHIP program, no cuts to Special Health Care Needs services for children programs.


Nurse-Family Partnership Program 


We did not see full funding of the Nurse-Family Partnership Program, and in fact there appears to be a reduction of approximately $5 million.  This evidence-based program was supported by the MRT recommendations, and is one that the AAP has firmly supported in the past.  We will be focusing budget advocacy on this among other issues.


Early Intervention Program


There are significant reforms and budgetary changes proposed for the Early Intervention Program.  But most of those are changes in who pays for services and who makes treatment decisions.  If anything, these reforms have the potential to put pediatricians in a more central position in EI decision making. These reforms have been proposed before; the next several months will indicate whether or not this year, they will become state law.


Close to Home Initiative


The Budget also proposes a Close to Home Initiative, which will bring all juveniles currently housed or sent to non-secure or limited state juvenile justice facilities back to New York City.  The City has worked with the State Office of Children and Family Services over the last several years to design the program to bring young people home and keep them close their families, communities and natural support services. 


Other Changes Effecting Health Care in NYS


Federal Health Reform Legislation, (ACA), & MRT Recommendations


But the state budget is only one component of the challenges we face this year.  As you know, there are significant changes coming to all health care services in New York. The combination of implementing the requirements of Federal Health Reform legislation, (ACA), and actions to implement almost 100 MRT recommendations across the system, from Brooklyn Hospital mergers to financially supporting lactation counseling, will have giant impacts on the service delivery system. 


Advocating for a Bright Futures Benefits Packages


As the state struggles to pass legislation and moves to implement a New York State Health Insurance Exchange as part of ACA, we must remain focused on how to be part of the process and ensure that children's needs are recognized and addressed. The new flexibility the federal government has offered states to design their own Essential Benefits Packages offers opportunities and challenges.  We must advocate loudly and clearly for a New York Bright Futures benefit package that truly meets the needs of all children. We cannot allow the current protections of EPSDT in Children's Medicaid, the full benefit package coverage of CHIP or the generally favorable coverage in the general private market to be compromised in any way.  We have worked for many years with our partners in the legislature and state agencies to create and deliver a children's medical home model.  Health reform must support our principles of access to and quality of children's health care here in New York. The Bright Futures benefit package should apply for all New York children regardless of payer.



New AAP District II Committee:
Public Policy & Advocacy (PPA) 


The articles above give the current update on the state budget and health policy environment.  Additionally, the  District must stay alert to the opportunities to strengthen our positions, for example,  making insurance companies cover the costs of autism treatments, as well as position us to defeat proposals that run counter to our mission, such an anti-immunization legislation.


In that vein, the District has created a new AAP District II Public Policy & Advocacy (PPA) Committee. With two representatives from each chapter and Co-chairs Mike Terranova from AAP NY Chapter 1 and Andy Racine from AAP NY Chapter 3, this committee will identify and analyze policy and legislation developed by others, as well as propose policy and legislation to reflect the District's priorities.  The committee members will work to develop and recommend positions and actions for the District leadership.  It our hope that the PPA with strengthen the District's capacity to identify issues, define problems and craft solutions with the help and support of partners in medicine and government.


Join Us!


We look forward to working with you at this important time.  Your passion and your professionalism are our tools to stand up for the children of New York.  We urge you to actively work with us in our advocacy on behalf of children and the pediatricians who care for them.


AAP's Albany Advocacy Day is February 28th.  Please join us (see the green box on the top left to register/for more info), and raise your voice for children. There is much to do and we can only be effective together!


District II (New York State), American Academy of Pediatrics
408 Kenwood Avenue, 2nd Floor | Delmar, NY 12054
518/439-0892 | Fax:  518/439-0769 | www.aapdistrictii.org