AAP District II is funded by your NY Chapter dues                                                  February 2015   

In This Report
Pediatric Practice Transformation, Policy & Politics
Maintaining Core Pediatric Principles and Standards in a Changing Environment
Supporting Initiatives that Help Children Thrive
Virtual Advocacy Days...A New Approach to Getting Our Message Out
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Dear District II Member, Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP

We are well into the New Year and much is happening. We are starting a new legislative session in Albany and a new session of Congress. We are also looking at continuing health care reform initiatives throughout our state that will impact every pediatric practice from solo practitioners to those pediatricians who are members of large regional practices, in academic medicine or have moved to hospital based networks.

Please read on for details.


Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP

Chair, NYS AAP, District II



Pediatric Practice Transformation, Policy & Politics


Practice transformation is occurring at all levels of health care services delivery and pediatrics is meeting the challenges from the state reforms integrating care and care management, to insurance pressures, like pay for performance or increased risk sharing, to hospital mergers and the purchase of practices.


The politics and policy in health will now be created by a state legislature that is evenly divided with Democratic control of the Assembly and a majority Republican Senate. At the national level both the Senate and the House of Representatives are majority Republican. What this may mean for our issues at the federal level and for the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains a question.

In this ever changing environment our goal, as always is to focus our advocacy on improving access to and quality of health care for all children; and to ensure the highest level of pediatric practice across the state.

Maintaining Core Pediatric Principles and Standards in a Changing Environment


This year our policy, budget and legislative advocacy efforts will focus on maintaining pediatric standards of care in the ever changing health care services delivery systems, fighting for fair payment for pediatric services, working to ensure pediatric focus to the integration of primary care and children's behavioral health, and supporting initiatives and investments that increase the life chances of all children.


As we work with our colleagues across medicine on practice transformation, bringing pediatrics into the new world of integrated practices, implementing health homes for children, and securing a pediatric focus on the millennium morbidities, we must assure that pediatrics and care for children remain a core component of all health care reform and health care delivery redesign. In the ongoing discussions about Medicaid Redesign, MRT Reform implementation and DSRIP/PPS planning and design in the mega health systems changes, we will articulate for our state leaders how pediatrics is an "upstream" preventive service and define how pediatrics and a true children's medical home serves both population health goals and can work to bend the health cost curve going forward.

Supporting Initiatives that Help Children Thrive


During this time of challenge and practice transformation, we also must remember our commitment to making the lives of children and families better and stronger.

Specifically, we will continue to call for increases in the minimum wage to help all families provide adequate food, safe housing and a stable life for their children. We will speak out on the need for equitable access to quality affordable early care and education for all New York families. We will encourage our state leaders to invest in children's programs, like Nurse Family Partnership, Reach Out and Read, and truly Universal Pre-K that support healthy development and provide strong school readiness for all children, but especially those at risk.

At the same time we will continue to call for financial support for a children's medical home model as defined by Bright Futures. And we will work with the state to assure that children can and will get appropriate mental health services from their pediatrician when appropriate and from specialists when needed. We will also take a position on pediatric standards for the ever proliferating urgent care centers and continue to advocate to keep children health care out of the scope of services for retail based clinics.

Virtual Advocacy Days...A New Approach to Getting Our Message Out


This year we will be designing and implementing a Virtual Advocacy Day. Pediatricians across the state will be provided with our Children's Policy & Advocacy Agenda. These documents will be used by pediatricians to visit their state Assembly members and Senators in their home offices to talk about our key issues and to urge our representatives to support our positions. We will also be choosing specific days during the session to focus on specific agenda items. On these days we will be urging members to call and e-mail their Assembly members and Senators asking for support for our legislative and budget priorities. In this way we hope to broaden our voice and strengthen our presence in the state decision making process.

This could and should be a most interesting year for New York State advocacy for children's health and wellbeing. The state is not in deficit. There are resources available. The health care delivery system is in flux at every level. And, there is a recognition that health status is as dependent on social, economic, emotional and environmental conditions as on the availability of quality care. In addition, all state representatives from the legislature as well as state level offices have just been elected and can and will make some of their more contentious decisions without an election just around the corner. If we work with focus and consistency, we should be able to make the lives of the children we care for and care about better.

We look forward to working with you and working for you during this most challenging and exciting time in pediatrics in New York State.

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