Healthy Conversations, Issue 2

Healthy Conversations

Good afternoon!

We hope this finds you well. We have been busy monitoring the Budget hearings and Health Committee meetings and keeping on top of everything health-related. We hope you liked the inaugural newsletter we sent a few weeks ago (here if you missed it). Today’s newsletter is packed with healthcare news and other helpful information, including the Department of Health’s Commissioner’s podcast with Medicaid Director Amir Bassiri, discussing the 1115 Waiver. We also linked all relevant commissioner testimonies below in the Budget section for easy access and listed health-related bills that have passed both houses. If you have any questions, please reach out and let us know.

Cheers to a happy, healthy weekend!




30-day amendments: A complete list

30-Day Article VII Bills Amendments: Health and Mental Hygiene

  1. HMH Article VII Amendments Narrative
  2. HMH Article VII Amendments
  3. HMH New Part GG
  4. HMH New Part HH

DOH Witnesses List

Commissioner James McDonald’s Testimony

Human Services Witness List

OTDA Acting Commissioner Barbara Guinn’s Testimony

Acting Commissioner/Executive Deputy Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave

AARP State Director Beth Finkel Testimony

Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen’s Testimony

Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Viviana DeCohen’s Testimony

Budget Briefing Bill

Budget Press Release

Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal Legislation

Medicaid Redesign Team 1115 Waiver

  • Commissioner’s 1115 Waiver podcast from February 12 with Amir, addressing the following questions:
    • Who is the team?
    • What is the 1115 Wavier?
    • What is new?
    • Does it address health equity and social determinants?
    • How will it help hospitals?
    • Will providers who practice in offices benefit?
    • How will care change for the patient?
    • How does it fit DOH’s mission?

The Blue Book: Senate Majority Staff Analysis of the 2024-2025 Executive Budget Proposal

NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee Yellow Book: Review and Analysis of the 2024-25 Executive Budget



The following health bills have passed both houses in 2024:

  • A8521: Relates to the remote conduct of witnessing health care proxies
  • A2656: Permits pregnant women to enroll in health insurance during a special enrollment period without penalty
  • A5576: Requires certain information about the facility be provided to prospective maternity patients
  • A8486: Extends time frame to two years to receive updated mandated reporter training
  • A8497: Relates to a four-year demonstration project to reduce the use of temporary staffing agencies in residential healthcare facilities
  • A8501: Relates to adverse determinations related to a step therapy protocol override determination; repealer
  • A8502: Requires health insurance policies and medicaid to cover biomarker precision medical testing for certain purposes
  • A8515: Relates to the New York state adult cystic fibrosis program
  • A8522: Relates to the effectiveness of a chapter of law relating to municipal limited health care service facilities
  • A8524: Relates to licensure requirements and reimbursements for certain home health services; repealer
  • A8536: Relates to orders not to resuscitate
  • S1003A: Relates to providing information to patients and the public on policy-based exclusions
  • S2039B: Relates to maternal depression screenings
  • S5991A: Permits doulas to be present in the operating room while a cesarean section is being performed
  • S5992A: Permits expecting and new mothers’ access to their doulas
  • S7702A: Requires the department of health to convene a maternal health care and birthing standards workgroup
  • S8003Requires reporting on the status of issues at residential health care facilities to the state long-term care ombudsman.
  • S8005: Requires camps and youth sports programs have at least one automated external defibrillator; requires camps and youth sports programs to use best efforts to have at least one person trained to use such defibrillators at camps, games and practices
  • S8013: Establishes a registry for children’s non-regulated camps; repealer
  • S8016: Requires the department of health to conduct a public information and outreach campaign on medically unnecessary treatments on persons born with intersex traits
  • S8024: Relates to physician coursework or training in nutrition; moves such provisions from the public health law to the education law
  • S8026: Relates to the justified use of physical force
  • S8028: Establishes standards for the evacuation of individuals with disabilities from high-rise buildings during an emergency; provides factors to be considered in the development of such standards
  • S8051: Relates to the display of green lights on the vehicles of members of mobile crisis teams and the revocation of authorization to display such light
  • S8057: Relates to the controlling disposition of a decedent’s remains
  • S8058: Defines gender-affirming care for the purposes of certain prohibitions regarding the legal system and gender-affirming care
  • S8061: Clarifies provisions relating to dispensing of drug adulterant testing supplies
  • S8072: Relates to the scope of the work an athletic trainer is authorized to perform
  • S8076: Requires the office of mental health to identify information and training programs relating to the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for military veterans; requires the office of mental health to publish on their website information and links to the identified relevant training programs
  • S8080: Directs the state department of social services to establish and maintain a community doula directory for doulas for the purposes of Medicaid reimbursement and promoting doula services to Medicaid recipients
  • S8092: Allows certain non-public schools to be exempt from being required to provide menstrual products in the restrooms of school buildings, upon a demonstration to the commissioner of education that the school does not serve students who need such products, and that such products are otherwise available to students who might need them
  • S8093: Permits the commissioner of health to share deidentified information as strictly necessary to respond to a public health emergency or an imminent threat to public health, or to consult and cooperate with the appropriate agencies of the federal government or of other states in accordance with the functions, powers, and duties of the department, and may share identified information in such circumstances only when strictly necessary and with the consent of the patient
  • S8096: Relates to the effectiveness of a chapter of the laws of 2023 relating to the dispensing of self-administered hormonal contraceptives



City & State’s Healthy New York Summit

Thursday, April 18, 9am-3:30pm

  • Keynote Speakers: Dr. James V. McDonald, Commissioner, NYS Department of Health and Dr. Ashwin Vasan Commissioner, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
  • The “Summit will bring together health care decision makers and policy experts from all sectors to identify challenges and discuss solutions to improve our system. Attendees will gain new insights and perspectives on the most critical issues and priorities in New York health care during and post the pandemic”
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York, NY



DOH Hearings

Thursday, February 22, 2024

  • The Public Health and Health Planning Council’s Ad Hoc Committee to Lead the State Health Improvement Plan will meet at 10:30am, Albany, NY and New York, NY
  • You may view but not participate in the public meeting via the live webcast



Assembly Committee Agenda

Assembly Hearings



Senate Hearings

Senate Committee Meetings




Times Union

Spectrum News1



Grants Gateway

Statewide Funding System

Statewide Transformation Grants

New York Health Equity Reform: Social Care Networks



Senate Health Committee
Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair (D. WF, Dist. 33)
Albany Office: 518-455-3395

Assembly Healthcare Chair
Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D., Dist. 88)
Albany Office: 518-455-5585






February is American Heart Month!

A joke a day may help keep the heart doctor away, as laughing can improve heart health by lowering stress and relaxing blood vessels. Happiness can lower your risk of heart disease, too. (The Cleveland Clinic)

So here’s a joke for you!

What’s the easiest way to reach someone’s heart?

(Through their chest.)