May 30, 2014

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UUP, unions discuss Medicaid waiver with state

uupdate 5-30-14

Stony Brook HSC Chapter President Carol Gizzi, right, comments at a May 29 meeting on a new federal Medicaid waiver as Secretary Eileen Landy looks on.

Union representatives from UUP, AFT and the Civil Service Employees Association got a chance to ask questions about the waiver, which allows the state to use billions in Medicaid savings to redesign ailing hospitals and health care networks statewide.

Jason Helgerson, director of Medicaid for the state’s Department of Health, came to NYSUT’s Albany headquarters to provide answers about the waiver and the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment—the mechanism DOH will use to distribute $8 billion in waiver funds. Nearly $6.5 billion will be distributed to projects selected via a rigorous approval process directed and administered by DOH.

UUP is counting on the waiver to fund the “SUNY Downstate Community Care Plan,” a UUP-designed initiative that would establish ” up to four satellite ambulatory care centers controlled by and affiliated with SUNY Downstate University Hospital of Brooklyn.

The project is designed to preserve jobs and health care services at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. A coalition of unions supports the plan, including UUP, PEF and CSEA.

More than 20 union leaders and staffers attended the two-hour meeting, including UUP President Fred Kowal, Secretary Eileen Landy, Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud and Membership Development Officer Edison Bond, Jr. Blackman-Stroud is Downstate Chapter president; Bond is the chapter’s vice president for professionals.

Gizzi and Buffalo HSC Chapter President Ray Dannenhoffer were also at the meeting.

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