Legislation sponsored by Gottfried-Jones supporting safety-net hospitals passes Assembly

June 22, 2017

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced that legislation he co-prime sponsored to establish an enhanced safety-net hospital program to ensure these hospitals can continue to serve the community passed the Assembly A.7763.

“Safety-net hospitals are a vital asset to our communities, offering critical medical care to uninsured or low-income families here in the North Country,” Jones said. “By clearly defining safety-net providers, this legislation allows local hospitals to receive needed funding to keep their doors open as well as enhance patient and employee satisfaction.”

“By expanding the safety-net definition, rural hospitals will be able to ensure that they receive adequate funding to meet the needs of their patients and the community,’ said Stephens Mundy, CEO/President of University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. “Assemblyman Jones was quick to address this issue and I want to thank him for his efforts to get this legislation passed.”

The 2017-18 state budget provides a total of $20 million to support safety-net hospitals and critical access hospitals, which provide medical care and services to low-income, uninsured and underserved patients, including in rural areas. The measure expands the definition of safety-net providers to ensure more hospitals are able to receive the funding included in the budget and continue meeting the needs of underserved communities. It also provides adjusted Medicaid rates to protect their financial viability, without increasing the local share to protect taxpayers and municipalities. Jones has worked tirelessly to help get this legislation passed. The legislation passed both houses and awaits the governor’s signature.