June 6, 2019
MEMO IN OPPOSTION S.3171 IDR bill
The Westchester County Association (WCA) is an economic development and public policy organization representing the business and non-profit community in our county. Collectively, our membership represents hundreds of organizations and several hundred thousand employees. We have long recognized that the healthcare sector is the most important economic driver in our region, contributing almost $18 billion in economic benefit and employing over 50,000.
The current legislation, S.3171, under consideration by the New York State Senate is a very unwise bill. This proposed legislation would allow insurance companies to submit hospital out-of-network emergency bills to an independent dispute resolution (IDR) process. During the IDR process, insurers could pay hospitals whatever they deem “reasonable” for emergency out-of-network card. This bill is nothing less than a gift to insurance companies, who already have the upper hand with both providers and consumers. Some of the more salient reasons to oppose this legislation include:
In summary, it is critical that legislation is not driven by the large national for-profit insurers who only value profit and shareholder value. Our not-for-profit hospitals in New York State clearly have a very different mission, namely taking care of people and saving lives. I would challenge anyone who thinks that the for-profit managed care companies, of which less than 10 control the entire U.S. market, care more about the health and well being of their members than they do about shareholder results. In fact, I am sure everyone of your constituents can cite cases where the action of their or a loved one’s health insurance provider hindered them from receiving the care they needed. Unlike hospitals, which contribute enormously back to the community, health insurance companies provide very little economic or social benefit. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.
For all of these reasons, the Westchester County Association strongly opposes this bill and urges the Senate to reject S.3171. I would like to thank our Westchester Assembly delegation members Abinanti, Buchwald, Byrne, Galef, Pretlow, Sayegh, Paulin for standing up for non-profit hospitals and their patients against big, for-profit insurance companies.
William M. Mooney, Jr.
President & CEO