A Message from Our President, Kevin W. Dahill
Hospitals that comprise the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association (NorMet) work 24/7/365 to provide the best and most appropriate health care to all in need. This requires physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, and all the staff to be diligent in keeping up-to-date with the latest advances in clinical care, quality assurance, patient safety, hospital environmental maintenance, and leadership. NorMet is here to help these health care professionals understand legislative and regulatory mandates in their respective areas of expertise so that they can continue to offer residents of this region unparalleled health care.
Perennial cuts to Medicaid and Medicare hospital payments often make it difficult for our hospitals to maintain robust operational budgets. Government payers have turned time and time again to the hospital industry and sought budgetary relief from this sector. Those actions have resulted in the subtle erosion of hospitals’ economic foundations. Diminishing reimbursement from commercial insurers compounds the problem. In fact, a study spearheaded by NorMet in 2006 found that, on average, hospitals in the region are reimbursed 19 percent less than similar facilities in nearby Connecticut and New Jersey.
As national health care reform takes hold and new models of delivery become mainstream – accountable care organizations, medical health homes, value-based purchasing – the strain on hospitals’ budgets will intensify. The state and federal reforms emphasize a more coordinated and integrated approach to care that will improve patient safety, enhance quality care, and hopefully, achieve cost efficiencies. Achieving these goals comes with a cost – one that hospitals understand is necessary to transforming our current health care delivery system. Nonetheless, these reforms bring with them their own budgetary challenges for hospitals.
Despite these financial struggles, member hospitals continue to provide excellent and compassionate care to the people of the Hudson Valley. Our institutions also serve as the largest employer in most communities. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the health care sector will be a reliable job source for the near and distant future.
Our hospital association is proud to represent the hospitals located in Westchester and the six counties that comprise the mid and lower-Hudson Valley.
Wishing you good health and prosperity,
Kevin W. Dahill