Your Weekly Dose of Health September 2, 2016

** As you may be aware, step therapy, or “fail first” legislation, A.2834D (Titone) / S.3419C (Young), passed the NYS Senate and Assembly in the final week of the Legislative Session. Please take the time to call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and urge him to sign this legislation into law, as it’s in the best interest of New York patients and providers! Click here for more information on step therapy.


National News:

  • On Tuesday Dr. Thomas Friedan, the director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that nearly all the federal funding allocated to combat the Zika Virus had been spent. Of the $222 million in funding, $194 million had been used and congress hasn’t approved any additional money. With no more funding, places like Florida, where Zika has been a real threat, are left to bare the cost. Florida’s governor Rick Scott plans to go back to congress to request funding once recess ends next Tuesday.
  • In order to cut costs, insurers have begun relying more on offering limited healthcare plans with a narrower network of providers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

State News:

  • The Cuomo administration announced this week its plans to expand the state’s medical marijuana program, based on recommendations from the Department of Health. The original program was criticized for being too restrictive and difficult.
  • Wednesday was International Overdose Awareness Day, and a press conference was held in Albany to call on Governor Cuomo to sign a bill to help curb addiction.
  • Governor Cuomo announced a second round of funding to help schools increase the use of locally grown healthy foods.
  • Governor Cuomo announced this week $74 million in state and federal funding to support programs that improve nutrition for seniors.

City News:

  • The New York Times reports that lead testing results in New York City’s schools may have understated the amount of risk to students.

Upcoming Events:

  • The United Hospital Fund is holding its 2016 Gala on September 26th at the Waldorf-Astoria. See more here.
  • The New York Academy of Sciences is hosting a conference on September 16th regarding the ethics and value of big data for obesity research.
  • Philanthropy New York is hosting an event on September 27th about the challenges of the current health care work force.
  • Click here for upcoming meetings, hearings and events from the state Department of Health.