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Government Affairs Albany Update

June 2, 2006

Governor Pataki Announces Health Information Technology Grant Recipients

Governor Pataki announced that 26 regional health care networks across the state were provided $52.9 million in grant awards as part of New York's Health Information Technology (HIT) initiative. These projects will help expand the use of technology in New York's health care system and improve the quality of care for patients. One of the primary goals of the HIT projects is to provide patients with greater access to their own health records so that they can make better informed health care decisions in consultation with their doctors. The electronic patient medical records may include reports on past diagnoses, surgical procedures, imaging studies, allergies, prescription drug history and laboratory information, among other key data.

The list of winners can be found at the Governor's website, under Press Releases. The date of the press release is May 24th.

More Action on Disability Benefit Increase Bills

As reported last week, S.3798 (Leibell), was reported from the Senate Labor Committee and is now up for consideration by the full Senate (Senate cal. # 1314). This bill would increase the maximum disability benefit to $340 per week by July 2007. The current disability benefit maximum is $170 per week. The "same as" bill, A.1305 (Nolan) is now on the June 6th Assembly Labor Committee agenda. The Business Council strongly opposes this legislation, and has urged the legislature to consider disability benefits within the context of broad workers' compensation reform.