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N.Y. Governor Highlights Health Care Workforce, Equity Initiatives

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) gave her first State of the State address, highlighting plans to invest in the health care workforce and improve health equity. The main tenets of the plan are outlined below.

Rebuild and Grow the Health Care Workforce by 2O Percent Over the Next Five Years

Within this initiative, Hochul plans to invest $10 billion to support the health care workforce through wage increases, worker retention bonuses, and capital infrastructure. In addition, the state will:

  • increase training capacity of medical institutions by covering the costs of new programs, providing compensation to allow workers to train full-time support staff, and developing new training techniques;
  • recruit medical professionals to work in underserved areas by increasing loan forgiveness programs and recruiting a diverse health care workforce;
  • allow doctors and nurses to easily relocate and practice in New York; and
  • expand workforce development partnerships.

Retain the Existing Health Care Workforce

New York will create an Office of Health Care Workforce Innovation to work across state agencies and develop approaches for strengthening the health- and direct-care workforce, test new models of care and new educational strategies, and recommend policies to increase the supply of health care and direct support personnel. The plan also would:

  • improve training and coordination with emergency department staff; and
  • address scope-of-practice laws in the state.

Advancing Health Equity

Noting the importance of equitable health care, the governor’s plan focuses on telehealth innovation, requiring telehealth payment parity and creating a Center for Medicaid Innovation to generate innovative solutions that improve the state Medicaid program. Hochul also wants to:

  • close the state’s coverage gap by making affordable coverage available to more people;
  • improve maternal care by expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage and increasing access to doula care;
  • address the needs of the aging population; and
  • ensure better care and support for those struggling with substance use disorder.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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