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RELEASE: Family Physicians holding Albany lobbying day.
New York State Academy of Family Physicians

For Immediate Release

February 27, 2023
Contact: Vito Grasso, Executive Vice President at 518-469-5237/

Over Forty Family Physicians, Residents & Students Travel to the State Capitol to Advocate for Primary Care Investments, Vaccine Promotion, and Patient-Centered Care
Statement by Andrew Symons, MD, President of NYSAFP

“Today, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP) held its annual Advocacy Day with over forty family physicians, residents and students meeting with approximately fifty Senate and Assembly representatives at the State Capitol to discuss the budget and legislative priorities of family physicians to promote high quality care and access for patients.”

“During the day, NYSAFP members lauded the smart investments in primary care included in Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget including increased Medicaid reimbursement to promote patient access to preventive and primary care and nearly $16 million in continued funding for the Doctors Across New York program for primary care physician loan forgiveness and practice support for recruitment and retention efforts. We also strongly support the $2.2 million in the budget for area health education centers (AHEC), a critical partner focused on addressing healthcare workforce shortages through pipeline and mentorship programs and are asking for the creation of a clinical preceptor tax credit in the State by providing $3 million in the final budget to establish the program, consistent with S.2067/A.2230.”

“NYSAFP strongly supports the Governor’s focus on tobacco prevention by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the state, increasing the state cigarette tax by $1 and closing existing loopholes in the law passed in 2020 which ended the sale of flavored e-cigarette or vaping products. Every day we see the death and disease caused by tobacco. By removing the lure of flavorings and making these products less affordable, New York will prevent youth initiation to these highly addictive and deadly products.”

“During discussions with lawmakers, NYSAFP members raised their concerns with an Executive Budget proposal to weaken the current standards in place for physician supervision of physician assistants delivering primary care and other services. We are concerned that this proposal could sacrifice quality and result in increased costs through overprescribing and overutilization of diagnostic imaging and other services, without any demonstrable value. This would be a significant change to the current care team model and requires far more study and stakeholder input. It should not be pushed through the very condensed, two-month budget process.”

“On the legislative front, NYSAFP called on NYS leaders to implement comprehensive system reforms necessary to truly close gaps in health coverage by enacting the New York Health Act to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to high quality and meaningful healthcare coverage. Many New Yorkers remain uninsured or underinsured without coverage that is affordable, accessible and comprehensive to cover their needs. The prevalence of high deductible plans and other insurance products that shift more costs onto patients, has led to many individuals putting off needed care out of fear that they will not be able to afford it. Importantly, this measure would authorize physician collective negotiations with the payer.”

“NYSAFP also strongly supports and requests the advancement of legislation to ensure that all vaccines given to adults are included in the Statewide or New York City vaccine registry, similar to child vaccines. This legislation (S1531, Hoylman-Sigal) would move New York from an opt-in standard to a patient opt-out option for adult vaccine records to be entered into the State of NYC registry to ensure that New Yorkers only receive the vaccines they need and so we are better prepared for the next pandemic.”

“While in Albany, NYSAFP members also strongly advocated for the Assembly to pass legislation (S1066A/A1709A) to protect NY physicians in providing abortion medications through telemedicine to individuals in states which have restricted access to abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This bill was passed by the Senate in January. Finally, our members are calling for the enactment of the Medical Aid in Dying Act (S2445/A995) to expand options at end-of-life to include medical aid in dying by means of a patient directed, patient administered prescription medication.”

NYSAFP represents nearly 6,000 family physicians, residents and students across the State. NYSAFP Family Physicians are board-certified and specialize in family medicine. Family physicians focus on the whole patient providing care throughout their lifetime. They provide comprehensive healthcare services to treat diseases and injuries in all age groups from newborns to the geriatric population and across all medical fields. Family Physicians focus on prevention, wellness and overall care coordination for patients and family medicine is the only specialty to focus on the care of the entire family unit. Family Physicians are also a main source of primary health care in New York and across the country.