Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced the signing of a bill he sponsored, by Governor Cuomo that will extend the expiration date of Medicaid coverage for portable X-ray services until June 30, 2012 (Chapter 272 of 2011). Portable X-rays are vital to the aged and chronically ill citizens of New York State, particularly those who are residents of long-term care facilities or home bound. Without this service, these patients must be transported by ambulance to a radiologist’s office, which is often very costly.
“Technology has advanced to the point in our world today where services such as this should be common place,” Gabryszak said. “These patients shouldn’t be forced to have to use an ambulance for a routine X-ray. That’s asking a lot of these patients and wasting a lot of unnecessary resources.”
The New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (NYAHSA) has come out in support of this new law.
“Portable X-ray services are important to both the residents of the long term care facilities NYAHSA represents as well as the facilities themselves,” James W. Clyne Jr., President and CEO of New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging said. “This demonstration project enables facilities to offer an in-house X-ray service, eliminating the need to transport residents by ambulance to a radiological site. That keeps the focus on what’s best for the resident, minimizes stress and discomfort and saves money at the same time. The New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging applauds the passage of this legislation.”
The extension would allow further evidence of the cost effectiveness of Medicaid coverage for this service to be gathered, providing a study based on real-life data while allowing patients to be more comfortable.
“We need to have a more efficient portable X-ray service system,” Gabryszak said. “This law will help make life easier for those who need this extra care, and it reaffirms our commitment to providing quality health care to all New Yorkers.”