Mr. Levine was selected to testify from a pool of more than 100 applicants. He was the only hospital CEO to be accepted among the 27 who provided expert testimony.
Mr. Levine told the legislators that managed care insurance "simply does not work for medically fragile infants, children, and adolescents."
Managed care is denied care in many cases.
Blythedale fights these insurance denials and ultimately wins the vast majority of external appeals which are reviewed by independent, objective physicians (pediatric sub-specialists) who overwhelmingly overturn insurance decisions. Mr. Levine told the legislators that this was a colossal waste of time and money. Mr. Levine outlined four key policy suggestions for the combined health committees to consider in any type of health reform to protect medically fragile children and Blythedale (as the state’s leading provider of care to this sub-population of kids.)
Many of the legislators - both Democrat and Republican - praised Blythedale for its state-wide reputation in always developing innovative and efficiently run new programs to meet the needs of children with medical complexity.
While some who testified were skeptical that the State could be entrusted to manage big health reforms, Mr. Levine made a point of praising the New York State government for its past policies and support of medically fragile children and Blythedale.
“I have an unshakable belief and trust that the men and women in all levels of government are open to hearing various policy options and in the end will do the right thing," he said. "I can say this because in my 18 years at the helm at Blythedale I have found much support from the Assembly and Senate ( both from Democrats and Republicans), the Department of Health and the Department of Budget and from the many governors over the years. I look forward to continuing this bipartisan problem solving as we look to create a plan that benefits our safety-net population."