New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a legislative package aimed at reducing healthcare disparities in the state.

The legislation includes measures such as S.1839A/A.2609A, which mandates the Health Equity Council to advise the Department of Health Commissioner on sickle cell disease and create recommendations to promote screening and detection.

Sickle cell disease is the most commonly inherited blood disorder and disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic populations.

Another component, S.1451/A.782, expands collaborative models to address healthcare access disparities across New York, covering conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and substance abuse.

Under legislation S.3609B/A.3113A, hospitals will need to take reproductive health services and maternal healthcare into account when making health equity impact assessments.

Legislation S.4097B/A.5817A requires the President of the Civil Service Commission to organise the collection of healthcare claims data in order to publish a New York State benefit hospital pricing report.

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The pricing report aims to increase transparency and show the healthcare expenses, trends and variables that influence healthcare spending and hospital costs.

The initiative is part of Governor Hochul’s commitment to expanding healthcare in the state.

Governor Hochul said: “As Governor, I’m committed to ensuring every New Yorker has access to high-quality, affordable healthcare.

“With this legislative package, we’re taking a major step forward in addressing health care disparities in our state and ensuring all New Yorkers can find the care that they need and deserve.”

Earlier this month, Governor Hochul announced more than $4.6m in state funding for programmes addressing healthcare disparities and increasing diversity in the physician workforce.

The funding was intended to reinforce efforts to improve access and eliminate disparities in New York’s healthcare system while increasing diversity among the state’s physician workforce.

These programmes are being managed by the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) and funded jointly by New York’s Department of Health and its State Legislature.