Longtime Albany reporter and commentator Bill Hammond has joined the Empire Center as director of health policy.
In the newly created post, Hammond will track fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health-care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers, and the state’s economy. He’ll be writing and editing in-depth reports, policy briefs, and blog posts as well as organizing public forums and offering expert commentary to the media and policymakers
“Bill is just the right person for this job,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “His skills and experience will make him a formidable watchdog for New York’s health-care consumers.”
Hammond is an award-winning journalist with almost three decades of experience, most recently as a columnist and editorial board member at the New York Daily News from 2005 to 2015. In December, Hammond authored “Unhealthy Risk,” a ground-breaking report for the Empire Center about how missteps by state regulators and flaws in federal law contributed to the collapse of a major health plan.
Hammond first took serious interest in health policy in the early 1990s, when he was selected for a week-long fellowship at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism to study President Bill Clinton’s ill-fated health reform plan. Since then, he has written extensively about the financial struggles of hospitals, the danger of medical errors, abuse and neglect of mentally-ill patients, controversies about managed care, the halting progress of President Obama’s health reform law, and the many attempts at Medicaid reform by Governors Pataki, Spitzer, Paterson, and Cuomo.
“With the confluence of Obamacare and Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid overhaul, this is an unprecedented period of change for New York’s health-care industry,” Hammond said. “I’m excited that the Empire Center is giving me a platform to speak up for health-care consumers and to hold policymakers accountable.”
Before joining The News, Hammond previously wrote for The New York Sun, The Daily Gazette of Schenectady and The Post-Star of Glens Falls. His work has also appeared in POLITICO New York, The New York Post and The 74. A graduate of Albany High School and Harvard University, Hammond lives in Saratoga Springs.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and do business.
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