The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 State Budget process concluded on Sunday, April 9, allowing State Legislators to return to their districts for recess. In the meantime, HCP Public Policy staff continued working diligently this week to advance home care priorities with key decision makers, and strategized on a number of issues presenting serious challenges to the industry.
State Budget Finalized, HCP Advocates for Chapter Amendments
As reported in an HCP News Alert, the FY 2017-18 State Budget was finalized last weekend and included a number of provisions important to New York’s home care providers, such as Workers’ Compensation reforms and continued funding for the next phase of Statewide minimum wage increases (see page xx for more information). This week, HCP continued its follow up with State Legislators to tie up loose ends within the Final Budget, including correcting the effective date for authorization of fiscal intermediaries (FIs) in the State’s consumer directed personal assistance services (CDPAS) program (HCP Insider, 4/7/17).
On Thursday, HCP sent a letter to Rose Duhan, Assistant Secretary for Health to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, regarding the implementation of Wage Parity for personal assistants (PAs) employed by consumers in the CDPAS program. The letter urges the Governor’s office and the Legislature to make a Chapter amendment to this law to move the effective date to December 31, 2017, at the very earliest. Currently the law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017.
The letter discusses HCP’s experience working with the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) minimum wage stakeholder process last year. As with the minimum wage implementation, HCP emphasized that additional time is needed in implementing Wage Parity in CDPAS for: DOH to adjust managed long term care (MLTC) plan rates to reflect additional costs of compliance with the law; DOH to issue guidance to MLTC plans, FIs, and consumers on implementing the new requirements; FIs and MLTC plans to negotiate new contracts; and consumers to make necessary adjustments, such as hiring additional PAs to minimize overtime costs.
HCP further urged the Governor’s office and DOH to immediately commence a stakeholder engagement process to address implementation issues regarding the inclusion of CDPAS PAs in the Wage Parity law. HCP will request to participate in any stakeholder process related to this issue, and will keep members updated of opportunities for participation and feedback.
Read the full article in the April 14, 2017 issue of the HCP Insider.