Situation Report | June 1, 2021
State Department of Health (DOH) officials and HCA are actively engaged in identifying priorities and initiatives for the new federal-state funding for home care. In a meeting last week with DOH, HCA presented our perspectives on priority areas and initiatives for this funding.
The funding, $1.6 billion, was allocated for home and community-based services in the 2021-22 state budget adopted in April, though the design of this program was deferred until after the budget.
The funding comes from an increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for New York and other states from the most recent federal relief bill. Recently, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) produced a guidance document for states to follow on the terms and potential uses of the funds.
Since passage of the budget, HCA has been in constant discussions with the Legislature, Administrative officials and other stakeholders on these funds. HCA has emphasized needed structural support for agencies in recruitment, training, retention and compensation of the workforce, as well as several additional priority areas of support permitted under the CMS guidelines. This includes telehealth and service technologies, COVID-19 emergency response fiscal relief, and improved structural rate/operational support for agencies.
The HCA priorities synchronized substantially with DOH thinking and with input being received from other stakeholders.
DOH shared with HCA its internal perspective and dialogue with CMS, including:
- DOH’s preference for initiatives that qualify under federal matching principles, including those implemented in conjunction with managed care.
- Initiatives whose one-time support is both critical and meritorious, or that seed ongoing, sustainable improvements.
- Ability of initiatives to meet an expeditious timetable for implementation.
- Alignment of initiatives to known “risks” (e.g., waiting lists) and priorities in the system.
- Relationship to COVID-19.
- The possibility of funding continuation through 2024 (and possibly beyond).
Implementation of this funding for the home care and hospice workforce has been the highest HCA post-budget priority.
DOH invites direct input on the funding to HCBSRecommendations@health.ny.gov. HCA encourages members to directly share your comments with us at firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject line “Recommendations for New Home and Community Based Services Funding.”