HCA Recommendations for NY’s Use of $1.6B in HCBS Funds

Capitol Report | June 2021

HCA continues to advocate for broad-based home and community-based services (HCBS) infrastructure supports through a major new infusion of enhanced federal Medicaid HCBS funds.

The $1.6 billion in additional funds to New York are from the American Rescue Plan Act and its enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) allocations to states.

The funds were appropriated in the 2021-22 state budget and the Cuomo Administration is now considering precise target areas and distribution methods.

Earlier this month, HCA President Al Cardillo wrote to the state’s point person on the initiative to further outline and specify our priority recommendations for the funds. “The home care system’s needs in basic workforce support and service operations are so profound that we urge that funds be concentrated for these purposes,” Cardillo wrote.

Cardillo specifically cites the urgent and growing shortage of workers relative to need that has been enlarged by COVID-19. At the same time, aide training programs have faced major enrollment constraints that HCA seeks to address by urging the state to free up its authorization of hybrid training programs that allow for online components.

HCA’s recommendations for the FMAP funds span a wide range, from direct provider funding supports for worker compensation to infrastructure and provider operations.

We also reiterate our call for an inter-agency competitive labor market analysis to determine salary, benefit, and commensurate reimbursement levels that are truly necessary to address workforce needs, as HCA has recommended in legislation for years.

This new FMAP investment promises to offer major support for a system with urgent needs across multiple domains and we ask state elected officials to weigh-in directly with the Governor’s health care team on these vital priorities.