HCA’s 2021 Priorities: Restore Funding, Add Telehealth Safeguards, Provide Regulatory Relief, Enact ‘Home Care First’

Capitol Report | February 2021

HCA’s 2021 state budget advocacy agenda calls for: the restoration of proposed cuts; financial and regulatory relief to home care providers; critical guardrails in the budget’s proposed telehealth changes; and a “home care first” orientation to make home care a more visible and supported option for the growing number of New Yorkers who demand it.

These proposals are all condensed into a one-pager for your review here.

HCA’s proposals are also reinforced by our new 2021 State of the Industry Finance and Trends report. It shows the devastating impact of the pandemic at a time when the state budget proposes a 50% cut to home care workforce recruitment-and-retention funds, plus the proposed continuation and augmentation of across-the-board cuts that would amount to a 2.5% reduction in the coming fiscal year.

In this year’s budget, we specifically urge the Legislature to:

  • Reject the proposed workforce and across-the-board state budget cuts to home and community-based programs.
  • Amend the state budget’s telehealth proposals to include critical guardrails on quality, licensure and scope of practice standards, and ensure proper access. See last month’s Capitol Report to learn more about our position on telehealth.
  • Adopt HCA’s “Home Care First Policy” to ensure consumers’ option to choose home care and hospice by updating the referral structures, state program policies, and other state finance provisions so that care at home is a first consideration for patient care, where suitable.
  • Provide financial sustainability for care by updating the state’s Medicaid rates, as required by statute, directing federal COVID-19 aid to home and community-based providers, and making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) a component of reimbursement.
  • Address urgent home care and hospice workforce needs.
  • Continue and expand COVID-19 era regulatory relief.

During HCA’s upcoming virtual State Advocacy Day, on March 9, providers will discuss these priorities with legislators. If you are able to join HCA for our March 9 program or would like a direct briefing on our priorities, please contact HCA’s Director for Public Policy and Advocacy Alyssa Lovelace at alovelace@hcanys.org.