Urgent: Pass Bill Repealing Arbitrary LHCSA RFO Excluding Providers

Capitol Report | May 2021

HCA thanks Senator Rachel May and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried for advancing priority legislation (S.6640/A.7304) to protect New York’s home care system.

Their bill would specifically repeal a Request for Offers (RFO) process initiated by the state Department of Health (DOH) to unilaterally and arbitrarily “pick and choose” the Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs) that may continue to operate in New York State and serve the home care needs of your constituents. It is among the top priorities outlined in our post-budget legislative recommendations.

Among the reasons for repeal is that the LHCSA RFO process repeats another mistaken DOH RFO process for determining which home care entities can operate. The Legislature rightly amended that RFO process in the most recent state budget due to its obvious process flaws and exclusion of long-standing entities who provide fiscal intermediary (FI) services in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.

We ask the Legislature to step in again — this time by repealing the LHCSA RFO preemptively to avoid the same scheme that has required a legislative fix to the FI RFO. Thanks to Assemblyman Gottfried and Senator May there’s a bill to do that.

The LHCSA RFO is intended to consolidate New York’s home care system. Yet this system is experiencing a historic rise in demand during the pandemic that is surging atop a demographic rise in need for home care as our population ages. DOH has many other tools at its disposal to assure an appropriately scaled home care system with input from the industry on appropriate parameters.

Assemblyman Gottfried is right in his bill memo to say that “this arbitrary and extraneous contract limitation is bad health policy and morally objectionable.” We urge both houses of the Legislature to pass his bill and Senator May’s companion measure before the end of session.