2012-13 Health and Mental Hygiene Budget Maintains Vital Programs

March 30, 2012
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assistant Speaker Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Co-Chair of the Joint Conference Subcommittee on Health and Aging, announced today that the state provides vital funding to protect New York’s most vulnerable patients and ensures working families have access to quality health care by providing $56 million in additional support for health and mental hygiene programs.
“As legislators, it is our job to protect our children, seniors, working families, and our most vulnerable citizens,” said Jacobs. “This budget takes a responsible approach to ensuring that vital services are not compromised as a result of budget cuts.”
The 2012-13 enacted budget provides more than $56 million in additional support for health care programs across the state. The budget effectively increases government efficiency and protects programs that are designed to aid communities across New York State.
Restoration of “prescriber prevails” for Medicaid recipients
The 2012-13 state budget restores prescriber prevails for antipsychotic drugs so that the decision regarding the medications a patient with psychiatric conditions should receive remains in the hands of the doctor and the patient, not the insurance company.
Medicaid
The 2012-13 budget includes provisions that would expand Medicaid coverage to include:
  • podiatry visits for adults with diabetes mellitus;

  • services provided by certified lactation consultants to pregnant and postpartum women;

  • harm reduction counseling and services to minimize adverse health consequences associated with drug use; and

  • services to promote care coordination and integration for individuals with hepatitis C.

It also restores Medicaid coverage for enteral formula for HIV related illnesses and other conditions.
Early Intervention (EI)
The E.I. program is the statewide system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The 2012-13 state budget includes provisions that would transfer the responsibility for paying provider claims from the counties to a statewide fiscal intermediary. It would shift the authority for approving E.I. providers from local health departments to the state DOH. It would also eliminate the two percent across-the-board reduction on early intervention program payments.
The spending plan rejects the requirement that E.I. providers contract with insurance companies, and preserves the ability for children to receive E.I. services by rejecting the ban on providers that have a working relationship with evaluators.
The budget also includes provisions that would require service coordinators, with parental consent, to provide notice to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) if a child appears eligible for OPWDD services. This will help eligible children with disabilities obtain earlier access to certain home and community based service waivers in addition to or in lieu of E.I. services if appropriate.
Improve educational services for youth residing in Office of Mental Health hospitals
The state budget establishes a pilot program to provide students residing in OMH hospitals a more appropriate education that comports more closely with the curriculum and related therapy services they would receive in their home school districts.
The state budget also includes funding for the following programs:
  • $10 million for Home Care Worker benefits;

  • $5 million to restore funding for the Tobacco Control and Prevention program;

  • $2 million for infertility;

  • $2 million for SUNY hospitals (including SUNY Downstate);

  • $750,000 for family planning services;

  • $557,000 for school based health centers;

  • $525,000 for the HIV/AIDS Community Service Programs (CSPs);

  • $525,000 for the HIV/AIDS Multi Service Agencies (MSAs);

  • $500,000 for women’s health initiatives;

  • $452,000 for public education for pain management;