Speaker Carl Heastie and Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried today announced the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 Budget includes $542 million in restorations to the Medicaid program and $58.25 million in restorations to public health programs. Additionally, the budget includes language to clarify certain insurance practices.
"After a year of weathering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities, we have seen too many losses due to inadequate access to quality healthcare," said Speaker Heastie. "The funding provided in this year's approved budget will ensure that we can provide critical health care services to all New Yorkers."
"Health care is a human right and the Assembly Majority has long fought to strengthen New York's health care system and improve patient care and health coverage," said Assemblymember Gottfried. "The budget undoes the Governor's proposed Medicaid and public health cuts and does a lot to protect New Yorkers from harm. We still have work to do, but Speaker Heastie and the Assembly have achieved a budget we can be proud of."
The devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is that we ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the vital healthcare services they need. The approved budget would restore $542 million in Medicaid cuts, including $204.4 million for hospitals and $51.75 million for the Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Quality Pool. The plan also includes $94 million to restore one percent across-the-board Medicaid claims cuts.
The spending plan would also restore $15.4 million in pharmacy reductions, including $6.7 million for prescriber prevails provisions, and $8.7 million to maintain coverage for over-the-counter drugs.
The budget would also save $11.3 million in Medicaid MLTC spending by providing $8 million for the Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program. Additionally, the spending plan includes $22.5 million for workforce recruitment and retention, and $32 million to support staffing for nursing homes including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants.
In addition, this budget provides $1.63 billion in federal funding from enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) for Home and Community Based Services to support increased home care wages and personal protective equipment (PPE). These funds could also be sub-allocated to support the operations of the Office of Mental Health, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services and Office of Addiction Services and Supports based on approved Medicaid claims.
Public Health Restorations
The budget also ensures funding to critical public health programs that many New Yorkers rely on for quality healthcare, including:
- $50 million in federal support for Nourish New York;
- $20 million for general public health works;
- $11.9 million for Early Intervention (EI) service providers throughout the state;
- $3.82 million to restore funding for School Based Health Centers;
- $3.17 million to restore funding to the Rural Health Network Development and Health Care Access Program; and
- $1 million to restore funding for the Nurse-Family Partnership program.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York has faced unimaginable losses. The pandemic has shined a light on inequities in our healthcare system and disparities in treatment and access to quality, affordable healthcare.
The approved budget makes critical investments in hard-hit communities throughout the state including $15 million in federal funding to support public education, communication efforts and outreach to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and those with vaccine hesitancy. The budget also provides $10 million to support crisis intervention programs and providers disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The approved budget would award additional contracts to fiscal intermediaries in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) that would serve communities with disabilities and minority populations, as well as ensure appropriate geographic disbursement in counties that meet certain population thresholds. CDPAP is a Medicaid program that provides services to the chronically ill or physically disabled individuals who have medical need for help with activities of daily living (ADLs) or skilled nursing services, including a personal care aide, home health aide or nurse.