New York Budget Recommendations from PHI
As New York approaches its budget deadline, several critical issues are still being debated. PHI has been following this year’s session closely, with an eye to how the legislature will address the growing paid caregiver shortage, which is becoming severe in upstate rural areas.
Last month, PHI testified at the Assembly home care workforce hearing about what is needed to address the workforce crisis, including recommendations for changes that can be made within and outside of the Medicaid system. Some of those Medicaid recommendations were included in the Assembly and Senate one-house budget bills.
As the legislature and governor approach their final budget negotiations, PHI issued recommendations (pdf) outlining its support of the following budget provisions:
- Enhancing transparency of recruitment and retention funding, with the caveat that there needs to be a requirement for timely payment;
- Establishing a high need rate cell to cover the cost of care for enrollees with high long-term care needs;
- Expanding wage parity to personal assistants in the consumer-directed program, as long as funding is allocated to cover the new costs; and
- Allowing higher rates for rural and other areas that face heightened challenges in delivering long term services and supports.
“PHI is appreciative that the legislature is prioritizing issues that face home care clients, workers, and providers in their budgets,” said Allison Cook, PHI’s New York Policy Manager. “Medicaid is the largest funder of home care in New York, so addressing the needs of home care workers within the Medicaid system is imperative to ensure that consumers have access to this vital care.”