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Health & Medicine

Providers: Home Care Services Face Crisis If NYS Lawmakers Don't Act

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State lawmakers are feeling pressure to take action on any number of issues as the session winds down, and that includes from home care groups.  They’re pushing legislation that would repeal what they call an ill-conceived, even dangerous Medicaid policy from February of last year allowing the state to severely limit home care services. 

President and CEO of the New York Association of Health Care Providers Kathy Febraio says the current policy is out of step with the increasing preference and demand for home care since the pandemic.

"We need to make the changes necessary to allow more people to remain independent in New York State.  Limiting the number of home care providers will make it harder, not easier for New Yorkers to get care at home.  Local providers and those serving populations could disappear."

There’s concern that would create avoidable turmoil, chaos, and gaps in care.  Al Cardillo is President and CEO of the Home Care Association of New York State.  He says state and federal governments are strongly prioritizing home care through their budgets.

"That would include the $1.6 billion now in the new state budget, and the president's proposal to invest  yet another $400 billion into the home and community based system."

Having enough access to services for a growing aging population is what worries Meg Everett.  She’s a policy analyst for Leading Age-New York.

"Creating a strong infrastructure for the delivery of home care in the state, as well as addressing workforce challenges, as that is a great concern across the board for all long term care providers."

The senate bill is sponsored by Rachel May, and there’s a companion in the assembly.  The legislative session is scheduled to end June 10th.