GNYHA’s recent continuing care membership meeting featured guest speaker Carol Rodat, Special Advisor to Adam Herbst, New York State Department of Health (DOH) Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Long Term Care (LTC). Ms. Rodat highlighted key Office of Aging and LTC proposals, including a $22.5 million Solicitation of Interest to enhance continuing care worker training and a pending Request for Applications for a $39 million appropriation for direct caregiver flexibility. She also noted that the final State budget is expected to include Medicaid rate increases for continuing care facilities, and that 419 nursing homes to date have received $87.9 million in supplemental State funding to help eligible nursing homes with staffing compliance. The Federal share of staffing funding and other programs, such as CINERGY, will be released once the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approves the State plan amendment. “We are checking with them every day,” Ms. Rodat said.
In addition, Ms. Rodat discussed the State’s Master Plan for Aging (MPA), which Governor Kathy Hochul created through Executive Order in November 2022. The MPA will coordinate new and existing State policies and programs for older adults and their families and address various challenges so older New Yorkers can “live fulfilling lives, in good health, with freedom, dignity and independence to age in place for as long as possible.” GNYHA continuing care members can influence the MPA via town halls, surveys, and e-mailing feedback to email@example.com.
GNYHA Executive Vice President David Rich and Senior Advisor Roxanne Tena-Nelson, Esq., provided State budget updates, including the latest extender to keep State government funded while negotiations continued. Mr. Rich also discussed recent GNYHA and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East efforts to advocate for fair funding for hospitals and nursing homes, highlighting the April 17 rally on the State Capitol building’s “Million Dollar Staircase” and the March 21 rally in Albany that drew nearly 15,000 health care workers. He detailed the GNYHA/1199SEIU Healthcare Education Project’s ongoing television advertising campaign calling on Governor Hochul and the Legislature to boost Medicaid funding for hospitals and nursing homes in the final State budget.
GNYHA staff provided finance and policy updates, including the fiscal year 2024 Medicare skilled nursing facility prospective payment system proposed rule, which proposes a $1.2 billion increase in aggregate payments for Part A covered services. GNYHA’s legislative priorities for the 118th Congress, which include targeted financial relief for members and the alleviation of workforce shortages, were also highlighted.