Our attention now turns fully to the implementation of many of these initiatives. NYAPRS’ Harvey Rosenthal will be representing our community in several Medicaid Redesign Team related work groups including the Behavioral Health Subcommittee, Peer Services work group, Pharmacy Transition to Managed Care work group and as a member of the steering committee of the People First Waiver initiative and the Most Integrated Services Coordinating Council.
Stay tuned for updates and opportunities for input!
NYAPRS Quick Review of 2011 NYS Legislative Session
1. Oppose, Limit Cuts to Community Mental Health Services
a. Continuation of 1.1% cut; no COLA
b. $8 million in targeted cuts for community support programs (peer and children’s’ services exempted)
c. Mental health services exempt from cross the board 2% Medicaid cuts
2. Support State Operations Cuts, State Hospital Downsizing
a. 10% cut to state operations
b. Authorization to close 600 beds, consolidate state facilities (starting this year with the planned closure of Hudson River PC campus, consolidation with Rockland PC).
3. Support Regional Managed Behavioral Health Organizations Initiative
a. Legislators rejected turning mental health and substance use services over to managed care plans and instead approved a 2 year plan to improve care coordination through regional BHOs; OMH and OASAS posted procurement information for this initiative last Friday (see today’s NYAPRS posting).
4. Promote Development of Behavioral Health Homes
a. Advocates and recovery providers are continuing to push and strategize to advance specialized health homes for NYS Medicaid beneficiaries with ongoing mental health conditions.
5. Support Full Funding of Adult Home Supported Housing Initiative/Order
a. A court ruling on the state’s appeal is pending; the legislature reduced by half the $41 million the state had set aside to begin moving residents to supported housing units with peer support.
6. Support Expansion of Peer-Run Services
a. Peer services were exempt from cuts and are being regarded by the Department of Health and Office of Mental Health as critical to the success of upcoming health home and BHO initiatives.
7. Expand Opportunities for Employment
a. New York received $4.6 million in federal Medicaid Infrastructure Grant funds that will primarily be used to
b. Eligibility for the Medicaid Buy In program for working New Yorkers with disabilities will be expanded via new disregard for retirement assets
8. Oppose Access Limitations for Medicaid Medications
a. Despite sustained advocacy effort, Medicaid medications will move to managed care for those already getting their health care through Medicaid managed care plans, without historic exemptions and prescriber prevails protections. Advocates will continue to work to preserve access to medications of choice/need via efforts with the Administration, Health Department and state legislators.
9. Support Enhanced Medicaid Funding for Smoking Cessation
a. The Medicaid budget expands tobacco cessation counseling coverage to include all women (not only pregnant women) and men,
10. Fully Fund SHU Exclusion Law Initiatives
a. Advocates and the legislature rejected Administration proposals to limit or delay full compliance with the SHU bill that provides enhanced mental health treatment and solitary confinement alternatives for NYS prisoners.
1. Oppose Kendra’s Law Expansion
a. Proposals to expand involuntary outpatient commitment died in legislative mental health committees.
2. Support Consumer Friendly Health Exchange Legislation
a. Legislation approved last week gives the exchange the authority to fight for consumers and small business on the price of coverage and the quality that plans offer and also allows the exchange to set mandatory standards for a benefits package, merge markets to lower prices, and address any disparities in coverage.
3. Oppose Extension of Involuntary Psychiatric Inpatient Commitment Powers to Nurse Practitioners
a. Died in committees.
4. Approve Autism Insurance Legislation
a. Legislators approved a bill requiring insurers to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. Advocates are urging Governor Cuomo to sign the bill into law.