- Introductions were completed.
- Minutes from the last meeting were approved; if you would like to refer to past minutes, they are always available on the DD Council website: (www.manhattanddcouncil.org).
Presentation: Tom McAlvanah, CEO, IAC, on NYS Executive Budget
Tom explained that the Governor’s 30-day amendments to his executive proposals were due that day. He reminded us that we need to raise our voices on Lobby Days, Feb. 28 and March 1, in Albany.
Tom discussed the real potential for federal imposition of Medicaid block grants. We need to make sure we are not forgotten. Medicaid is 12% of the NYS budget. DD services are 15% of that, with 3% of the population. Education is 4% of the NYS budget. The total OPWDD budget is $4.5 billion, state share. The NYS deficit is expected to be $3.5 billion, due to lower income tax revenue, but NYS expects to get $9.4 billion in settlements from other businesses.
- No additional money for a living wage for DSPs. IAC and its partner associations are continuing advocacy through the bFair2DirectCare campaign.
- Defers a .8% COLA.
- $14.9 million to bring the minimum wage to $13/hour in December.
- $120 million, all shares, annualized, for all new services. This is inadequate.
- $15 million in capital funds for noncertified housing for independent living.
- Additional opportunities for supportive housing through the $2.5 billion affordable housing plan.
- $12 million for the START program downstate.
- $24 million to move people out of developmental centers and state-run ICFs.
- Managed care transition will be facilitated through Care Coordination Organizations to address the CMS requirement for Conflict Free Case Management (see last month’s minutes). Budget language suggests we can tap into the DOH Global Cap Medicaid Funds for start-up costs.
- Blue ribbon panel to consider moving the Institute for Basic Research to CUNY. This is not a cut.
- Pool of funds to cover some costs associated with agency mergers.
- Language to make reductions if necessary if ACA is repealed.
COPA Requests: IAC is part of the Coalition of Provider Agencies (COPA), which includes Long Island Alliance, DDAWNY, CPA of NYS, NYEMP, and IAC. NYSARC is joining COPA for current advocacy efforts. The COPA budget requests are:
- Provide a living wage for DSPs: $45 million/year for 6 years to keep DSPs somewhat ahead of the minimum wage.
- Provide $25 million, state share for 6 months, for 24/7 residential opportunities for 400 people with complex needs living at home.
- Restore .8% COLA; increase COLA by the Medical Consumer Price Index which reflects rise in cost of medical services, which is higher than the CPI. Because of lack of inflationary increases over the years, state spending now is $134 million less than it was in 2012.
- Dedicate $20 million for each of five years of the affordable housing plan for individuals with I/DD.
- Modernize the definition of “school” to include developmental centers but exclude HCBS services. This would eliminate extensive documentation requirements for HCBS services.
4410 and 853 Special Education Schools
Tom explained that the schools are facing the same staffing crisis as OPWDD, if not worse. There are huge turnover and vacancy rates in schools, due to salaries that are much lower than in public schools. Public schools are recruiting our teachers. Result is 4410 and 853 classrooms and schools are closing. Increases are not handled through the NYS budget but instead by State Education Department (SED). SED must develop a new funding methodology for typical kids in integrated classes.
- Provide $18 million for 4410 and 853 special education schools to narrow the teacher compensation gap.
- Provide 4% tuition increase for 4410s and 853s in 2017-18 school year.
- Include a statutory index for annual tuition increases for 4410s and 853s and establish a reserve fund to maintain fiscal viability.
- Set aside UPK seats to ensure classroom integration with 4410s.
Department of Health
- Provide 4% Early Intervention rate increase to address over 20 years of flat/decreasing rates.
- Reject the Early Intervention Health Law changes that would further burden providers. Budget suggests that providers should appeal insurance denials and then wait for payment until the appeals process is concluded.
- Maintain prescriber prevails in Medicaid fee-for-service and include in Medicaid managed care.
- Set aside $50 million of the $500 million Health Care Facilities Fund for DD providers to achieve transformation goals and operational efficiencies.
- State News – Ellen Bleckman
- Agencies have responded to the Request for New Services for $2.8 million for NYC residential opportunities. The review committee has finished its interview process. Award letters will be going out.
- OPWDD is continuing to reach out to agencies about how to bridge to the new respite fees.
- OPWDD is attempting to reach out to families to improve communication.
The DD Council requested that OPWDD inform/educate families about Conflict Free Case Management.
- State News – Sandra Piggee
- IAC/Federation – Jim Malley
IAC: IAC is now focusing on budget advocacy. A webinar on respite was held a week ago. OPWDD is trying to understand and figure out what sectors are most problematic.
Federation: A meeting regarding the annual local government plan will be held April 17.
VII. Committee Reports
Family Support Services: Yesenia Estrella reported that at last week’s committee meeting, Lore Barcelona, Sinergia, presented an overview of CQL and POMs. Agencies are requested to send a representative to the FSS Committee meetings. Next meeting: Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Avenue, 4th floor. Information: Yesenia Estrella (212) 643-2840 x 349; firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative: Lynn Decker explained that the DD Councils are trying to get more media attention. The presentations at the March 3 Legislative Breakfast will focus on DSP salaries and the ramifications of a Medicaid block grant. Outreach is needed to state and federal elected officials. Jim asked everyone to make phone calls to encourage legislators to attend. People should also bring families, friends, and colleagues to the Breakfast. Next meeting to be announced. Information: Jim Malley (212) 928-5810 x 101; email@example.com.
Transition: Kathy Kelly reported that schools are doing well with their graduates. About 12 students still need evaluations. The Front Door process is being well managed. In the past the committee held Student Information Exchanges, which are no longer useful in light of the Front Door. Instead, on March 8, adult day services providers will present on their individual services. Kathy recently presented on the transition process at a District 75 Inclusive Education meeting. Next meeting: Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 9:30 am – noon, AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11th floor. Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724; Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manhattan Family Support Services Advisory Council: Margaret Puddington announced that the topic at the next meeting is START—Crisis Prevention and Response Program for People with I/DD and Complex Behavioral Needs, Thursday, April 6, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Services for the Underserved (SUS), 305 Seventh Ave., 11th floor. Families from all boroughs are welcome to attend. Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042; Margaret.email@example.com.
Service Coordination Committee: Carol Lincoln announced that the committee had a presentation on the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) at its last meeting. The topic at the next meeting will be self-advocacy: Friday, March 24, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Contemporary Guidance Services, 52 Broadway, 4th floor. Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Childrens/Education Committee: No report. Information: Christina Muccioli (212) 780-2532; Christina.email@example.com.