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NYS COUNCIL PRIORITY LEGISLATION AWAITS GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

Newly-elected Governor Hochul has some 400 bills (passed during the legislative session) awaiting final action and the NYS Council has been leading efforts to ensure our two bills are enacted. 

OMIG Reform Bill – A7889A/S4486B
The NYS Council, along with our colleagues at COMPA, continues to co-lead a large coalition of organizations that represent providers across the NYS healthcare system, that support this bill that would strengthen the rights of providers subject to OMIG audits. The bill passed unanimously in both houses of the NYS Legislature, however the Administration has indicated they still have some concerns with the legislation. 

Model Contract Transparency Bill – A9442 (Gottfried)/A9297 (Rivera)
Earlier this year, the NYS Council successfully advocated with DoH and the Governor’s Office to ensure that prior overpayments of behavioral health funds made to health plans were recouped and returned to the two state agencies. Through that process the NYS Council learned the state had changed the terms of the BH Model Contract – the document that lays out the requirements on plans that participate in our carve in (including having to meet expenditure targets) without stakeholder input or knowledge. Our Model Contract bill would require the state to inform the public of changes it intends to make to the Model Contract, by posting Notices in the State Register and on the DoH website.

NEW PARTNERSHIP TO ADVANCE AVAILABILITY OF INTEGRATED CARE

The NYS Council has announced the launch of The Partnership for Integrated Care.  As a Founding Member of the Partnership, the NYS Council looks forward to working with service providers and stakeholders throughout New York State to reduce health disparities and make integrated, equitable services a reality for every New Yorker.

The Partnership for Integrated Care, co-led by Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of NYS (ASAP), the Center for Practice Innovations, the NYS Council, Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), and The Coalition for Behavioral Health (The Coalition), will foster a health and human services delivery system that strengthens service providers and stakeholders and ensures a “no wrong door” approach for people seeking and benefitting from support.

Additional details about the partnership and how to join are available online here.

HEALTHCARE WORKER BONUS PORTAL OPEN TO CLAIMS SUBMISSIONS UNTIL NOVEMBER 30

In order to allow appropriate time for all Employers to submit claims for Vesting Period 1 and 2, the Department of Health will keep the Healthcare Worker Bonus (HWB) Portal open to claims submissions until November 30.  Qualified Employers can continue to submit claims for eligible employees during this time. Please be advised that, in accordance with SOS § 367-w(4)(f), claims submitted after October 31, 2022 for Vesting Period 1 and 2 are technically late for filing purposes. The Department is aware of several technical issues during the initial submission periods for Vesting Periods 1 and 2 that impeded the ability of certain Qualified Employers to submit claims. All Employers should document and retain information regarding the reason for any late submission for audits and investigation purposes relating to the submission of claims for the HWB Program.

NYS OPIOID ADVISORY BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS

At its October 19 meeting, the NYS Opioid Advisory Board voted on the recommendations it will make to the Legislature regarding where / how settlement funds should be appropriated.  The Board agreed to recommend allocation of funds that are / will be available over the next two years in buckets, and as percentages of the total amount available. (Note: The allocations are based on an agreement that all 3 state agencies (DoH, OASAS, OMH) will work together to program appropriated funds.)

The Board agreed to spend funds available in the first two years as follows: 

  • 22% of total funds should be made available to sure up and/or expand Harm Reduction Programs and Services (existing and new programming) 
  • 16% will go to current high priorities in the system of care, to sure up existing programs and services (workforce needs and rate increases)
  • 15% to serve Special Priority Populations
  • 12% of total on Treatment (this is new and co-occurring initiatives)
  • 10% Housing
  • 7% Prevention
  • 10% of total for Recovery initiatives
  • 5% of total on Transportation initiatives
  • 2% on Public Awareness activities
  • 1% on Research

The Opioid Advisory Board will now draft a report to be sent to the Legislature that reflects the recommendations as well as a narrative that highlights the principles that were adopted by the Board as they made their decisions.

Further details about the recommendations are available online here.

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