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Community Behavioral Healthcare

 
 
 
 

Latest News & Information

INTEGRATED CARE ADVOCACY PAPER 

The Partnership for Integrated Care – a joint project of the NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and InUnity Alliance – just released a new Paper with recommendation for the steps New York State should immediately take to increase the availability of integrated  care for New Yorkers in need of mental health, substance use disorder and primary care services.  
The Paper will serve as a road map for ongoing advocacy as we work to compel state leaders to ensure New Yorkers get the services they need from providers that are able to address their complex needs free of regulatory and other barriers that delay or deny on demand access to integrated care.
The Paper is available online here.
NYS COUNCIL OMIG AUDIT REFORM BILL:
ACTION REQUESTED

The NYS Council has been leading an ongoing statewide effort to compel lawmakers to bring fairness and balance to the OMIG audit process.  Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin and Senator Harckham are sponsoring our OMIG Audit Reform bill.  

ACTION REQUESTED

In our continuing efforts to secure meaningful OMIG Audit Reform in the SFY25 enacted budget, we ask that everyone mobilize antake action in support of OMIG Audit Reform.  Please use this link https://nyscouncil.org/advocacy-action-center/  to create a letter you can send to your Senate and Assembly representatives in support of the OMIG Audit Reform bill.

 HUMAN SERVICES COLA: ACTION REQUESTED 

In 2006, New York State enacted a statute that authorized an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for most Human Services Organizations. Despite the law, eligible providers often did not receive the COLA due to the former Administration’s practice of ‘notwithstanding’ the statute. As a result, community-based agencies fell into a fiscal hole and at the present time we are unable to pay competitive salaries AND cover expenses associated with the operation of our programs such as gasoline, maintenance, health insurance, food, supplies, etc.

This year, the Governor proposed a 1.5% COLA for the Human Services field, to include mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction programs and services. The Senate and Assembly support a 3.2% in total, and we are grateful for this support. However, the Senate and Assembly bills both include a restriction that would tie provider’s hands when it comes to using some of these funds to pay for their operations, bills and to keep the lights on. Restricting the COLA in such a way that eligible agencies cannot use it for several purposes defeats the point of ensuring sustainability of services for New Yorkers in need of mental health and addictions care.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please use this link https://nyscouncil.org/advocacy-action-center/  to create a letter you can send to your Senate and Assembly representatives in support of a full 3.2% COLA with no restrictions.

EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES AGREE IT’S TIME TO ADDRESS BARRIERS TO MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS CARE

Over ten years ago New York State regulators found it necessary to set a mandated minimum reimbursement rate that must be paid for community-based mental health and substance use disorder services under Medicaid. However, this did not apply to services provided to New Yorkers with
commercial insurance benefits. This has led to a serious inequity for New Yorkers with commercial insurance who are often unable to find a provider due to insurance rates that are (on average) just 50% of those paid by the Medicaid Program for the same services.

Governor Hochul included a ground-breaking proposal in her executive budget that seeks to level the access to care playing field regardless of the insurance card in the pocket of the individual seeking services. The Governor included a requirement for commercial insurers to pay community-based mental health and substance use disorder agencies (at least) the same reimbursement rate as that which is paid to providers for services to Medicaid members.

We are grateful to the Governor for her leadership on this important issue and we are so gratified to see that both the Assembly and the Senate have heard our concerns and included a similar proposal in each of their one-house budget bills to ensure equitable access to essential mental health and addiction care for New Yorkers with commercial insurance.

The New York State Council has been advocating for this reform for close to a decade. We want to express our thanks to each and every New Yorker who helped us call attention to this serious problem and advocated with us for this important reform.

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