December 14, 2022
As follow-up to last week’s NYS Council Thursday morning call when we devoted our time together to issues facing providers that operate OASAS Part 822 Outpatient Clinics, we agreed I would send a letter to Commissioner Cunningham and others at OASAS that outlines the concerns raised by our members, and requests a meeting with OASAS leads as soon as possible. We wanted to share that communication (below).
Also, attached please find two documents that have been in circulation since the fall of 2021 when we first met with O agency leads, the Governor’s Office and DoB to review the joint Outpatient Clinic Rate Reform proposal we completed with assistance from HMA. As you know, federal COVID-19 funding took priority and the OMH and OASAS Outpatient Clinics did see increases that changed base rates but the need is far greater than the changes that were enacted in the April 1 budget or as result of ARPA one-time funds. As such, we continue to meet with executive agency leads to advocate for these changes in hopes that the Governor’s executive budget will include all of the elements of our proposal.
See attached documents.
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Lauri Cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Dec 13, 2022 at 12:32 PM
Subject: Note from Lauri Cole at NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Cc: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Lincourt, Pat (OASAS) <Pat.Lincourt@oasas.ny.gov>
December 13, 2022
Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Commissioner
Office of Addiction Services and Supports
1450 Western Avenue, 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12222
Dear Commissioner Cunningham:
On behalf of the 120 member agencies of the New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, I want to thank you for the opportunities you and your staff have already provided for the exchange of ideas and concerns between OASAS providers and your staff.
On December 8, during a NYS Council Public Policy & Member Support call where over 100 NYS Council member agency representatives were in attendance, many members raised issues regarding the increased challenges they are experiencing keeping their Outpatient Clinics financially viable. The challenges providers discussed are centered around the overlay between the philosophical and clinical changes that OASAS has operationalized in regulations and guidance, and their lack of alignment with the business model for this program. Concerns raised by our members include (but are not limited to):
- OASAS regulatory and programmatic changes that, while philosophically and clinically important, are causing financial hardships and limiting access to care;
- Delays in approvals of proposed budgets that are causing delays in opening additional/ancillary programs and services;
- Regulatory changes that some believe are compromising quality of care;
- Ongoing COVID-19 regulations and guidance that continue to limit opportunities for full engagement of individuals seeking/receiving services;
- Formulas that limit the ability for integrated programs (such as CCBHC) to access net deficit funds.
Commissioner, we would like to meet with you and your key staff at your earliest convenience so we can discuss the issues outlined above. I can guarantee a meeting that is blame free, and constructive. In turn, we ask that you please prioritize this meeting request so we can share information that we feel is important given ongoing preparations for the release of the Governor’s executive budget proposal.
For your convenience, I have attached the Outpatient Clinic Rate Reform proposal we discussed last month when we met to review NYS Council state budget priorities. This is the same proposal we discussed with OASAS and OMH leadership last year (October and November 2021) that provides solutions to the gap that currently exists between changes to the Outpatient Clinic service model, and current economic and social conditions.
As always, thank you for your ongoing leadership and commitment to the citizens of New York State.
Lauri Cole, Executive Director
NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
cc: Sean Byrne