Highlights of Interest from Final
ELFA Budget Bill (S8006C/A9006C)

April 8, 2022

Good evening,Below are highlights of interest from the Final Education, Labor, and Family Assistance (ELFA) Budget Bill (S8006C/A9006C) that served as the vehicle for some proposals in other areas that did not make it into earlier budget bills:
Part UU Criminal Justice/Bail Reforms: 

  • Creates a community-based program to connect youth in juvenile justice cases with services and treatment referrals; 
  • Connects criminal defendants to mental health treatment;
  • Extends Kendra’s law five years through 6/30/27;
  • Allows mental health practitioners to testify via video conference at hearings;
  • Provides for expanded care coordination for mental health; and
  • Allows for mental health reassessment within 6 months of the expiration of an assisted outpatient treatment order

Part WW Video Conferencing: Allows for video conferencing by public bodies with sunset of July 1, 2024.
Part XX Home Care Wage Increases: Increases the minimum wage for home care aides by a total of $3 over two years (by 10/1/22 increase by $2 and by 10/1/23 increase by an additional $1). 
Parts AAA, BBB, CCC and DDD Coverage through Essential Plan, Medicaid Child Health Plus Expansions:

  • Expands Medicaid and Essential Plan coverage for individuals who are 65 and older and those with disabilities at lower income levels; Clarifies cost sharing obligations
  • Calls on the Commissioner of NYSDOH to submit a waiver applications to HHS under the affordable care act to expand coverage under NY Health for undocumented immigrants, postpartum coverage for one year after giving birth and children for one year
  • Expands Medicaid coverage for prenatal and postpartum care, subject to federal participation, when recommended by a physician or other health care practitioner and provided by qualified practitioners including but not be limited to:

·      nutrition services provided by certified dietitians and certified nutritionists;

·      care coordination, case management, and peer support;

·      patient navigation services;

·      services by licensed clinical social workers;

·      dyadic services;

·      Bluetooth-enabled devices for remote patient monitoring

·      and other services determined by the commissioner of health;

  • Provides Medicaid coverage for a pregnant individual on any day of pregnancy and to continue to eligibility for such care and services for a period of one year beginning on the last day of pregnancy, without regard to any change in the income of the family that includes the pregnant woman, even if such change otherwise would have rendered her ineligible for medical assistance.
  • Repeals Basic Health Plan extended postpartum coverage in light of provisions above.
  • Expands covered services under Child Health Plus to include other medical supplies, ambulance services, children and family treatment and support services, children’s home and community based services, assertive community treatment services and residential rehab for. youth services which shall be reimbursed in accordance with the APG methodology utilized by DOH, OASAS, OMH for rate setting purposes or any such other feed established per Article 43 of Mental Hygiene law, and health related services by voluntary foster care agency health facilities licensed per Article 29-I.
  • Restructures cost sharing under Child Health Plus by income per FPL.  Effective 1/1/23, the Commissioner of DOH shall coordinate with DFS for the transition of subsidy payment rate setting functions to DOH, in conjunction with an independent actuary, review reimbursement methodologies.  Effective 1/1/23, the Child Health Plus plan shall be administered solely by the Commissioner of DOH.
  • Effective on and after 3/31/23-3/31/27, subjected to federal approval, pregnant individuals enrolled in Child Health Plus shall include 12 months of postpartum coverage commencing on the first day of the month following the last day of pregnancy.

Part ZZ Health/Mental Hygiene Worker Bonuses: Modifies the Governor’s proposal to provide HMH worker bonuses to specify the professions eligible for the bonus (see embedded below with definition of employee) of up to $3000 over two vesting periods based on hours worked.  The amended language also exempts the bonuses from being considered income for the purposes of receiving public assistance.
(excerpted from full proposal beginning on page 253 of the ELFA bill we sent in our last email:
 2. Definitions. As used in this section, the term:
 40 (a) “Employee” means certain front line health care and mental hygiene
 41 practitioners, technicians, assistants and aides that provide hands on
 42 health or care services to individuals, without regard to whether the
 43 person works full-time, part-time, on a salaried, hourly, or temporary
 44 basis, or as an independent contractor, that received an annualized base
 45 salary of one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars or less, to include:
 46 (i) Physician assistants, dental hygienists, dental assistants,
 47 psychiatric aides, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physical thera-
 48 pists, physical therapy assistants, physical therapy aides, occupational
 49 therapists, occupational therapy assistants, occupational therapy aides,
 50 speech-language pathologists, respiratory therapists, exercise physiolo-
 51 gists, recreational therapists, all other therapists, orthotists,
 52 prosthetists, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, diag-
 53 nostic medical sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, radiologic
 54 technologists, magnetic resonance imaging technologists, ophthalmic
 1 medical technicians, radiation therapists, dietetic technicians, cardio-
 2 vascular technologists and technicians, certified first responders,
 3 emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians,
 4 paramedics, surgical technologists, all other health technologists and
 5 technicians, orderlies, medical assistants, phlebotomists, all other
 6 health care support workers, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse
 7 practitioners, registered nurses, nursing assistants, and licensed prac-
 8 tical and licensed vocational nurses;
 9 (ii) to the extent not already included in subparagraph (i) of this
 10 paragraph, staff who perform functions as described in the consolidated
 11 fiscal report (CFR) manual with respect to the following title codes:
 12 Mental Hygiene Worker;
 13 Residence/Site Worker;
 14 Counselor (OMH);
 15 Manager (OMH);
 16 Senior Counselor (OMH);
 17 Supervisor (OMH);
 18 Developmental Disabilities Specialist QIDP – Direct Care (OPWDD);
 19 Certified Recovery Peer Advocate;
 20 Peer Professional – Non-CRPA (OASAS Only);
 21 Job Coach/Employment Specialist (OMH and OPWDD);
 22 Peer Specialist (OMH);
 23 Counselor – Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (CASAC);
 24 Counseling Aide/Assistant – Alcoholism and Substance Abuse;
 25 Other Direct Care Staff;
 26 Case Manager;
 27 Counselor – Rehabilitation;
 28 Developmental Disabilities Specialist/Habilitation Specialist QIDP –
 29 Clinical (OPWDD);
 30 Emergency Medical Technician;
 31 Intensive Case Manager (OMH);
 32 Intensive Case Manager/Coordinator (OMH);
 33 Nurse – Licensed Practical;
 34 Nurse – Registered;
 35 Psychologist (Licensed);
 36 Psychologist (Master’s Level)/Behavioral Specialist;
 37 Psychology Worker/Other Behavioral Worker;
 38 Social Worker – Licensed (LMSW, LCSW);
 39 Social Worker – Master’s Level (MSW);
 40 Licensed Mental Health Counselor (OASAS, OMH, OCFS);
 41 Licensed Psychoanalyst (OMH);
 42 Therapist – Recreation;
 43 Therapist – Activity/Creative Arts;
 44 Therapist – Occupational;
 45 Dietician/Nutritionist;
 46 Therapy Assistant/Activity Assistant;
 47 Nurse’s Aide/Medical Aide;
 48 Behavior Intervention Specialist 1 (OPWDD);
 49 Behavior Intervention Specialist 2 (OPWDD);
 50 Clinical Coordinator;
 51 Intake/Screening;
 52 Pharmacist;
 53 Marriage and Family Counselor/Therapist;
 54 Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) Transition Coordinator (OMH);
 55 Crisis Prevention Specialist (OMH);
 56 Early Recognition Specialist (OMH);

 1 Other Clinical Staff/Assistants;
 2 Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Supervisor;
 3 Therapist – Physical;
 4 Therapist – Speech;
 5 Program or Site Director; and
 6 Assistant Program or Assistant Site Director; and
 7 (iii) such titles as determined by the commissioner, or relevant agen-
 8 cy commissioner as applicable, and approved by the director of the budget