June 24, 2021
Please see attached and below letter we sent over last night to the Chamber and OMH/OASAS. Pushing for answers.
June 23, 2021
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Dear Governor Cuomo:
We are writing on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who receive mental health and/or substance use disorder care through the state’s public mental hygiene system, and the providers who serve them. The signatories below are seeking immediate clarification on the impact today’s announcement – that the State’s COVID-19 emergency order will end tomorrow- will have on telehealth executive orders. At minimum, we believe clarification should be issued immediately to mental health and substance use disorder agencies so that critical behavioral health services may continue and not be disrupted. Also, we request that behavioral health providers are held harmless as they continue to provide crucial and often life-saving services until such clarification and direction is received.
Provider agencies from across the State have been calling asking such questions as:
Providers have worked diligently during the pandemic in partnership with the State agencies to best serve our clients. The need for adequate transition time and new regulations and guidance, particularly those on audio-only telehealth and the telehealth changes in the budget, are critical to meet the behavioral needs of New York’s most vulnerable adults, children and families.
Please advise on next steps as to when information and clarification will be sent to behavioral health agencies so that we can inform our collective memberships and they in turn the individuals they serve.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this time sensitive matter.
On behalf of the signatories below,
Sebrina Barrett, Executive Director, Association for Community Living