September 24, 2021
Yesterday I sent a note to all members discussing what’s in the works for OASAS Part 820 providers. Below is more of what we heard from Trisha Schell-Guy, General Counsel at OASAS and Connie Burke yesterday morning regarding Round 1 Workforce Priorities funding and other federal funding that is on its’ way:
SAPT Block Grant Funds
Last week, OASAS sent letters to providers who are eligible to receive awards as result of the supplemental federal funds allocated to New York’s SAPT Block Grant allocation for Workforce Priorities. Eligible entities include OASAS funded or certified not-for-profit entities. The methodology used to identify grant award amounts used the latest available CFR data and specifically, the CFR data pertaining to allowable Personal Service Expenditures. The pot of money available is somewhere between $19-20M. OASAS included prevention, recovery and treatment providers in the calculations. Federal rules do not permit these funds to be distributed to OASAS inpatient hospital services including Inpatient Rehab and Medically Managed or Supervised Detox. OASAS set both minimum and maximum award amounts. In terms of payment, OASAS will pay awardees 25% as an upfront advance. Providers will be required to voucher for the remainder of the award so OASAS can meet all federal reporting requirements. The voucher will not be complicated.
There will be other SAPT funds coming out shortly to include a pot of funds ($20M) to assist organizations to stabilize their finances and programs in light of the stressors encountered by OASAS providers during the height of the pandemic. OASAS is currently evaluating whether to utilize a formula approach to distribute these funds and whether they will need to issue an RFA for them. OASAS will post information regarding these funds in the Procurement section of their website.
OASAS is developing its plan to distribute these funds to eligible providers. That includes community based OP, OPR and OTP as well as part 820. Since this is a Medicaid initiative, both not for profit and for profit entities will be eligible for these funds. These funds will be paid through temporary rate enhancements.
More to follow shortly.
Earlier this year I notified NYS Council members that our ongoing advocacy efforts to secure additional resources for OASAS Part 820 programs had resulted in the inclusion of an eFMAP Spending Plan proposal that could increase rates for these programs. EFMAP funds can be used to support community-based rehabilitation programs and this morning we learned that OASAS intends to do rate increases for OASAS Part 820 Stabilization and Rehab Services to help these programs stabilize their fiscal circumstances. It sounds like OASAS intends to get the funds out the door fast and then allow providers time to spend them. OASAS is also currently considering adding Reintegration Services to the OASAS Medicaid Program in order to include this service in the increases (discussed above).
I asked Trisha how much of a bump 820 providers can expect but she was not specific. I also inquired as to whether the rate increases will be permanent and the response was that while these rate increases cannot be made permanent using the time-limited eFMAP funding discussed here, OASAS is looking at use of other funds to try and extend any rate increases that are granted to 820s for the out years.
Again, OASAS intends to front load the funds to eligible 820 providers and give you time to spend the money. OASAS is focused on ensuring that state aid funds aren’t pulled out of your agency as result of your receiving these eFMAP funds so there is still some work to do on their end.
Caution: Until you have a notice in your hands that confirms all of this information, I would not use it as the basis for future financial decision-making.