Peeling the Layers of the Executive Budget Onion: OASAS Withhold Issue

February 3, 2021

Important information and clarification based on a conversation I had earlier this evening with OASAS General Counsel Trisha Schell-Guy (below).  I am hoping this brings clarity to the field on this issue:

The FY2022  Mental Hygiene executive budget proposal contains provisions for a 5% reduction on local assistance payments made by OMH to non-residential programs, and by OPWDD to non-Medicaid providers.  (See Page 6-7 of Mental Hygiene portion FY 2022 Executive Budget Briefing Book we sent NYS Council members when the executive budget was released.) These reductions are directly related to the fiscal crisis brought on by COVID-19.   These reductions may be restored if the State receives the requested $15 billion in federal COVID relief.  NOTE:  There is NO provision in the OASAS executive budget proposal for similar reductions (See pages 8-9 of Mental Hygiene portion of the Budget Briefing Book). 

In FY 2021 there were 20% withholds from local assistance in the last 2 quarterly payments made to some OASAS, OMH and OPWDD providers (residential/housing excluded in OMH and OASAS and other exclusions in OPWDD).  These withholds may be reinstated depending on federal COVID relief and other targeted savings initiatives as identified by the agencies.

Happy to talk it over at your convenience.