GNS: Cuomo Budget to Add $500m Medicaid Cut

NYAPRS Note: In the wake of CMS and Congressional concerns about New York’s Medicaid billing practices especially relating to OPWDD facility rates, New York has been bracing for a potential round of Medicaid cuts to make up for a possible repayment to the feds. At yesterday’s Albany news conference previewing tomorrow’s revisions to Governor Cuomo’s 20013-14 state budget proposal, Budget Director Robert Megna described an additional $500 million budget hit, of which $120 million would be absorbed by OPWDD programs with the remaining $380 million coming from a variety of strategies, including a potential acceleration in the move to managed care. There’s no current word about any potential OMH cuts.

Governor Cuomo also indicated that New York’s Medicaid Redesign waiver request is being considered as a separate pending issue.

Medicaid rate change delivers $500 million hit to Cuomo's budget

By Jon Campbell Gannett News Service February 21, 2013

ALBANY- A change to federal reimbursement rates for New York state’s care of the developmentally disabled will deliver a $500 million hit to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal, his administration announced Wednesday.

Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendments reflect a planned change in the rates paid by the federal government to the state for patients at nine facilities for the developmentally disabled. The federal government began negotiating a rate change with the state after a Poughkeepsie Journalinvestigation in 2010 revealed state and federal reimbursements totaled $4,556 per patient, per day.

Now, Cuomo’s administration is changing its proposed spending plan to include $120 million in cuts to the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and $380 million in adjustments to the state’s Medicaid cap to make up the difference.

Cuomo’s office believes the changes could settle a dispute with the federal government over the reimbursement rates. A spokesperson for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

“This would now adjust the rate once and for all and reconcile the rate so we can go forward,” Cuomo said Wednesday.

Cuomo originally proposed his $136 billion spending plan in January. The state faces a March 31 deadline to have a budget in place.

The state’s methodology for calculating Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government has received increased scrutiny in recent weeks, with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week recommending a full audit of the state’s Medicaid program.

Michael Carey, an Albany-area advocate for the developmentally disabled whose son was killed while in state care six years ago, said he was disappointed with the further cuts to the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

“They shouldn’t be making cuts at OPWDD,” Carey said. “They should be making cuts in a lot of other areas and making sure that money coming in is being appropriated properly to safety and abuse prevention areas.”