NYAPRS Releases 2013 State Budget/Legislative Agenda

NYAPRS Note: Here’s NYAPRS preliminary 2013 NYS budget and legislative advocacy agenda, as developed by our NYAPRS Public Policy Committee. Following Governor Cuomo’s release of his 2013-4 budget next week, there may be some adjustments.

We are expecting 700 NYAPRS members from every corner of the state to join our 15th Annual Albany Legislative Day.

Given a very difficult budget environment and the impact of recent gun control/mental health legislation, this year’s day will be an especially crucial one. There’s still time to arrange to ‘get on the bus’: please see attached flyer and the parking information below!

 

               NYAPRS BUDGET AND LEGISLATIVE AGENDA SUMMARY

NYAPRS 15th Annual Legislative Day   Hart Auditorium   Albany, NY

January 29, 2013

 

Protect and Support the Community Mental Health Safety Net

Funding has not kept pace the need for the array of essential community based rehabilitation, residential, peer run, treatment, care management and related support services that make up the state’s community mental health safety net.

This safety net of services must be protected and supported; funding cannot be reduced without putting people at risk.  Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) have been postponed for years while costs and demands for service increase. 

These services are cost effective, reduce inpatient and emergency service costs and improve community health and saves lives. They must be kept strong, especially as we head for the managed care led integration of mental health, addiction and medical services in 2014.

Recommendations:

  • No funding cuts to these essential services
  • Provide a long overdue Cost of Living Adjustment  

 

Reinvest Medicaid Savings to Expand OMH Community Recovery, Housing and Peer Support Services

State Medicaid redesign reforms to improve care coordination and integration will succeed only if the state dramatically expands the amount and array of community wellness, prevention and support systems, which are already producing impressive savings from decreased use of hospitals and emergency services.

Recommendations:

  • Reinvest DOH savings from decreased use of Medicaid emergency and inpatient services for New Yorkers with psychiatric conditions to expand OMH community supports.
  • As New York heads for 2014 implementation of fully capitated Medicaid managed care systems, all proposals and contracts should explicitly require reinvestment of state and plan savings into local housing, peer support and employment services.

 

Reinvest Savings from State Hospital Downsizing

National data is clear that NY has far more state hospitals serving less people for more money than any other state. New York State currently operates 26 state psychiatric hospitals (almost 7 times the national average), houses fewer individuals per campus than other similar states (most states house similar amounts in 5-7 facilities) and topped the nation in cost (our $1.2 billion comes in at more than the combined total of other top states Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Recommendations:

  • Reinvest savings from downsizing/regionalization of NY’s state hospital system into local community recovery services.

 

 

Protect Medicaid Beneficiary Rights and Medication Access

State reforms to rapidly integrate and transfer mental health, addiction and medical services and the pharmacy benefit to managed care plan management require full scale programs to educate, enroll and protect the rights of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Access to medications is critical: the state is poised to ensure that prescribers have the power to make sure that their patients get the antipsychotic medications they want and need, regardless of whether they are on plan formularies.

Recommendations

New York must protect the health and rights of Medicaid beneficiaries by:

  • Educating beneficiaries about healthcare changes via a wide array of media 
  • Expanding a statewide Medicaid managed care ombuds program to respond to complaints and unmet needs.
  • Implementing strong ‘prescriber prevails’ protections for antipsychotic medications

 

Serve New Yorkers with Psychiatric Disabilities in the Most Integrated Housing and Employment Settings

NYAPRS members strongly support Governor Cuomo’s recent Executive Order creating an Olmstead Cabinet including high level Administration officials to develop a state Olmstead Plan by next May that will commit our state to “measurable progress goals for achieving integrated residential living, including transition goals from segregated to residential housing, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”

Interim Recommendations:

  • Fund thousands of additional supportive housing beds via NY’s Supported Housing Reinvestment fund, Medicaid Waiver request, OMH ‘pipeline’ beds and NY/NYIII.
  • Provide dedicated community housing to adult home residents with psychiatric disabilities
  • Expand employment options by reinvesting funds from downsizing of sheltered or segregated work programs and through expansion of New York Ticket to Work’s program.

 

Invest in NYS Mental Health System Overhaul, Not Kendra’s Law Expansion

NYAPRS strongly opposes efforts to expand Kendra’s Law costly court mandated treatment measures. We urge adoption of the following measures that will improve our community mental health response systems:

  • Accelerate sweeping NYS Medicaid reforms to increase the impact, effectiveness, integration and accountability of care
  • Establish state/local Incident Review Panels to make recommendations upon review of violent incidents involving people with mental illnesses
  • Implement nationally acclaimed Crisis Intervention Teams in NYC that would add mental health counselors and peer crisis staff to help de-escalate confrontations between police and distressed individuals
  • Expand OMH First Episode programs, especially for youth in schools and colleges
  • Require mental health parity across all private insurance plans, Health New York and in the new Health Exchanges.
  • Promote better transitions from hospital and jail/prison to the community through the use of peer service models and expand Housing First approaches.

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Parking Information/Rates for NYAPRS 2013 Legislative Day

Parking Services 474-8118

 

Under the Empire State Plaza (ESP) in Visitor Parking

(V is the sign, the 3rd right turn under the ESP coming up from 787)

M-F 6:00AM-3:59PM $2.00/hour (max $20.00)

M-F 3:59PM-5:59PM $5.00 flat

 

Cathedral Parking

(left side of NYS Museum as you are looking at the Museum)

M-F 6:00AM-9:59AM $10.00 flat

M-F 10:00AM-3:00PM $5.00 flat

 

Museum/Madison Ave

(right side of NYS Museum as you are looking at the Museum)

M-F 6:00AM-9:59AM $10.00 flat

M-F 10:00AM-3:00PM $5.00 flat

 

Grand Street (east/below Empire State Plaza)

M-F 6:00AM-2:00PM $10.00 flat