BH, Primary and Home-Care Providers Want Fair Share of Fidelis Windfall

NYAPRS Note: A coalition of NYS community-based primary care, home care, and behavioral healthcare service providers including NYAPRS have been working together to seek our fair share of a $2 billion state fund created from the sale of nonprofit health insurer Fidelis to for-profit Centene Corporation to address our full-scale workforce hiring and retention crisis. With 40% staff turnover rates and 10% vacancy rates, our groups are looking for immediate investments to help us hang on to our current dedicated community workforce. Specifically, we are seeking 25% of $675 million afforded to hospital and nursing home, amounting to $169 million, for retention bonuses and training to help reduce worker turnover and improve the quality of care. Here’s some recent media coverage. Stay tuned!

Behavioral Health, Home-Care Providers Want Piece of Fidelis Windfall
By Jonathan LaMantia   Crain’s Health Pulse   November 9, 2018

A group of associations representing community-based providers, including health centers, behavioral health nonprofits and home-care agencies, are calling on the state to set aside some of the $2 billion received from the sale of Fidelis Care to invest in its workforce.

The Cuomo administration increased the operating component of inpatient Medicaid rates to hospitals by 2% and nursing homes by 1.5%, effective Nov. 1, using $675 million from the money the state received as part of the $3.75 billion sale of Fidelis to Centene.

The provider groups said they should receive at least 25% of that total—$169 million—to use for retention bonuses and training, which would help reduce worker turnover and improve the quality of care.

As the state has encouraged more health care to be provided in community settings, money should follow those policies, said Lauri Cole, executive director of the NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. She noted that mental health and substance-use providers are on the front lines addressing rising death rates from drug overdoses and suicides.

"When the state finds itself in the position with this money, the community-based side of the workforce finds itself more often than not receiving a pittance of what the hospital and institutional settings wind up with," Cole said…..

Without more funding, the nonprofits can't retain workers and risk losing them to hospitals, government agencies and even other industries, such as food service, because of the state's rising minimum wage, said Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.

"If we have constant turnover, these relationships are constantly disrupted, and it really compromises our ability to serve folks who are difficult to engage," he said.

The 11 groups calling for funding are the New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Home Care Association of New York State, the Community Health Care Association of New York State, the Mental Health Association of New York State, the Association for Community Living, the NYS Coalition for Children's Behavioral Health, the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State, the Coalition for Behavioral Health, the NYS Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers and the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies. —Jonathan LaMantia

Health Care Providers Seek Medicaid Rate Increase
By Capital Tonight Staff Albany County November 14, 2018
New York's hospitals and nursing homes are getting more money for Medicaid services thanks to a recent move by Governor Cuomo. And now, other health care providers are asking for a similar increase.
Primary care, home care and behavioral health providers are calling on the Cuomo administration to take action to help them combat high employee turnover. It is a situation that some say has reached crisis levels.
Andrea Smyth of the Coalition for Children's Behavioral Health and Assemblyman John McDonald, a pharmacist, explain

November 15, 2018: State Health Resources
by TIM WILLIAMS  Capital Pressroom 
The Health Care Transformation Fund was created in the most recent state budget. The fund would dedicate resources to improving the transmission of health resources to New Yorkers that need it the most. Andrea Smyth, Executive Director of the New York State Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health, discussed additional ways the resources can be used to better address the health needs of New Yorkers.