Joining the Fight Against the $200 Cut to Health Homes

NYAPRS Note: The Senate has proposed a massive cut to the state’s Health Home program that totals $200 million, a reduction of over 1/3rd of the current health homes budget. The cut would necessitate massive program changes that would likely make the program no longer sustainable. At minimum, HH providers would have no choice but to radically increase caseloads and to cap enrollment.

This cut represents the biggest step back ever contemplated regarding the MRT goal of Care Management for All and is targeted at the most vulnerable members of our society who rely most on the Medicaid program for their essential care. It will also further limit access to the most important MRT initiative, recovery focused Home and Community Based Services. While health home and related systems can be improved, taking $200 million out of the behavioral health system during the last 2 weeks of budget session in unacceptable.

NYAPRS has joined with a coalition of colleagues, including the Health Home and Care Management Associations. See our most recent joint letter attached and below.

Stay tuned for details about what you can do to stop the cut!

Dear Member of the New York State Legislature,

Health Home Care Management has become an integral part of evolving healthcare systems in New York State. They support the largest healthcare systems in NYS including major hospitals, PPSs, FQHCs, and behavioral health provider networks by providing crucial care management and support to the highest need individuals living with chronic medical conditions including HIV as well as the most serious behavioral health needs.

There are currently 168,000 members enrolled in the Health Home program statewide, being served by approximately 4,000 care managers through over 500 Care Management Agencies. Health Homes Serving Children (HHSC) opened in December 2016, and Health Homes now serve members of all ages.

  • Inpatient costs per member per month are down 8%, according to the NYS Department of Health, and emergency room utilization is down 6 percent.
  • 17% decrease in preventable hospital readmissions between 2014 and 2015, according to the NYS Department of Health,
  • NYS spent $2,500 per member annually for the highest need individuals with behavioral health, substance use disorders, HIV and/or chronic medical conditions, serving 200,000 individuals.

We are writing to support the health home care management program and ask you to fully fund the program. Cuts to the program could reduce access to care management for the highest need individuals that we all serve and inhibit our ability to continue improving health outcomes, engagement in primary care and outpatient services and reducing avoidable and costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Thank you for your continued support of this critical program.

Kevin Muir, Executive Director, iHealth
Rose Duhan, President and CEO, Community Healthcare Association of New York State (CHCANYS)
Andrea Smyth, Executive Director, NYS Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health
M. Beatrice Grause, R.N., J.D., President, Healthcare Association of NYS
Christy Parque, President and CEO, The Coalition For Behavioral Health
Glenn Liebman, CEO, Mental Health Association in New York State
Harvey Rosenthal, Executive Director, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS)