The morning paper says we are close to a budget deal, and because the people we serve are predominately a silent population and unable to fill the halls of the Capitol and environs with blasting chants, brightly colored T-shirts and placards, I am compelled to speak up for them to those in power.
In the rush for an on-time budget and the incipient Medicaid redesign, the state must not: (1) abandon time-tested and cost-saving care coordination models like the long term home health care program (LTHHCP) and adult day health care; and (2) impose more unfunded mandates like “living wage” requirements at a time when Medicaid reimbursements are shrinking. This, especially, could backfire on Medicaid savings: Home care agencies will be forced out of business, sending those in their care up the chain to costlier levels of care such as nursing homes.
As a provider committed to quality care, we at St. Luke Health Services have worked with other nonprofits to successfully craft a number of proposals included in the Medicaid Redesign Team’s final package. The not-for-profit community of senior living and services providers remains ready to work with the governor and Legislature to draw care management principles more deeply into the long term care market.
On behalf of the people we take care of every day who cannot come to Albany and be heard, I beg you to do the right thing for them. Don’t balance the budget on the backs of New York’s frail and elderly.
CEO and Administrator
St. Luke Health Services