After several weeks of negotiations, Governor Cuomo signed into law New York’s 2018-19 state budget late last week. CHCANYS is very pleased that the $168B budget deal includes several items of importance to primary care, including the following:
Patient-Centered Medical Home Incentive Payment Program The final budget restores the full $20M cut to the PCMH incentive payment programs, an item that CHCANYS strongly advocatied for. While we do not yet have additional details on exactly how the Dept. of Health will implement this restoration, we are extremely pleased that the State recognizes the importance of this funding to primary care providers as they transition to value-based payment.
Safety Net Funding As expected, the final budget maintains level funding of $54.4M for the D&TC Safety Net Fund (previously known at the D&TC Uncompensated Care Fund).
Capital Funding A total of $475M has been allocated to the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program, with a minimum of $60M set aside for community-based providers, including FQHCs. Additional funding has been set aside for the Assisted Living Program (ALP) providers which will not come out of the community-based provider pool.
Telehealth As CHCANYS recommended, the definition of originating site (where the patient is located) has been expanded to “include the patient’s residence within New York State, or temporary location either within or outside New York State.” Additionally, the Dept. of Health, the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Substance Abuse Services, and the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities are required to develop a coordinated document that clearly identifies any differences in telehealth regulations and policies, including those on reimbursement, between the agencies.
Health Homes Cuts to the Health Homes program are much smaller than initially anticipated: $10M this year and $16M next year, for a total of $26M over two years. Health Homes will be required to perform background checks and may be subject to penalties if they fail to meet participation targets. Additionally, in a letter to legislative leaders, the Dept. of Health committed to making several reforms to the program, including an increased focus on quality outcomes, data collection and reporting.
School-Based Health Centers School-based health centers have received $8.3M in grant funding, which includes $4M to restore funds to SBHC that were cut as part of last year’s budget.
Doctors Across New York The final budget maintains level funding for the DANY program at $9M.
Thank you all so much for your strong advocacy during this budget season. We could not have maintained funding for all the items listed above without your ongoing commitment to health centers and their ability to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care to all New Yorkers