Assembly One-House Bill Released
The Assembly one-house bill is out and, overall, it is a great victory for CDPAANYS.
Speaker Silver, Assembly Member Gottfried and all of the members of the Assembly realized the critical issues facing consumers, their personal attendants and fiscal intermediaries, and we thank them. On a quick read, the Assembly included in their one-house bill 3 of the 4 priorities for CDPAANYS.
- The Assembly included Fiscal Intermediaries in the Vital Access Providers Program (VAPP). If adopted in the final budget, this will allow CDPAANYS to pursue financial remedy for the requirement to pay time and a half under the companionship rules. It would still require action from the Dept. of Health; however, it represents an acknowledgement of the problem and a sincere desire to take action to fix it. This policy was one promoted by CDPAANYS when it became evident that we were not receiving any traction on our proposal for a pass through to deal with these issues.
- The Assembly included language that would restore aid continuing to consumers and end the requirement that they exhaust internal appeal rights with the plan before they could pursue a fair hearing.
- The Assembly included language that would require community-based providers, including fiscal intermediaries, to be reimbursed an amount that allows them to pay an adequate wage to the consumers’ employees. Failure of the plans to reimburse adequately would represent an actionable offense, up to and including the termination of their ability to operate.
- The Assembly included language that would require plans to pay clean claims within a 30-day period for CHHAs and LHCSAs. CDPAANYS has already reached out to the Assembly to inform them of the importance of this provision to fiscal intermediaries as well and we will advocate strongly in favor of it, assuming we are included.
Unfortunately, the Assembly did not include the Nurse Practice Act changes that allow for full implementation of Community First Choice. While CFC will move forward with CDPA only, the larger benefit requires an exemption and without it, the entire benefit is in jeopardy, as it is unclear whether or not CMS will support it. The Assembly also did reject language that would allow direct service professionals in OPWDD to perform any nursing tasks. This is language that CDPAANYS opposed in the state that it was in, but is continuing to work to identify a compromise that is acceptable to all parties. We will continue to advocate for these proposals moving forward and hope that the Senate bill includes the changes necessary for CFC.