Volume #21 – Issue #4
2016-2017 BUDGET ITEMS OF INTEREST
Governor Cuomo and the Legislative Leaders finished passing the 2016-2017 NYS Budget on April 1. The Governor held his first Red Room press conference in more than six months, on March 31, to present the budget agreement and highlight the minimum wage, paid family leave, school aid investment, tax cuts etc. Unfortunately, there was little new funding for OPWDD supports and services or to provide salary increases for the new minimum wage. Below are relevant details of the $155.6 billion 2016-2017 State Budget agreement.
- NYC will increase the minimum wage to $11 at the end of 2016, then another $2 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2018. The exception is that for small businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage would rise to $10.50 by the end of 2016, then another $1.50 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2019.
- In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, the minimum wage will increase to $10 at the end of 2016, then $1 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2021.
- In the rest of the state, minimum wage would increase to $9.70 at the end of 2016, then another $.70 each year after until reaching $12.50 on 12/31/2020 – after which will continue to increase to $15 on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget (DOB) in consultation with the Department of Labor.
- Fast Food – Although the enacted Budget contains a provision that would allow the Commissioner of Labor to adjust the current Wage Board’s Fast Food minimum wage increase, the Governor has made it clear the Fast Food wage increase will go forward as was scheduled. The fast food minimum wage increases:
o NYC: $10.50 7/1/16; $12.00 on 12/31/16; 13.50 on 12/31/17 and goes
to $15.00 on12/31/18.
o The rest of the state, including Long Island and Westchester County: $9.75 on July 1, 2016;
$10.75 on 12/31/16; $11.75 on 12/31/17; $12.75 on 12/31/18; $13.75 on 12/31/19;
$14.50 on 12/31/20 and $15.00 on 7/1/21.
Similar to California, there is a “safety valve” to the increases. Beginning in 2019, the state DOB Director will conduct an annual analysis of the economy in each region and the effect of the minimum wage increases statewide to determine whether a temporary suspension of the scheduled increases is necessary. That analysis is submitted to the Department of Labor by the Division of Budget.
The budget agreement provides $4.1 million (state share only) for OPWDD salary plus related benefits minimum wage increases. The budget language states that it is only for OPWDD agencies filing a CFR and there has to be an attestation that the funding was used for minimum wage salary and benefit increases (see attached).
The budget includes $1.1 million for 853s, 4410s and special education programs.
The OMH Budget includes $900,000 for the first three months of the minimum wage phase-in.
For more details on the NYS Budget, see entire briefing paper here.
1915 (C) COMPREHENSIVE HCBS WAIVER APPROVED
The following is a statement from OPWDD.
The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is pleased to announce that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the renewal of the 1915(c) OPWDD Comprehensive Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. This agreement with CMS, OPWDD and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) is retroactive to October 1, 2014 and will span over the course of a five year period through September 30, 2019.
This approval secures federal funding for services for over 82,000 individuals during the five year agreement and signals the start of a new conversation with our federal partners.
In the Waiver renewal, OPWDD and DOH commit to the submission of an additional amendment which will occur later in 2016. In preparation for this future amendment, OPWDD will work with stakeholders to begin the implementation of reforms stemming from the work of the Commissioner’s Transformation Panel.
A copy of the approved Waiver Renewal can be viewed at http://www.opwdd.ny.gov/node/6546/.
DOH RELEASE DATES FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON 1115 WAIVER
The Department of Health has released the dates for both downstate and upstate Public Comment Days on New York’s 1115 Waiver programs.
The downstate Public Comment Day will be Wednesday, May 4 in New York City, at the NYU Kimmel Center (60 Washington Square Park South), from 9:30am to 2:30pm. The upstate Public Comment Day will be held on Friday, June 10 in Albany at the Empire State Plaza, Meeting Room #6. That meeting will go from 10:30am to 3:30pm. More details will be sent out closer to the events.
The 1115 waiver is designed to permit New York State to use a managed care delivery system to deliver benefits to Medicaid recipients, create efficiencies in the Medicaid program, and enable the extension of coverage to certain people who would otherwise be without health insurance. In addition, New York’s goals for its 1115 waiver include improving access to health services and better health outcomes for New Yorkers through multiple programs. More information on the 1115 waiver and its programs is available here.
The Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program is a significant waiver initiative, and members of the DSRIP Project Approval and Oversight Panel will join DOH staff in listening to the feedback provided by members of the public and stakeholders on these Public Comment Days. Feedback on all waiver programs is welcomed.
These meetings will be webcast live and will be open to the public. No pre-registration is required. Individuals who wish to provide comment will be asked to register on site.
All comments should be limited to 5 minutes per presenter, to ensure that all public comments may be heard. Please direct all questions to DSRIP@health.ny.gov.
STATEN ISLAND PILOTS TELEMEDICINE
On April 2 and 3, the Staten Island residential program began a two month Telemedicine pilot called StationMD. The goal of StationMD is to reduce the number of Urgent Care and Emergency Room visits. StationMD is a computer with a high definition camera and stethoscope that have been placed in two Metro Services homes on Staten Island. From Friday night until Monday morning, the RN on call has a Doctor available to “see” individuals right in their home. The Direct Care Counselor calls the RN on call, and if the situation requires consultation with a doctor, StationMD can be called. When StationMD is activated, a certified Emergency Room Doctor can be seen by the direct care staff, similar to face time or skype. The MD will direct the staff to place the camera so the individual can be “examined” and to apply the stethoscope so the lungs, heart or abdomen can be assessed by the MD through the computer. Once the assessment is complete, if needed, the doctor can call in prescriptions to the local pharmacy so medications can be started immediately. Also, a clinic summary detailing the assessment, including the written orders, is faxed directly to the house. If an individual does have to go the hospital or Urgent Care, the StationMD doctor will call ahead with a full report so they are ready to care for our individuals. During the first weekend operation the system was activated in both houses. Staff found it easy to use and it was great having people assessed right in their homes.
PLANTS ARE BLOOMING AND BUSINESS IS BOOMING AT GOOD NEIGHBOR ORGANICS
A Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Grant to support transition to the most integrated setting is allowing 30 people receiving traditional Day Habilitation Services with CP of NYS Metro Services to work towards employment tracks in “Green Collar Jobs.”
Good Neighbor Organics is a new venture that includes 2 commercial grade, four season greenhouses, 10 growing carts for seedlings and multiple prep areas where plants are being grown with organic standards at the operation on Staten Island. The greenhouses are using both traditional soil based organic mediums as well as hydroponic techniques. At capacity this facility will be the largest supplier of vegetables, greens, herbs and flowers in the area.
The opportunity to provide healthy food choices in an area that does not have ready access at local markets is critical to the success of wellness initiatives in the borough. There are already partnerships developed with students interning from the NYC Board of Education and with a marketing campaign and an Open House scheduled for implementation, expectations are high for the future.
The project and its participants will be represented at the First Annual Garden Summit, to be held at the Petrides School on April 21. There will be healthy eating demonstrations as well as a tour of the greenhouse facilities by summit attendees.
Another exciting feature of the project is “Tasting Tuesday,” where staff and participants can try tasty food and beverages, created to support healthy lifestyles with local products.
Learn more about the operation on Instagram and Facebook and check out the webpage at http://gno.1upicon.com/#services.
NYS DDPC ANNOUNCES FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
The NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) has funding available to one grantee to develop and support a New York State Youth Advocacy and Leadership Network which will include replication of the National Youth Leadership Forum, provide ongoing advocacy skill development and mentoring for people, ages 14-24, with disabilities and provide related training for family caregivers.
The DDPC also has funding to select one grantee to provide support, technical assistance, evaluation and sustainability planning to the grantee developing the New York State Youth Advocacy and Leadership Network.
The full funding announcement can be found here.
If you have questions or comments regarding this funding announcement, please contact Robin Hickey at 518-402-3478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DDPC SEEKS COMMENTS ON RECOMMENDED 5-YEAR PLAN
The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (NYS DDPC) has worked over the last year to produce a draft of its next 5-year State Plan.
The public is being given a chance to review the recommended plan and provide comments via the survey links below.
The DDPC says the survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. The comment period ends May 31, 2016.
Feel free to circulate the survey to others.
English Survey Link:
Spanish Survey Link:
Simplified Chinese Survey Link:
Traditional Chinese Survey Link: