Advocacy Paying Off on Capital Funding for LTC
Longstanding advocacy from LeadingAge NY and its members has drawn a great deal of attention to the need for capital investment in long term care (LTC) and senior services to meet the needs of growing numbers of older adults. But more work remains to be done to ensure that other types of providers have access to capital grants and that these desperately needed funds are awarded on a timely basis.
As illustrated in a chart prepared by LeadingAge NY, the dollar amount (and percentage share) of State capital funds devoted to LTC services has steadily grown in recent years. As of 2016, nursing homes and home care agencies had received only 0.8 percent ($12.9 million) of the $1.55 billion in funds awarded under the Capital Restructuring and Financing and Essential Health Care Provider programs, with hospitals and primary care accounting for 97.5 percent of the awards. By 2019, of the $204 million in awards announced under Phase II of the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program (SHCFTP), nursing homes and home care agencies had received 26 percent ($52.8 million) of the total funding. Our advocacy has paid off.
But more work remains to ensure needed capital investment across the LTC continuum. The Governor’s budget would allow the Department of Health (DOH) to award up to $300 million of the $525 million authorized for the SHCFTP Phase III for applications that were submitted under Phase II. SHCFTP Phase III funding totaling $525 million was authorized in the SFY 2018-19 budget. Under the current authorization:
- At least $60 million is allocated to community-based health care providers, which includes home care agencies, hospices, and other provider types.
- At least $45 million is allocated specifically to nursing homes.
- Up to $20 million of the funds not otherwise earmarked for community-based providers or nursing homes may be allocated to the new Assisted Living Program (ALP) solicitation process for new capacity.
- ALPs and adult care facilities (ACFs) are also added as eligible applicants for SHCFTP funding not specifically earmarked in the above three categories.
The Executive Budget proposal would allow DOH to award up to $300 million of the Phase III funding to highly rated applications already submitted under Phase II that were not granted awards earlier this year. Under the proposal, the set-asides identified above for Phase III would not be affected. The proposal does not set any deadline for issuance of a request for applications or award of funds under Phase III.
LeadingAge NY is asking lawmakers to modify the Executive Budget proposal to require that at least $20 million of Phase III funds be awarded both to develop new ALPs in areas where need is identified, as well as already licensed and operational ACFs and ALPs. There should also be a timeframe established by which these much-needed awards will be made; they have already been delayed too long.
Contact: Dan Heim, email@example.com, 518-867-8866