Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bed Hold, ALP CON, and SSI Bills
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo acted on four of LeadingAge NY’s priority bills relating to nursing home, adult care facility (ACF), and assisted living program (ALP) services:
- Nursing Home Bed Hold Restoration: The Governor unfortunately vetoed A.8338 (Gottfried)/S.6559 (Hannon), legislation that would have undone the elimination of Medicaid reimbursement for up to 14 reserved bed days annually when residents are hospitalized. The Department of Health (DOH) had advised facilities in May that it would temporarily continue Medicaid coverage of hospitalization bed holds. The Governor's veto message points to the upcoming budget process as the appropriate forum for this issue, although it is unclear how and when the cut will be implemented for this year.
- ALP CON Process: A.7727-A (Lupardo)/S.5840 (Hannon), which would have created a Certificate of Need (CON) process for the ALP, was also vetoed. The bill was designed to change the different competitive processes in recent years to a more planful and consistent process based on need in the community. It would have also allowed existing ALP providers to add up to nine beds through an expedited process. The Governor’s veto message directs DOH to discuss with the Legislature the adequacy of ALP beds and the Department’s review process in the context of the upcoming budget process.
- SSI Increase for ACFs: The Governor also vetoed A.6715-B (Brindisi)/S.6732 (Serino), legislation that would have increased the state portion of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rate for ACF residents by at least $20 per day per resident over five years. The veto message again points to the budget process as the forum for this issue but raises concern about how the federal budget will impact our fiscal situation.
- ACF Death and Felony Crime Reporting: Meanwhile, the Governor signed A.2702 (Gottfried)/S.787-A (Alcantara), which would require enriched housing programs to follow the same death and felony reporting requirements as adult homes. While we did not object to the concept of the legislation, there are many flaws in the existing requirement, which we outlined in our memo of opposition and letter to the Governor. The approval memo acknowledges some technical issues, which the Governor vows to work with the Legislature to resolve in the upcoming legislative session.
LeadingAge NY is extremely disappointed by these outcomes and will continue to work in the upcoming budget process and legislative session to find solutions for our members during these challenging times. We encourage you to join us for our two 2018 Advocacy Days, to be held in Albany on Tues., Feb. 6th and Tues., March 6th, as we work to ensure that these and other long term care issues are properly represented in the upcoming state budget. Registration and additional information is available here.