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LeadingAge NY Rolls Out New Comprehensive Nursing Home Funding Request

LeadingAge NY has finalized a nursing home-specific funding ask for both immediate financial relief prior to the start of Calendar Year (CY) 2022 and for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23. We are having conversations with legislative leaders as well as the Division of the Budget (DOB) and the Department of Health (DOH) around the specifics of our nursing home funding ask; however, our request will fall on deaf ears if we do not have a robust, unified message with our nursing home members statewide. We are asking every nursing home member provider to please contact your lawmakers with this request, both over the phone and in writing, as soon as possible. We also strongly recommend setting up virtual or in-person meetings with legislators.

Below, you will find several resources for you to work with us in this urgent advocacy initiative. As always, we are here to help and support you in any way you may need. Do not hesitate to reach out to Sarah Daly directly if you have any questions.

In summary: LeadingAge NY is urging the Legislature to work with the Governor in providing nursing homes with an immediate, emergency investment of $259.3 million for the current SFY (2021-22). This investment would restore the $168 million cut enacted in 2020, provide a 3.4 percent Medicaid rate increase, and provide targeted funding for high-quality homes and to stabilize financially distressed homes. We also are advocating that this investment be continued and expanded in the upcoming SFY. In SFY 2022-23, we are seeking $586.5 million to support the continuation of Medicaid rate increases and across-the-board cut restorations, additional enhanced quality pool funding, financially distressed nursing home stabilization funding, an additional 3.3 percent Medicaid rate increase, and targeted funds for nursing home staffing.

LeadingAge NY is urging our nursing home membership to:

  1. Call your Assembly Member and State Senator with the below, brief talking points.
  2. Send this digital advocacy letter to lawmakers and the Governor ASAP. It only takes a few clicks, and you can easily share the letter link with board members, colleagues, and on social media.
  3. Set up virtual meetings with your legislators BEFORE the end of the year.
  4. After conversations with your lawmakers, ask that they send a letter to the Governor or legislative leaders with our request for immediate funding. This draft letter can be shared directly with legislative offices as a template for them to send to the Governor or legislative leaders.
  5. Tell us about your advocacy! Either email Sarah Daly directly letting her know that you have contacted your lawmakers, or fill out our Advocacy Engagement Form.

We understand that members may have questions regarding why this funding request is coming now, outside of the typical State Budget cycle. LeadingAge NY hosted a Nursing Home Member Call on Wed., Dec. 8th to review our funding request, walk members through our rationale for why the Governor must act NOW, and answer any other member questions. If you were unable to join us for the Nursing Home Funding Advocacy Call, a recording is available here

Brief talking points to use in phone calls with legislative offices TODAY:

  • Share your name, organization, your job role, and services provided.
  • I am calling today to ask that you contact the Governor as soon as possible and urge her to take immediate action to address the unprecedented stress that the long term care system and my own organization are currently experiencing.
  • After nearly two years of absorbing exorbitant pandemic-related costs with no financial relief from the State, and 14 years without a rate increase to account for inflation, nursing homes need an immediate, emergency investment of $259.3 million for the current State Fiscal Year (SFY 2021-22). This investment would restore the $168 million cut enacted in 2020, provide a 3.4 percent Medicaid rate increase, and provide targeted funding for high-quality homes and to stabilize financially distressed homes.
  • This investment must also be continued and expanded in the upcoming State Fiscal Year, 2022-23.
  • This level of investment is needed to enable nursing homes to provide high-quality care to residents, cover costs, and pay competitive wages to recruit and retain staff. New York’s Medicaid rate for nursing homes is the worst in the country when the cost of care is compared to payment, and this is resulting in unprecedented workforce challenges and financial hardship.
  • Across the long term care continuum, many nursing homes [including my organization] have suspended admissions and closed units because they are unable to find sufficient staff. This is now causing significant backup in hospitals, as they are unable to discharge patients to nursing homes or home care agencies that do not have capacity to take in new residents/patients.
  • Our most vulnerable older adults are unable to access services as a result of the State’s failure to adequately fund long term care services. Imagine being hospitalized and then being in-patient for far longer than necessary because there is nowhere for you to go to receive the care that you need.
  • An immediate Medicaid rate increase, BEFORE the end of the year, will help ensure that we can provide quality care to older adults and ensure that hospital beds are available for those with acute care needs, particularly as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. The need is urgent. We cannot afford to wait months for already-overdue financial assistance from the State.
  • (A longer list of talking points is also available here for those who would like to supplement the above.)

Thank you in advance for your participation in advocacy, in addition to all of the hard work you are doing for your residents. If all of our nursing home members are contacting lawmakers with this unified message, we are hopeful that the Governor will hear our cry and provide well-deserved and long-overdue financial relief.

Contact: Sarah Daly, sdaly@leadingageny.org