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DOH Names Long Term Care Workforce Training Organizations

The Department of Health (DOH) has distributed the list of organizations designated to provide training in the state’s Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Workforce Investment Program (WIP). At least four Workforce Investment Organizations (WIOs) are designated in each of the state’s five regions, with seven in New York City. We congratulate member organizations ArchCare and Selfhelp Community Services on being selected to participate in the program. The full listing of WIOs is available here.

The Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Waiver Amendment approved in April 2014 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that authorized the state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program included $245 million for initiatives to retrain, recruit, and retain health care workers in the long term care sector. The WIP will target direct care workers with the goal of supporting the critical long term health care workforce infrastructure through retraining, redeployment, and enhancing skill sets.

Each WIO will offer a menu of Workforce Development Initiatives (WDIs) which address regional plan and provider workforce needs as well as the needs of health care workers. The program includes three years of funding, with the first round of payment scheduled to be distributed by March 2018. DOH hopes that the program will result in sustainable LTC WIOs that will continue to operate after the three years of funding end.

While DOH intends to issue further guidance in the coming weeks, they have indicated that MLTC plans that choose to participate in the program will be tasked with convening a regional stakeholder meeting to develop a regional plan for workforce training priorities and a menu of initiatives relevant to the region. Funds will be allocated to plans based on enrollment and used to purchase training, recruiting, and other workforce-related services from the WIOs. Plans will notify providers that they may send workers to LTC WIOs without charge, but subject to the plan’s approval of such participation.

Medicaid Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans that participate in the program will contract with LTC WIOs to:

  • invest in initiatives to attract, recruit, and retain long term care workers in the areas they serve;
  • develop plans to address reductions in health disparities by focusing on the placement of long term care workers in medically underserved communities;
  • consistently analyze the changing training and employment needs of the area that the program serves;
  • provide for broad participation and input from stakeholders; and
  • support the expansion of home care and respite care, enabling those in need of long term care to remain in their homes and communities and reducing New York's Medicaid costs associated with long term care.

Participating plans will receive a fee for the additional administrative responsibilities they would undertake that will include:

  • submitting baseline information on compensation and benefit data, along with workforce trainings and recruitment initiatives currently offered by plans to providers and their employees;
  • collaborating with LTC WIOs on strategic planning to recruit and train new LTC workers;
  • reporting and analyzing use of funds;
  • submitting data to indicate what can be learned about the impact of the training offered by the LTC WIOs on patient outcomes and quality of care; and
  • reporting key program data to DOH on a quarterly basis.

LeadingAge NY is pleased with the additional resources to address long term care workforce challenges. We have been providing input to DOH on the WIP throughout its development to help focus attention on specific workforce needs and ensure that plans and WIOs are compensated for the additional administrative requirements that come with the program. The DOH WIP webpage that includes slides and FAQs on the program is available here. Questions should be submitted to MLTCWorkforce@health.ny.gov.

Contact: Darius Kirstein, dkirstein@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8841