Long Term Care Must Be a Focus of New Medicaid Waiver, LeadingAge NY Urges in Written Comments
In written comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), LeadingAge NY urged policymakers to ensure that dual eligibles and people with disabilities who need long term care services are not left behind as the State makes a historic investment in the health care and social care systems that serve Medicaid beneficiaries, under an amendment to its 1115 Medicaid waiver entitled the New York Health Equity Reform waiver. Reflecting on the relative lack of investment in long term care under the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP) waiver, the association called for a renewed focus on long term care and aging services. Specifically, the association is seeking to work with the Department of Health (DOH) and CMS to ensure that the value-based payment (VBP) arrangements that will drive the majority of waiver funding will address the needs of dual eligibles and be accessible to the providers that serve them.
The comments also requested that social determinants of health investments build on services for older adults and are available to beneficiaries in Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans, as well as those who are not yet in need of long term care services. To prolong independence in the community, the comments called for investment in service coordination in affordable senior housing and housing-related services tailored for older adults.
LeadingAge NY emphasized the severe workforce shortages affecting the long term care sector and pressed for investments in workforce initiatives that rebuild and expand the long term care workforce. The comments also sought equitable access for nursing homes to the COVID-19 Quality Restoration Pool for financially distressed hospitals and nursing homes. They outlined several proposed targets for investment in nursing homes, including staffing, quality improvement and training, and recruitment of medical staff and infection preventionists. Finally, the comments supported investments in digital health and telehealth infrastructure for long term care and social care providers that serve dual eligibles and people with disabilities.
More information about the waiver and LeadingAge NY's comments at the public forum is available here. LeadingAge NY will keep members informed of developments in the waiver approval and implementation process.
Contact: Karen Lipson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-867-8838