Advocacy | Be Their Voice


The New York State final budget passed overnight on Thursday, April 19th.
Unfortunately, it failed to address the significant needs of nursing home members and the people we serve. We cannot fix industry but with your help we can have an impact on fixing the problem locally.


  • 4% Medicaid increase: This means we still have a major gap in funding for nursing homes that rely on Medicaid to care for residents, like Heritage.
  • No Medication Aides: This means no additional staff trained to distribute medications to residents, which continues to put a strain on existing nursing home staff.
  • 10% capital reimbursement cut: This means it is harder for nursing homes to afford maintenance and upgrades to facilities.
  • VAPAP funding cut: This program helps low-income residents access essential medications. A funding cut will limit their access to these medications.
  • Medicaid rate freeze based on July 2023 rates: This does not reflect the rising costs of operating the facilities who care for our residents, increasing the stress and cuts to budgets.
  • No update to nursing home rates: Without a mandated update, nursing home rates might not keep pace with inflation, making it harder to cover costs and potentially impacting quality of care.


There will continue to be a shortfall between the cost of care and Medicaid reimbursement rates for a population that relies on Medicaid to provide their care. Without these vital increases, nursing homes across the state will continue to face the same hardships and continue a trend of closing in the places they are needed most. The lack of necessary change to financial support for our industry by New York State is negligent. In one fell swoop, Heritage, and the seniors we serve, and their needs, were once more neglected, ignored, and disrespected. Click here to read a full statement from Lisa Haglund, CEO of Heritage.


Continue to advocate through May and June! There are still several priority issues that have not been decided and we will need your continued advocacy throughout the remainder of this session.

Below are tools to learn more about each issue, read the legislative memo, and enter your information to send an email to legislators and the governor telling them what action you want to see them take in the coming week.

Support initiatives that prioritize our staff by supporting:

and promoting financial stability:


Heritage wants Medicaid reimbursement to be reformed.
Stay tuned to see how you can help in the coming months. We appreciate your support.

Rural healthcare in Chautauqua County needs your voice now!

New York is seeking input from older adults, individuals, and caregivers on the Master Plan for Aging (MPA). The Master Plan for Aging is designed to ensure that older adults and individuals of all ages can live healthy, fulfilling lives while aging with dignity and independence.


As we rapidly approach a new year and budget cycle, we encourage you to review the 2023 legislative work and advocacy effort outcomes. Heritage thanks you for your support and engagement, as this vital work can only be done with full community support.
To see a full recap of our efforts with our
policy partners, Leading Age New York, click here.

Our team is working to educate legislative and regulatory leaders on our budget requirements.

When Governor Hochul releases her budget for 2024, we look forward to working with you to ensure these measures are confirmed. At Heritage, our critical priorities remain:

  • Addressing the ongoing staffing shortage
  • Increasing Medicaid reimbursement to a sustainable level
  • Reform and rationalization of the Medicaid nursing home reimbursement system


  • Staffing shortages have led to over 5,600 bed closures statewide – these shortages lead to overcrowding in our hospitals who have nowhere to discharge patients in need of continued care
  • Insufficient Medicaid increases put pressure on both the seniors and communities to bridge an $810 million funding gap – this affects 75% of nursing homes


The Heritage Ministries public policy team advocates on behalf of our residents, their families, and our staff, to enact policies that will address the needs, quality care, and safety that ensures all our communities are beacons of Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living. Add your voice to ours!


1. Sign up to be an advocate!
2. Write to your representative.
3. Like us on Facebook for real-time updates.
4. Contact your representatives (below).

The Real World: Recent Staffing-Related News

“Rural America Is Losing Nursing Homes, and Small Towns Are Reeling” 
The loss of long-term-care facilities – and the “deserts” they leave behind – has cascading economic implications for communities.
-Bloomberg; October 11, 2023

“The federal aid directed at hospitals and nursing homes during the early part of the pandemic temporarily covered up the fundamental problems with the industry’s economics, says Kelly Arduino, head of the health-care practice at advisory firm Wipfli. With government assistance winding down, there will be more financial distress and closures. “It’s only going to get worse,” she says. “We all see it coming. We don’t see a mechanism for how to fix it.”

“Across the country, almost 690 nursing homes have shut their doors since 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, expects the number to keep ticking up in the coming years, because of a combination of rising labor costs, falling enrollments and government reimbursements that fall far short of paying the bills…”

Congress is currently considering many issues that affect the lives of seniors and their service providers. We need your help to make sure Congress hears how their actions impact you. Please take a moment to contact your representatives and make your voice heard. Take action today…click here to learn more and contact your representative!

Please contact Sallie Williams, Vice President of Advancement at for more information or to share your concerns.



@GovKathyHochul MUST provide meaningful funding to NY Nursing Homes in this year’s budget! A 1% Medicaid increase after years of cuts is not enough. Nursing Homes need resources to be able to compete for staff and serve residents. All seniors deserve better. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul ALL seniors deserve better funding and support from the state. Nearly 75% of nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid; the rest is mostly Medicare. Better staffing in nursing homes requires better funding than a 1% increase to inadequate rates. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul No funding has been provided to enable nursing homes to meet new staffing mandates, which ignore the reality of the healthcare workforce crisis. We need funding and support for nursing homes, not penalties! We must do better.

@GovKathyHochul NY nursing homes need over 12,000 new nurses and aides to comply with the 3.5 nurse hour mandate. Homes cannot reach this shared goal of enhanced staffing without a substantial Medicaid increase to recruit them. Please #SupportOurSeniors in this budget!


@GovKathyHochul State funding is going to Broadway, bars and the Bills, but not for needed COVID relief funding to adult care facilities and assisted living. Don’t leave these residents and staff behind. Please #SupportOurSeniors!

@GovKathyHochul After 14 years without a Medicaid increase, New York’s assisted living programs need more than a 1% increase. Low-income older adults living in these settings deserve better. Please #SupportOurSeniors in the final budget!




Kathy Hochul
(518) 474-8390
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224


Nick Langworthy
(716) 488-8111
The Fenton Building
2-6 East Second Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
Learn more


Andy Goodell
(716) 664-7773
2 E. Second Street
Fenton Building, Suite 320
Jamestown, NY 14701


George Borello
(815) 455-6330
2-6 E. Second Street
Fenton Building, Suite 302
Jamestown, NY 14701

Please share this message and contact information with family members waiting to see their loved ones - encourage them to contact Governor Hochul today!


For advocacy questions, please contact Sallie Williams by emailing

For general inquiries, please contact us at

For press inquiries, please contact Kerstin Wyman at or (716) 338-0153.