Advocacy | Be Their Voice

Advocacy

We urge the Legislature to invest $510M (State share) in the 2024-2025 budget to
narrow the current Medicaid rate gap that exceeds 25% ($1.6B annually).

Governor Hochul’s budget proposal includes
major cuts to Medicaid reimbursement.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SFY 24-25 EXECUTIVE BUDGET PROPOSAL

  • Proposes a $1B increase in all-funds spending and $5.9B increase in state operating fund spending
  • No Medicaid reimbursement increases or reforms are included in budget increases
  • Proposes to save $200M on Medicaid through spending cuts on long-term care

LESSEN THE STAFFING-SHORTAGE AT NO STATE COST

The healthcare industry has been facing staff shortages for years, but our legislators can begin to reduce this burden at no cost by approving Certified Medication Aides (CMAs) in nursing homes.

Here are the facts:

  • CMAs are specially trained CNAs who can administer regular medications under the supervision of an RN
  • 38 other states already allow CMAs in nursing homes
  • Approving CMAs would allow more room for career growth within nursing homes, which is an added incentive to stay in the workforce
  • Approving CMAs would also alleviate the stressors of Patient Per Day (PPD) requirements that can result in hefty fines for nursing homes
  • Approving CMAs would allow LPNs and RNs to focus on higher level clinical responsibilities

Contact your legislators today and demand that New York approve this no cost investment into our nursing home workforce.

KEY BUDGET INITIATIVES

  • Reject cuts and increase nursing home Medicaid rates by $510M. Commit to update and rationalize the rate methodology by 2025.
  • Authorize medication aides in nursing homes.
  • Ensure appropriate capital reimbursement: reject proposed 10% cut, restore existing 5% cut, and waive the imputed occupancy provision
  • Restore proposed $75M cut to Nursing Home Vital Access Provider Assurance Program (VAPAP) funding.
  • Add titles to minimum staffing level provisions and allow nurses to satisfy aide hours.

GET TO KNOW THE BUDGET PROCESS

On January 16, 2024, Governor Hochul presented her SFY 2024-2025 Executive Budget Proposal. Not only did she neglect to include necessary Medicaid reimbursement increases or reform, but her budget also proposes saving $200M in Medicaid spending by reducing support to long-term care services. As the budget is now in the process of legislative review, our next step is to urge our legislators to reverse these proposed cuts.

WHAT IS HERITAGE DOING TO HELP?

Heritage leadership is currently working with Leading Age New York to urge the Governor and Budgeting Director to significantly increase funding for Medicaid in the 2024 budget.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

With the new budget proposal comes a new opportunity to make your voice heard! A new digital letter writing campaign has been launched to urge elected officials to stop making cuts to vulnerable New Yorkers and update nursing home reimbursement! Below is a list of pre-written letters for you to send, pick the option that suits you most and speak up today!

APPROVE CMAs – SIGN THE DIGITAL LETTER CAMPAIGN TODAY

Approving CMAs in nursing homes in New York State is a staffing shortage alleviation measure that would cost the state $0 in investment dollars. With 76% of the country already allowing CMAs to work in nursing homes, it is time for New York to catch up and make this necessary approval. Sign the digital letter today to urge your legislators to push for this approval!

STAY IN THE KNOW

KEY DATES

  • January 9th – State of the State Address by Governor Hochul
  • January 16th – Executive Budget Proposal Release
  • February 15th – 30-day Amendments from the Governor
  • March 15th (approx.) – One House Budgets are Released
  • April 1st – Final Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25

Heritage wants Medicaid reimbursement to be reformed during the legislative session.
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.

2023 SUMMARY UPDATE

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

WHY ARE THESE OUR PRIORITIES?

  • 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

GET STARTED

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!

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

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 advocacy@heritage1886.org for more information or to share your concerns.

SAMPLE SOCIAL POSTS FOR YOUR USE

SKILLED NURSING/NURSING HOMES

@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!

ASSISTED LIVING

@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!

RECENT ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES

KEY CONTACTS

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

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

US REPRESENTATIVE

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

NEW YORK HOUSE

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

NEW YORK SENATE

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

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

CONTACT US

For advocacy questions, please contact Sallie Williams by emailing srwilliams@heritage1886.org.

For general inquiries, please contact us at questions@heritage1886.org.

For press inquiries, please contact Kerstin Wyman at kwyman@heritage1886.org or (716) 338-0153.