ACL is staying abreast of any movement on the state’s part to introduce Medicaid into Supported and other unlicensed housing (see Politico article below). As we have explained in the past, DOH wants to introduce Medicaid into all unlicensed housing under all state agency auspices. This is beyond OMH. It is unclear what this would look like, but OMH assures us that this would not replace funding. They also assure us that everyone knows that the funding would still need to increase – regardless of what happens with Medicaid.
ACL Executive Director Toni wrote a memo to DOH outlining our concerns, that you can find here.
By Dan Goldberg
07/12/2019 05:01 AM EDT
It has been seven months since Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fresh off a third-term victory, called for bold Medicaid reforms aimed at improving health care for prisoners and helping people remain in their homes.
Cuomo announced during his budget address that New York would seek the Trump administration’s permission to become the first state to have Medicaid cover prisoners up to 30 days prior to their release, and, in a separate request, use Medicaid funds for housing support services. The waiver would allow Medicaid to pay for things like helping someone with a housing application, ensuring a home is safe and educating people on tenant rights
But with the legislative session in the rearview mirror and the budget long since completed, Cuomo’s health department has not submitted any requests to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“We’re working with CMS and expect that the draft of the amendment will be available for public comment soon,” said Erin Silk, a spokesperson for the state health department.
The administration had first suggested that the Medicaid waivers would be submitted by April. Then, in April, Silk said the requests had budget implications so the Cuomo team needed 90 days to assess the impacts of the new budget.
Four months later, the waiver requests still have not been submitted.
The request to use Medicaid money to cover prisoners has been kicking around for several years. The state had asked the Obama administration for permission to do so, but pulled the request when President Donald Trump took office. The idea is to give prisoners a link to care before they leave a correctional facility, and it could cover nearly 100,000 people in state correctional facilities, Rikers Island and upstate county jails.
The second request allows Medicaid to pay for services that help keep people in their homes. Hawaii, North Carolina and Washington have received similar federal waivers, which allow states to pay for ancillary services.
The waivers, if they are submitted, will come as state officials attempt to renegotiate the state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment, or DSRIP, program, an $8 billion Medicaid waiver that expires in April.