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Press Release – 12.12.2023

THE LEGISLATURE STATE OF NEW YORK ALBANY -

For Immediate Release

News Release

Press Release – 12.12.2023

Contact: Ed Kelley

Email: edkelley108@aol.com

Phone: 917-982-8015

New York Legislators Speak Out (Again) Urging the State of New York to Avoid the Closure of an Estimated 270 Agencies that Serve More than 40,000 Elderly Medicaid Patients

New York – CDPAP New York United hosted a press conference at Health Aid in Yonkers on Tuesday, December 12 where New York legislators spoke to a room full of interested and concerned community members and in-home care providers to show their support for stopping the closure of an estimated 270 CDPAP (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program) agencies that provide home care services to disabled and elderly Medicaid participants. This December event follows a similar one held at N&J Homecare in Rego Park on October 11.

The New York Department of Health (NYDOH) plans to close an estimated 270 agencies that serve more than 40,000 New York residents. Small local minority agencies are being targeted for closure, and agencies serving specific cultural and diverse populations are scheduled to be cut as well, amounting to an estimated 60 percent of CDPAP home care agencies in New York.

Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, 90th Assembly District said, “This legislation before us would seriously impact in a negative way how we provide services for these elders and these disabled individuals. And, we know that the make-up of our community – as diversified as it is – requires agencies that have the ethnic and the knowledge and the awareness of the people we serve.”  He continued saying that “We are at a point as a society where we focus on healthcare, and we focus on making sure that our loved ones have the ability to live a quality of life that surely allows them to stay at home.”

“When we reach out to allow more agencies that represent our ethnic fabric to really stay in business and really allow a workforce to address the needs, it’s a win-win for everyone involved,” Sayegh added.

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, 28th Assembly District, said, “I’m here today to support Nader’s bill which is particularly designed to fix a mistake that the State Legislature made in 2018. We were pushed by then-Governor Cuomo into a budget agreement that is bad for our seniors, bad for our disabled and bad for the home health aid groups that provide these services.”

“My understanding is the services provided by your agencies – these agencies – have been stellar, and that’s not why this issue came about. These groups – your groups – provide what I believe are preventive services, now I know most don’t think of it that way, but if your services are not provided, those people that you care for are going to the emergency room, and the emergency room costs exponentially more than the services you provide.”

Fred Polsky, CEO of Health Aide and one of the home health agencies that is targeted for closure, said, “CDPAP is throughout the whole state. We service every culture, every religion, every nationality, every disability. We save money by decreasing institutionalization. We keep people out of the hospitals. And at a time when nursing home costs are significantly increasing, the nursing home lobby is constantly asking the state to approve more and more dollars to institutionalize people. We at this time are doing the opposite, we are keeping people in their communities, we are saving the state money and we are employing thousands of people. Cutting out agencies will decrease competition, will decrease caregiver payrates and it’s going to provide lower quality care.”

At the Rego Park media event in October, additional state senators and assemblymen, a home health care agency owner and CDPAP United’s attorney provided their support and said the following:

Senator Leroy Comrie, whose 14th Senate district (Queens) will be affected by NYDOH closures, said, “We are here willing to fight and willing to make sure that the small business community gets the respect and the opportunities necessary to stay in business. Your small businesses should be the primary businesses we protect in New York State — not the conglomerates’. We are here to push the New York State Department of Health and the Governor to reexamine the metrics utilized which ultimately determined the loss of funding for these CDPAPs and Financial Intermediaries (FIs), considering that many are slated to go out of business in the next six months.”

Senator Addabbo, 15th Senate District, started by thanking the small businesses and said, “At a critical time now with covid rates increasing again, it’s poor timing to even think about cutting services and jeopardizing our businesses and the care for others. The more important issue is that we are caring for human beings. Their well-being, their health, their life is at stake – this is a poor time to be thinking about jeopardizing that. We see how FIs and CDPAPs outperform nursing homes in caring for others in their homes. For an indigent individual to be cared for in their home by a family member or caretaker was critically important during Covid, and it is critically important now that we maintain that quality of care.”

Senator Cordell Cleare, who is Chair of Senate Aging Committee, provided a written statement saying, “The CDPAP Program is valuable to the extent it empowers individuals to decide who can best provide home care services to them, leading to a heightened level of trust, respect, service and quality of life. The program should be supported and expanded, not contracted to save money while potentially sacrificing quality and competency.”

Assemblyman David Weprin, 24th Assembly District, said, “I have one of the most diverse districts in the state of New York – a large immigrant community, a large Bangladeshi community, a large Russian community, a large Guyanese community and a large Indian community.” He gave several examples of CDPAPs that are set to close in his district.

Simon Mord, President of Big Apple Home Care, also addressed the crowd, saying, “We are an agency that is about to lose the RFO and no longer do business as an FI because of this cut.  We provide services for the deaf and blind. There’s no other agency that does what we do. There are 100 members who are deaf and blind who will lose services. There are 200 aides that we employ that would also lose their employment.”

Potomac Law Partner Derek Adams, who represents 25 CDPAP agencies facing potential closure, said, “Each one of these agencies received a letter from the prior administration letting them know that they did not receive an award and that they would have to close their doors and stop operations. They weren’t given any reason or explanation why.  They were given a non-award letter, basically a letter saying your business needs to close.”  Adams noted that the smaller agencies often form to address a specific cultural need and population that has not been well served by the larger agencies; those smaller culturally diverse agencies are disproportionately selected for closure.

Contact: Ed Kelley

Email: edkelley108@aol.com

Phone: 917-982-8015

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