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Empire Justice Testimony at the 2018 Health/Medicaid Budget Hearing

Empire Justice March 20, 2018

My name is Adam Prizio and I am the Health Law & Policy Attorney in the Albany office of Empire Justice Center. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to testify today concerning the 2018‐2019 Health and Medicaid Budget.

Empire Justice Center is a statewide legal services organization with offices in Albany, Rochester, Westchester and Central Islip (Long Island). Empire Justice provides support and training to legal services and other community based organizations, undertakes policy research and analysis, and engages in legislative and administrative advocacy. We also represent low income individuals, as well as classes of New Yorkers, in a wide range of areas including health, immigration, public assistance, domestic violence, and SSI/SSD benefits.

Empire Justice has had the opportunity to serve on numerous advisory committees for New York State during Medicaid Redesign and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We had an advisory role as a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Advisory Committee for the Health Benefit Exchange and the statewide Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Review Committee. We have also worked directly with the New York State Department of Health, serving on workgroups concerning the Basic Health Program, Managed Long‐Term Care quality incentives, Managed Long‐Term Care implementation, and Value Based Payment. We serve on the steering committees of Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), Medicaid Matters New York (MMNY), and the Coalition to Protect the Rights of New York’s Dually Eligible. We co‐facilitate HCFANY and MMNY’s Public Programs Group, which meets regularly with the Department of Health on Exchange implementation issues. These experiences, along with our day‐to‐day work with low income New Yorkers and their advocates, have helped shape the perspective we provide today.

  1. Restore and Invest in  Community Health Advocates
    • Contribute $2.25 million to bring CHA funding up to $4.75 million
    • Fund the CHA Small Business Assistance Program for $2 million
  2. Make “Community Integration for Every New Yorker” a Reality
    • Oppose the nursing home carve‐out
    • Address the home care workforce shortage.
  3. Ensure that All New Yorkers have Access to Health Benefits
    • Relieve Medicaid users of excessively low PT/OT/ST caps;
    • Preserve prescriber prevails;
    • Preserve affordable over‐the‐counter drugs;
    • Protect access to prescription opioids for pain management;
    • Oppose the LHCSA cap;
    • Oppose the marketing ban on community based services.
  4. Oppose Changes to Eligibility Requirements that Create Barriers to Necessary Care
    • Preserve spousal and parental refusal;
    • Change spousal impoverishment to the Federal maximum allowed, rather than changing it to the minimum;
    • Oppose changes to the NFLOC score and continuous care requirements for MLTC;
    • Protect consumers’ ability to change their MLTC plans;
    • Keep MLTC members enrolled during the first 30 days when services are being set up;
    • Raise the age limit for Child Health Plus to 29.

Read the testimony here!