2018-19 New York State Budget was passed and signed before the April 1st deadline. The 30 disease prevention, public health and workforce programs that were threatened with pooling and a 20% cut were independently funded at the 2017-18 level. We recognize that this is still +/- 20% less than these programs were funded in 2016-17 but consider this a significant victory for NYSARH and our partners because it represents the effectiveness of our collaborative and coordinated strategy in advocating for rural health funding. Most importantly, it is a victory for rural health.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochel presented the Final Budget
There is also good news for Telehealth. The ‘originating site’ may be a person’s home including a certified residence. Behavioral Health professionals may also utilize telehealth, including CASACs.
The Population Health Improvement Program is funded for one more year, as is support for Enhanced Safety Net Hospitals. The legislature added back $10M for children’s mental health, including Children’s Health Homes, overturning a proposed two-year delay. The integration of primary care and behavioral health care got a boost from the Regulatory Modernization section which will allow integrated care under any one license: 28, 31 or 32.
Part B, Section 9 directs the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Rural Health Council, to conduct a study of home and community-based services available to recipients of the Medicaid program in rural areas. If warranted by the study, the Commissioner is authorized to provide targeted rate enhancement.
The budget includes ‘No Student Goes Hungry,’ which makes K-12 schools that purchase 30% of their lunch ingredients from New York farms eligible to receive a state reimbursement of 25 cents per meal—four times the amount that is currently provided per meal. The 2018-19 budget also doubled state funding for Farm to School grants to $1.5 million. Farm to School is a win-win, improving the health of our children and supporting New York farmers.
The Health Care Transformation Capital program provides $60MM for community health centers and other licensed treatment centers, $45MM for residential facilities, $20MM for assisted living and $50MM for mental health facilities.
The enacted budget does not authorize community paramedicine or certified nurse anesthetists, but it does extend clinical practice exemptions until 2020.
NY FarmNet, the only 100% free and confidential on-farm mental health service provider operating in NY State, received a restoration in funding to the ‘16- ‘17 level from the Office of Mental Health thanks to the efforts of several upstate senators.
Funding for the Rural Health Safety Net NRHA FY 2018 Request
(Dollars in Millions)