(Volume #20 – Issue #4)
NYS BUDGET OVERVIEW
The New York State Senate, Assembly and the Governor came to a final 2014- 2015 State Budget agreement on March 28. The Budget bills went to print and the Legislature passed the final budget on Monday, March 31, the day before the beginning of the new state fiscal year.
The final budget includes a targeted 2% wage and fringe benefit increase for Direct Support Professionals (CFR 100 and 200 code titles) beginning on January 1, 2015, and an additional 2% beginning on April 1, 2015, for a total of 4%. Additionally, there is a 2% increase for clinicians (CFR 300 code) which will begin on April 1, 2015. CP of NYS advocated strongly for this funding and we extend our deepest thanks for the success of this critical budget initiative to the Assembly and the Governor with particular thanks to Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg who continues to be the foremost advocate for people with developmental disabilities.
Below, we have listed some highlights of the final Budget. (A more detailed description can be found here.)
- The DISCO language included in Governor Cuomo’s 30-day amendments was NOT included.
- Requires the Commissioner of OPWDD to develop an “Integrated Employment Plan” in consultation with the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council.
- Includes language, proposed by CP of NYS, that requires the Health Commissioner to establish a Disability Clinician Advisory Group to provide direction, education and an understanding of the effect of policy or fiscal actions in the health care delivery system for individuals with disabilities.
- Establishes an independent Medicaid Managed Care for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Program (Ombusdman).
- Establishes a Safe Patient Handling program for health care facilities.
- Provides funding to reimburse Early Intervention providers for commercial insurance claims from April through June of 2013 that have not yet been paid. Additionally, Early Intervention is included in the 2006 COLA provision which includes a 2% increase for clinicians’ salaries and benefits effective April 1, 2015.
- Extends the current exemption from the Nurse Practice Act for appropriately trained and certified direct care staff to such staff working in non-certified settings funded, authorized or approved by the OPWDD. The MOU between OPWDD and SED must be amended within 180 days to accommodate this change.
- Both Houses included an increase for 853 school-age programs. Unfortunately, neither of these proposals made it into the final version of the budget.
VIDEOS SHOW THE NEED FOR SUPPORTS AND SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
CP of NYS recently spent two days interviewing people with developmental disabilities and direct care workers from several of our Affiliates. The short videos at the links below are the result of those interview sessions. There is some interesting footage that did not get into these videos. We will share the raw footage with the participating Affiliates for their use, so you will undoubtedly see more from the people who participated in the sessions in the months ahead.
These videos have been posted to YouTube, the CP of NYS website and Facebook page. We encourage you to post them and show them to people in your communities as well. If you have other ideas about how we can share the videos with a wider audience please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 436-0178.
CDW, UNITED IROQUOIS SHARED SERVICES AND PREMIER HAVE DEVELOPED A DISCOUNTED PURCHASING OPTION FOR CP OF NYS MEMBERS
CDW has worked with several health care systems of various sizes to provide IT products and solutions custom built to the customer’s specific needs and now they have developed one specifically for CP of NYS Affiliates.
Some advantages to this partnership include:
- Pre-negotiated pricing, discounts are exclusive to CDW
- A wide array of products that qualify for GPO discounts
- Assessments and configuration/installation services are also discounted
The Total Mobility Solution is exclusive to CDW customers, with discounts that are also exclusive.
As an example, with a recent IT purchase, when analyzing pricing from a comparable vendor we found by using CDW:
- We saved 17% against the advertised price
- We saved 8% by going with CDW against the next closest competitor.
If you need help making a purchase or need further contact information, please contact Fred Sears at Management Services Solutions, LLC at (315) 935-3571 or (518) 436-0467 or email@example.com.
UCPA NASSAU’S MARY HODGE COACHING AT WORLD POWERLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Mary Hodge, from United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc., is in Dubai, UAE as a coach for Team USA at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Powerlifting Championships. The event is part of the qualifying process for the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil. The US athletes will compete on April 6-9 and April 11. The Championships will be streamed online at www.ipc-powerlifting.org.