Affiliate Update 2011

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Volume 17 -- Issue 4

4/20/2011 9:36:56 AM

4/14/11 Issue of the Affiliate Update/E-News

Click here CP NWS 4-14-11 to download PDF.



¨       ACTION ALERT:  Call Congress to Urge a NO Vote on the House Budget

¨       2011-2012 State Budget Update

¨       Burke, Beardon Confirmed by NYS Senate

¨       Federal Money Coming to Help with Enhanced Personal Care Services

¨       Corporate Compliance Registration Deadline Nears

¨       Geri Jewell to be Keynote Speaker at CP of NYS Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs Next October

¨       McLane Appointed to CP of NYS Board of Directors

¨       Carol M. White PEP Grant




Call your representative in the New York Congressional delegation right now to ask him/her to vote NO on the Ryan budget resolution!

            Capitol switchboard:    888-245-0215 

The House will be voting on the Ryan budget resolution by the end of the week. This is a blueprint for the 2012 Federal budget year, which begins October 1, 2011. It contains some terribly harmful budget provisions, such as:

            – huge cuts to Medicaid through converting the program to block grants

            – converting Medicare into a voucher program

            – provisions that would gut the Affordable Care Act

In addition, the budget proposal includes a tax cut to wealthy Americans, leaving the rest of us to bear the brunt of massive budget cuts.
Please call your representative in the House TODAY to urge him/her to vote NO on the Ryan budget resolution!

Toll-free number to the Capitol switchboard:  888-245-0215 

Here is a link to find out who represents you in the House:

After you have made your call(s), please send Barbara Crosier an email to let me know how the call went and what the staff person said. 

Thank you for taking part in this important action today!

– Barbara Crosier  






The Legislature passed the final 2011-2012 State Fiscal Year Budget during the evening of March 30 and the early morning of March 31, 2011. On Sunday, March 27, Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos and Assembly Speaker Silver announced an agreement on the framework for the 2011-2012 State Budget, but final budget negotiations continued until the afternoon of March 30. The $132.5 billion budget eliminates the projected $10 billion deficit, reduces overall State spending by more than 2 percent and includes consolidation of state agencies (Banks and Insurance). The final budget also includes spending caps and a two-year appropriation for Education Aid and Medicaid. Medicaid spending is capped at $15 billion state share. If this cap is surpassed, the Commissioner of Health is authorized to use "superpower" provisions to make reductions on an administrative basis. Governor Cuomo had threatened to send a "take it or leave it" State Budget with even deeper spending cuts in an emergency extender bill if the Legislature failed to act by the April 1 deadline. As a result, the Legislature had little to no leverage to negotiate for restorations in the final budget deal. Additionally, the Administration told the Legislature that because they set the OPWDD rates, they would not reduce the OPWDD cut, even if the Legislature added the funding.


Following is a brief outline of the major budget issues of concern to CP of NYS Affiliates.




The Legislature accepted the Governor’s OPWDD proposal without any changes. It is important to note that Mental Hygiene was the only area that received zero restorations from the Legislature.


Effective July 1, 2011, this includes:


  • A cut of $167.7 million total savings ($90 million state share) which equals 3.6%


  • Approximately $8-10+ million in additional OPWDD state aid-funded program cuts


  • Medicaid Redesign Team actions below are in addition.




Medicaid Redesign Team Changes


Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (D&TC) 2% cut – Requires a state share savings of $6.3 million from all of the Article 28 clinics (FQHCs are exempt). After providing various options to CP of NYS and Family Planning Advocates, DOH will apparently take the 2% cut via our preferred option of reducing the unallocated $37.5 million Article 28 clinic/APG investment funding. Therefore, Article 28 clinics will see no APG/rate reduction but there will be an investment reduction which should be transparent to all clinics. CP of NYS (and FPA) thought that it would be far better clinics to forego part of a yet to be distributed increase than to have a cut to current reimbursement.


Article 28 D&TC 20 Visit Cap on Speech, OT and PT – The Legislature accepted the Governor's proposal to impose an annual 20 visit limit on speech, OT and PT visits in Article 28 D&TCs. People with developmental disabilities are exempt from the limits. CP of NYS has language to expand this to other individuals for whom long-term therapy is critical and will continue to advocate having the expansion put in the budget “clean-up bill.”


Article 28 D&TC Recruitment and Retention funding is eliminated.  The Legislature accepted the Governor's proposal to eliminate the Article 28 D&TC recruitment and retention funding.


Article 16 “Utilization Limits” – Requires $2.4 million (all shares) in savings from Article 16 clinics.  CP of NYS will work with OPWDD to implement this cut in a way that does not discriminate against individuals with more significant physical disabilities.


Enteral Nutrition limits – Under which only individuals who are tube fed and children would be eligible for Medicaid reimbursed enteral nutrition. CP of NYS has language to expand this to other individuals for whom enteral nutrition is critical for health and proper nutrition and will continue to advocate having the expansion put in the budget “clean-up bill.”


Prescription Footwear – The Legislature accepted the limits on prescription footwear which allows footwear only to children under 21, when a shoe is attached to a lower limb orthotic brace or as a component of a comprehensive diabetic treatment. CP of NYS has language to expand these limits slightly but the Legislature said that the language was rejected by the Administration due to the increased cost. We will continue to advocate for this language as we feel that it will actually save Medicaid costs.


Medicaid Co-Payments for Audiology and Other Services – The Legislature rejected the Governor's proposal to impose co-payments for the following services: audiology; speech; vision care; dental; physician; and nurse practitioner. 


Medicaid Cap – A 4% Medicaid global spending cap which gives the Commissioner of Health "superpower" provisions to impose utilization controls, provider cuts or other spending reductions on an administrative basis if the state Medicaid spending exceeds 4% in annual growth.  


Early Intervention – The final State Budget includes a 5% across-the-board cut to EI rates effective 4-1-11. This is a reduction from the Governor’s proposal of a 10% across-the-board rate cut. The Legislature rejected the Governor's proposal to require commercial insurers to cover EI services listed in the Individualized Family Services Plan and to require agencies billing over $500,000 in Medicaid to directly bill Medicaid and Commercial Insurance. 


Early Intervention Administrative Actions – A number of other EI proposals do not require action by the Legislature and will also be implemented 4-1-11. These include proposals to bill EI services in 15 Minute Increments, Revise Wage Equalization and Transportation Factors and Capitated Payments for Service Coordination.




The Budget includes school aid of $19.6 billion for the 2011-2012 school year. The Legislature restored $270 million in education funding. This represents an average of 2.5 percent reduction of school districts' total spending. The final budget restores funding to maintain Summer School Special Education and the 4201 Schools for the Deaf and Deaf-Blind.


We will provide you with further details of interest as we make our way through all of the budget bills and language.


– Barbara Crosier  






The State Senate recently confirmed Courtney Burke as Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and Roger Bearden as Chair of the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQC).  OPWDD provides services, support and advocacy to approximately 126,000 people with developmental disabilities and their families. CQC is charged with overseeing and improving the quality of care for people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons.


"These are the right people to lead these agencies and bring the needed reforms to the care of the developmentally disabled in our community," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. Commissioner Burke said, I look forward to working with stakeholders and government partners as we implement the needed reforms that will support the highest-quality services for individuals with developmental disabilities."


Most recently, Courtney Burke was the Director of the Rockefeller Institute's New York State Health Policy Research Center, where she oversaw all health policy research projects at the Institute and was the project director for the Institute's recent research on county variations in Medicaid long-term care. The Rockefeller Institute is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. Ms. Burke previously worked for six years as the senior research scientist in the health and Medicaid studies program at the Institute. Her research focuses primarily on health policy issues related to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), health reform and private insurance coverage. She also has written about nonprofit organizations' dependence on Medicaid funding and the effects of the state fiscal crises on nonprofits. Ms. Burke was previously employed by the New York State Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities as the senior policy analyst, and by the New York State Department of Health.


Roger Bearden previously served as the Director of the Disability Law Center of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest in New York City, where he supervised project directors and program staff and was the lead attorney on major law reform cases, including cases seeking community integration for people with mental illness in nursing homes and adult homes.


Mr. Bearden also was Chief Health Counsel to New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane, then serving as Chair of the Senate Health Committee. In that role, Mr. Bearden led Senate staff negotiations on the Family Health Care Decisions Act, which allows family members or other surrogates to make major medical decisions for incapacitated individuals who did not previously designate a health care agent or provide instructions. Mr. Bearden has previously served as a staff attorney with Disability Advocates, Inc., a nonprofit law firm in Albany, where he advocated and litigated on behalf of thousands of individuals with disabilities in some of the largest and most complex federal cases in the field. 


CP of NYS has worked with both Commissioner Burke and Chair Bearden in their previous positions and looks forward to working with them as Commissioner of OPWDD and Chair of CQC.


– Barbara Crosier  






State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah has endorsed the Community First Choice Option offered to states as part of federal health reform. This option will allow states to offer enhanced personal care services to help New Yorkers stay in their homes.

“Allowing disabled and elderly New Yorkers additional options to stay in their homes is consistent with Governor Cuomo’s goals,” Commissioner Shah said. “This new federal opportunity will help New York reform its Medicaid program while at the same time empower elderly and disabled individuals to stay in their own homes.”

The Community First Choice Option would provide a six percent enhanced federal payment under Medicaid for certain types of home and community-based attendant services and supports. The program must be offered throughout the state in the most integrated setting appropriate to individuals’ needs. Dr. Shah said New York State will establish a development and implementation council whose membership must consist primarily of elderly and disabled individuals and their representatives.

The Community First Choice Option expands on New York’s current consumer directed personal assistance program (CDPAP), in which Medicaid patients are supported in their desire to live in their community by specifying the types of care and support they require. Enhanced federal Medicaid payments will be made for certain supports, including the set-up costs for independent living, such as rent and utility deposits, first month’s rent and utilities, bedding and basic kitchen supplies. States looking to implement the program will have to establish a quality assurance system that includes consumer feedback.


– Barbara Crosier  






The annual NYSARC/CP of NYS Corporate Compliance Conference will be held Tuesday, May 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel on Wolf Road in Albany. The Marriott is offering a special discounted room rate of $112 per night for Conference attendees. To reserve rooms at this rate you must make your reservations by April 28.


The registration rate for the Conference remains at $125 per person for CP Affiliates. We charge a higher rate for government agencies and non-Affiliates. Send your registration form and payment to NYSARC, Inc., 393 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY  12054.


Jim Sheehan, NYS Medicaid Inspector General, will be the keynote speaker and will offer insight in the latest trends in Medicaid enforcement. This is your opportunity to have an open dialogue with Mr. Sheehan on provider issues and concerns. Melissa Zambri, a partner at the law firm of Hiscock Barclay, will be discussing how to measure the effectiveness of compliance programs. Abby Pendleton, the founding partner in a firm specializing in healthcare law, will bring her perspective on federal Medicaid program integrity efforts. Richard Harrow is a member of the law firm, O’Connell and Aronowitz. Prior to joining the firm he was a prosecutor for the NYS Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. His presentation will give providers tips on managing audits and investigations.


Please join us May 10 for this Conference which will provide you with practical methods of managing your compliance program. If you have any questions contact Susan Hornbeck (518) 436-0178 or by e-mail at [email protected].




– Susan Hornbeck  






Actress and motivational speaker Geri Jewell will deliver the Keynote Address at the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State Annual Conference October 24 at the Hilton Hotel in Saratoga Springs.


Introduced to millions as Cousin Geri on the NBC hit comedy “Facts of Life,” Geri Jewell has risen to become a leading force in disabilities advocacy. Jewell started her acting career as the personal choice of legendary producer Norman Lear for her role in the ground-breaking NBC sitcom. With this role she became the first person with a visible disability to become a regular performer on a national, prime-time television show. During her run on the show she broke barriers by addressing issues of disability awareness.


Jewell is internationally recognized as a powerful and motivational speaker and trainer. By sharing her disability as her greatest blessing, and revealing insights about the world as she sees it, Jewell is able to turn the focus from disabilities to a true celebration of ability, resulting in an inspiring, empowering and healing experience.


Jewell also continues to entertain with her acting. She was selected to be part of the Emmy-winning HBO series, “Deadwood,” and is also a recurring character on “Young and the Restless.” If holding three roles at one time wasn’t enough, she made her film debut this year in an independent feature shown at the Tribecca and Fort Lauderdale Film Festivals.


She has also released an autobiography, “I’m Walking As Straight As I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond.”


– Al Shibley  






Brian McLane has accepted an appointment to the CP of NYS Board of Directors. Mr. McLane currently serves as President and Founder of Paradigm Solutions, a strategic alliance company specializing in helping individuals in the area of creative problem solving, community and government relations, and networking. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University since 2006. 


Mr. McLane is the former Director of Public and Membership Relations for the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and served as Executive Assistant to State Assemblyman Mel Zimmer for five years.  He also served in Governor Mario Cuomo’s administration as Assistant Commissioner in the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and as Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID).


He is known as a champion for the rights of individuals with disabilities, including lobbying for and consulting on the design of facilities for people with physical disabilities in the Carrier Dome and other major public venues. His advocacy efforts have been recognized by his induction into the National Hall of Fame for People with Disabilities in 2000; the receipt of the Caritas Medal from Niagara University; Community Leadership award from Hudson Valley Community College and numerous other awards and recognitions.


He has also served on the Boards of Directors of CP of NYS Affiliates Enable in Syracuse, and the Center for Disability Services in Albany. His parents founded the E. John Gavras Center, the CP of NYS Affiliate in Auburn.


– Alan Shibley  






Each year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) awards millions of dollars to schools and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, and improve physical education programs. The application process opened on Tuesday, March 29th and all applications must be submitted by May 13th, with the review expected to be completed by July.  Your school or organization could receive $100,000 to $750,000, with an average grant of $427,000. Last year, recipients received $80 million in PEP grant money.  Go to the Dept. of Education website for more information and access to the grant application.



According to the Department of Education website, the program aims to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards. Funds may be used to provide equipment and support to enable students to participate actively in physical education activities. Funds also may support staff and teacher training and education.


Department of Education:  



– Al Shibley

































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