In a call to action, New York legislators gathered to address the threat of closing approximately 270 Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) agencies. These agencies provide home care services to over 40,000 elderly Medicaid participants.
The New York Department of Health (NYDOH) may soon shutter these agencies due to 2018 budget changes. This would disproportionately affect small local minority agencies and those serving specific cultural and diverse populations. This move would also constitute a staggering 60 percent reduction in CDPAP home care agencies across the state.
Elected officials fight against closures
CDPAP New York United hosted a press conference at Health Aid in Yonkers on December 12 to raise awareness of this threat. Many elected officials, business leaders, and community advocates attended to show their support.
Assemblyman Nader Sayegh of Yonkers emphasized the negative impact of closing these agencies. He stressed the importance of possessing the cultural awareness necessary to cater to the diverse populations that these groups serve.
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.Nader Sayegh – NY Assembly
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, from the 28th Assembly District, further pointed out the potential repercussions of these closures. He termed it detrimental to seniors, disabled persons, and home health aid groups. Speaking to the agencies he said, “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.”
Likewise, the CEO of Health Aide, Fred Polsky, a targeted agency, highlighted the cost-effective nature of CDPAP services. Polsky warned against the consequences of agency closures like decreased competition, lower caregiver pay rates, and a decline in the quality of care.
As the threat of closures loom, stakeholders are intensifying efforts to safeguard the vital services provided by CDPAP agencies. For more information about these agencies, you may follow their Facebook page or read more on New York State’s office webpage.