One of our major budget concerns this year is in regard to the Health Care
Facilities Transformation Fund Program. Last year, advocates were
successful in getting a set aside of $30 million in funding of the $150
million that was provided for this program. That $30 million was identified
for non-institutional programs including health care agencies and clinic
providers. Unfortunately, much of the funding was not available to not for
profit mental health agencies like many MHA members and other peer and
family based organizations.
This year the proposed funding in the budget was increased to $500 million
for the Health Care Facilities Transformation Fund and advocates are
requesting that $150 million be set aside for those non institutional
programs. We are in complete support of that funding, but the problem is
that the language would, again, prohibit many of the not for profit mental
health organizations from participating.
MHANYS and several of our colleagues are trying to change the language of
the budget bill to insure that all HCBS designated providers would be able
to participate in this funding. Given the infrastructure needs that will be
necessary to run HCBS services such as satellite offices and expansion of
existing space to insure accommodation of individuals in needs of HCBS
services, it makes sense that these entities should be included in the
eligible provider list.
Throughout the budget season, we will continue to advocate for this
broader language. We thank the Senate Mental Hygiene Chair, Robert Ortt,
for writing the letter posted below to Senate Majority Leader John
Flanagan, supporting MHANYS expansion language. We have additional meetings
in the next few weeks to continue this call for expansion.