Home health care workers fight program changes

News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Workers who care for at home disabled patients are concerned a recent court ruling on how they get paid will cost them money.

New York State changed its reimbursement formula for fiscal intermediaries. They pay care workers and then get reimbursed by the government through the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.

Joe Slomba is just one of 75,000 New Yorkers who rely on CDPAP. His mother, Nancy, says the Department of Health’s shift to reimburse fiscal intermediaries from an hourly to a per member per month reimbursement rate this summer has led to “hours of unattended care.”

“It needs fixing because when they made these decisions there was no safety net for people like us and like Joe,” she said.

A couple weeks, ago a state supreme court justice ruled that the DOH had to “immediately revert to the previous rate methodology.” But Nancy says fiscal intermediaries are now working on a “shoe-string budget.”

“They have, up until September, allowed the overtime that was necessary to care for Joe. But even though the law was overturned, our fiscal intermediary has had to cap the overtime.”

NEWS10 ABC asked the Department of Health whether or not they planned to appeal the court decision and what the plan is with the program moving forward.

A DOH spokesperson responded with the following:

“The Department is reviewing the decision issued on October 11(th). As we have stated previously, the state remains committed to the consumers in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.”

But some consumers and their caretakers think otherwise.

“I couldn’t believe what had happened by the DOH that such a vulnerable people such as the elderly, such as the disabled, could be at such a low and at such a time as this, ” Ben Slomba, Joe Slomba’s caretaker and brother, said.

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State maintains that $150 million in cuts are “on the table” at the DOH.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download our news app

Get it on Google Play