AARP: New York State Budget Agreement Offers Needed Improvements to Long-Term Care, Telehealth and High-Speed Internet

Posted on 04/09/21 by Jordan McNerney

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ALBANY—AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel offered the following comments on New York State’s FY2022 budget agreement:

Setting a floor for direct care spending can improve nursing home care:
“The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the shortcomings of our state’s long-term care system and nursing homes in particular. Setting a 70 percent floor for direct resident care spending will help ensure nursing homes and other long-term care facilities spend more on the care residents need and deserve.”

Funding home and community-based services will reduce waiting lists:
“Improving access to home and community-based services helps New Yorkers age where they want—at home instead of in costly institutional care. While additional funding is needed to ensure no one must wait to receive services, the budget’s $8 million in funding will help reduce the current list of more than 11,000 New Yorkers waiting to receive services including home-delivered meals and home care.”

Budget deal leaves Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program underfunded:
“Despite recent progress to improve the state’s nursing homes, the budget leaves the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program woefully underfunded. Ombudsmen serve as a first line of defense for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, investigating complaints and serving as additional eyes and ears—especially for residents without family nearby. We continue to urge state leaders to fully fund this critical program.”

High-speed internet mapping will identify gaps in affordability and availability:
“Remote work, education and health care during the pandemic challenged too many New Yorkers without access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet access. Mapping the availability and cost of service across New York State will identify gaps and help state leaders ensure all residents have affordable access to connect to jobs, school, health care and their loved ones. AARP also applauds the state’s requirement for $15 monthly high-speed internet service for low-income New Yorkers.”

Removing barriers will improve access to telehealth services:
“Telehealth services can improve care for older New Yorkers by allowing them to connect with health care professionals without traveling long distances. The budget agreement will allow New Yorkers to access telehealth services wherever they are as the effects of the pandemic continue—and into the future.”

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nearyou or follow @AARPNY on social media.

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