2004-05 State Budget and Related Information
FUNDING FOR NEW YORK STATE OFFICE FOR THE AGING (NYSOFA) ADMINISTERED
Funding for the support of community services has been relatively flat for over a decade, while the demand for these services and the costs to deliver them rise annually. Investing in these services will reduce Medicaid costs, prevent and delay hospitalizations and nursing home placements and maximize one’s independence.
In addition, adequate funding should be available to ensure that those individuals providing programs and services at the community level are compensated at competitive rates to assist agencies in retaining experienced competent staff.
SNAP FUNDING FOR HOME DELIVERED MEALS FOR
Counties that are struggling with rising health care costs, particularly in the Medicaid program, can be helped significantly by an expansion of the elderly portion of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – New York’s home-delivered program for seniors). Home delivered meals help individuals recover from illness and injury and are important to hospital discharge planning. Home delivered meals help a frail, older senior maintain their independence by providing nutritious meals in the home. Expanding SNAP will improve the health of older New Yorkers and help to delay more costly care in hospitals and nursing homes. Federal funding during 2003-04 was decreased for home delivered meals. It is imperative that New York State maintain its commitment to its aging population and provide the dollars to ensure that those who need home delivered meals can receive them.
DEVELOP AN “AGING SERVICES TRUST FUND”:
NYSCA supports establishing an “Aging Services Trust Fund” that would collect monies and distribute them to counties to support maintaining the independence of older New Yorkers. Trust fund dollars would be used to enhance the infrastructure for senior centers and community based senior services, including such things as construction, renovation, remodeling and purchase of vehicles. Guidelines for the receipt of dollars need to be developed, including requests for funding and reporting mechanisms. The fund would be supported through individual donations, fines and levies on providers in violation of DOH regulations, dollars saved from the implementation of a national prescription drug benefit, attorney general settlement dollars, etc. The goal is to raise revenue that could be dedicated to senior center infrastructure, recognizing that insuring the viability of existing community based services for the vulnerable elderly is part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce Medicaid costs.