State postpones rollout of controversial home care screening

By Published On: November 27th, 2023Categories: Capitol Notes

The Hochul administration is postponing plans to implement a controversial screening process for determining whether Medicaid patients utilizing home care services are eligible to continue receiving help, according to an online notice posted earlier this month.

The state Department of Health was planning a phased in utilization of the New York Independent Assessor Program in 2024 for the reassessments of New Yorkers, but this screening transition has been delayed as the result of “stakeholder and other concerns.”

Earlier this year the Hochul administration began using the new assessor program to screen new home care patients and the process has been widely panned. Advocates for patients say the program is unduly burdensome, results in delays, and can keep eligible New Yorkers from accessing services they need.

“We’ve found that the process has been overall pretty confusing for consumers,” the Legal Aid Society’s Rebecca Antar Novick told The Capitol Pressroom in early November.

Novick and other patient advocates wrote to the governor in October urging a delay in the plans for 2024. They also offered a series of reforms to the independent assessor program, including improving customer services and increasing transparency.

The notice from the Hochul administration on November 17 says that the full rollout of the program will be determined at a “late date.” The delay means that reassessments will continue to be done by managed care organizations and local departments of social services.