On Thursday, November 21, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) joined Assemblywoman Melissa “Missy” Miller (R,C,I-Atlantic Beach) and fellow Assembly colleagues at her Homecare Support Hearing on Long Island. The assemblymembers listened to testimony from numerous advocates for those with special needs, including family members and providers. Advocates helped shed light on existing flaws in the current state system and how it could be amended to better serve those who need support services.
“The direct homecare support system in our state needs to be thoroughly reviewed and revamped to increase access for those in need of long-term care. We must make our system work better for the people it is intended to help- not just in the short term, but in the long term as well.” said Byrne. “I am thankful to the families and care providers who came to share their testimony on where we can improve our existing system, and I applaud my colleague, Assemblywoman Miller, for her service as a champion for people of every ability, including those who are part of our state’s most vulnerable population.”
The discussion included a wide array of issues involving straight Medicaid (fee for service), Medicaid Managed Care, matters relating to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), as well as other pressing issues faced by those with disabilities and their families when seeking support services.
According to numerous testimony, some reimbursement rates have not been adjusted in more than a decade, nursing and other direct-care staff shortages put additional burdens on family members, and, lastly, the overly complicated system in securing support services at times seems to be designed as a deterrent to limit access to help.
Byrne expressed his gratitude to Assemblywoman Miller for hosting the important hearing. He looks forward to working together to support legislative efforts designed to help address many of the issues raised during the hearing.