Coalition looks to protect long-term care program in New York

Photo courtesy of MLTC Cares

Ahead of the 2024 New York State legislative session that begins in January, the New York State Coalition of Managed Long Term Care (MLTC Coalition) Plans announced the launch of a new campaign and accompanying website to preserve and protect the program caring for nearly 280,000 people with chronic illness, disabilities and older New Yorkers across the state. 

The campaign launched the MLTC Cares page to highlight how MLTC plans work, why they are vital, who they serve, and how lawmakers can protect the programs and the people they serve from the irreparable harm of proposed spending cuts. 

“The MLTC Coalition plans provide invaluable services to vulnerable New Yorkers and are committed to maintaining New York’s reputation as a national leader in caring for Medicaid enrollees who are older adults or have disabilities,” said Emma DeVito, chair of the coalition and the president and CEO of VillageCareMax. “Patient satisfaction and optimal health outcomes need to be driving the agenda in Albany, and we are committed to ensuring that care options for New Yorkers who are older or have disabilities are not disrupted by irresponsible reforms or budget cuts.”

The MLTC Coalition wants lawmakers to collaborate with MLTC plans in the coming session and reject the recent proposal to repeal and replace the system with a fee-for-service model. 

The proposed fee-for-service model, the coalition argues, will disrupt care and reduce care coordination for Medicaid consumers, resulting in higher long term care costs for NYS taxpayers and worse consumer health. 

Moreover, the coalition believes the health care reforms prioritize spending cuts even though more than a decade of data demonstrates that MLTC plans have improved the lives of the State’s most vulnerable New Yorkers, helping residents who can be safely served in the community avoid institutionalization.

The MLTC system lets New Yorkers age in place with dignity and maintain their role in the community via personalized service management, even if they are no longer able to be completely independent.

As the legislative session approaches, the MLTC Coalition specifically calls on Albany to reject the fee-for-service model, avoid cutting the Medicaid program to balance the budget; repeal the New York Independent Assessor Program (NYIAP); sustainably fund the MLTC and Medicaid Managed Care Quality Incentive Programs (QIPs); and collaborate with plans to enhance community-based health care for enrollees and their caregivers, enabling better Medicare integration and advancing innovative payment models that reward providers for delivery of high-quality care. 

Without guarantees of continued high quality care, the coalition says, no person – however vulnerable – can be expected to develop a firm foundation. The MLTC plans not only cover vulnerable New Yorkers, but also their families and the people who care for them.