Advocacy | Be Their Voice

Advocacy | Be Their Voice

Urge the Governor & DOH to Include All ALP Workers in Healthcare Worker Bonus Program!

Lend your voice as we urge Governor Hochul and the Department of Health to include ALL ALP workers in the Healthcare Bonus Program. Heritage operates an assisted living program (ALP), the only type of assisted living that is an eligible employer for the purpose of the NYS bonus program, unfortunately very few workers in our building are actually eligible, because:

a) home care aides working for home care agencies will be getting a wage increase through the home care minimum wage initiative and therefore are ineligible for the bonus, and;
b) the “other healthcare support workers” category—dining, maintenance, housekeeping, etc. is only being recognized in the nursing home and hospital. So, those workers in the ALP are not eligible.

This is incomprehensible, as these staff were critical to the operations of the ALP throughout the pandemic. We continue to urge the Commissioner, Governor and Division of Budget to re-think their position on this issue, but to date we have not seen a change.

Click here to send a letter to the Governor and DOH and urge them to change their stance on this issue so your staff that provide the aforementioned services are included in the bonus program.

On Oct. 1st, the window will re-open to submit claims for the second vesting period. Now is the time for the state to resolve this issue!

About the NYS Healthcare Worker Bonus
Qualified Employers
Qualified employers include certain providers with at least one employee, and that bill for services under the Medicaid state plan or a home or community-based services (HCBS) waiver, providers that have a provider agreement to bill for Medicaid services provided or arranged through a managed care organization or a managed long term care plan, and certain educational institutions and other funded programs. These include certain providers, facilities, pharmacies, and school-based health centers licensed under the state Public Health Law, Mental Hygiene Law, and Education Law, as well as certain programs funded by the Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for the Aging, Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Worker Eligibility
Qualified employees must be “front line health care and mental hygiene practitioners, technicians, assistants and aides that provide hands on health or care services to individuals”. An employee is only qualified if they work for a qualified employer (as described above) and under an Eligible Worker Title (as listed below).
Employees must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Qualified employees must continuously employed by a qualified employer for the duration of at least one vesting period (see below)
  • Qualified employees must have an employee title included on the list of Eligible Worker Titles;
  • Qualified employees must not exceed an annualized base salary (excluding any bonuses or overtime pay) of $125,000, as evidenced by an Employee Attestation, which they must complete and return to their employer;
  • Qualified employees can be full-time, part-time or temporary employees as well as independent contractors; and
  • Qualified employees must not be suspended or excluded from the Medicaid program during the vesting period.
Click here to read the full program overview.

Congress is currently considering many issues that affect the lives of seniors and their service providers. We need your help to make sure Congress hears how their actions impact you. Please take a moment to contact your representatives and make your voice heard. Take action today…click here to learn more and contact your representative!

Please contact Sallie Williams, Vice President of Advancement at advocacy@heritage1886.org for more information or to share your concerns.

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

SKILLED NURSING/NURSING HOMES

@GovKathyHochul MUST provide meaningful funding to NY Nursing Homes in this year’s budget! A 1% Medicaid increase after years of cuts is not enough. Nursing Homes need resources to be able to compete for staff and serve residents. All seniors deserve better. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul ALL seniors deserve better funding and support from the state. Nearly 75% of nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid; the rest is mostly Medicare. Better staffing in nursing homes requires better funding than a 1% increase to inadequate rates. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul No funding has been provided to enable nursing homes to meet new staffing mandates, which ignore the reality of the healthcare workforce crisis. We need funding and support for nursing homes, not penalties! We must do better.

@GovKathyHochul NY nursing homes need over 12,000 new nurses and aides to comply with the new 3.5 nurse hour mandate. Homes cannot reach this shared goal of enhanced staffing without a substantial Medicaid increase to recruit them. Please #SupportOurSeniors in this budget!

ASSISTED LIVING

@GovKathyHochul State funding is going to Broadway, bars and the Bills, but not for needed COVID relief funding to adult care facilities and assisted living. Don’t leave these residents and staff behind. Please #SupportOurSeniors!

@GovKathyHochul After 14 years without a Medicaid increase, New York’s assisted living programs need more than a 1% increase. Low-income older adults living in these settings deserve better. Please #SupportOurSeniors in the final budget!

GET STARTED

The Heritage Ministries public policy team advocates on behalf of our residents, their families, and our staff, to enact policies that will address the needs, quality care, and safety that ensures all our communities are beacons of Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living. Add your voice to ours!

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

1. Sign up to be an advocate!
2. Share your story!
3. Like us on Facebook for real-time updates.
4. Contact your representatives (below).

KEY CONTACTS

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Kathy Hochul
(518) 474-8390
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Email

US REPRESENTATIVE

Elise Stefanik
(315) 782-3150 or 782-1291
88 Public Square
Suite A
Watertown, NY 13601

NEW YORK HOUSE

Mark Walczyk
(315) 786-0284
317 Washington Street
Dulles State Office
Watertown, NY 13601
Email

NEW YORK SENATE

Patty Ritchie
(315) 782-3418
317 Washington St
Dulles State Office Building
Room 418
Watertown, NY 13601
Email

Please share this message and contact information with family members waiting to see their loved ones - encourage them to contact Governor Hochul today!

CONTACT US

For visits, call The Lodge for visitation hours (if applicable). Click here for current visitation policies, fact sheets, and screening forms.

For advocacy questions and for general inquiries, please contact us at questions@heritage1886.org.

For press inquiries, please contact Melissa Anderson at manderson@heritage1886.org or (716) 338-1585.