The providers of non-profit services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York are once again pushing state officials to ensure programs are fully funded for the state's most vulnerable residents.
The push this year has taken on a greater degree of urgency, however, amid the COVID-19 pandemic as care providers have been hit especially hard by the crisis. Non-profit entities have faced steep costs as a result of the pandemic, including unreimbursed expenses they never counted on before the crisis struck.
Providers estimated that between payroll costs, personal protective equipment expenses, and revenue losses, the crisis has cost them a combined $513 million.
"From the start of the pandemic, the I/DD service delivery system struggled to be recognized as a significant component of the public health system that is responsible for keeping our particularly vulnerable population safe and out of hospitals," the New York Disabilities Advocates wrote in a report. "These residential programs were left to finance the cost of the emergency on their own, without any financial support from the state to meet the increased costs of responding to the impact of the emergency."
At the same time, New York Disability Advocates is calling for spending on workforce development, education, and training for direct support professionals in the care system for people with developmental disabilities.
The groups also want an end to the deferral of a cost-of-living adjustment for providers.
Providers are supportive of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to revise telehealth regulations, proposed in the wake of the pandemic to make it easier for medical staff and patients to hold visits remotely, as well as a paid sick leave plan for vaccinations.