The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) applauds members of the New York State Legislature for including language in their budget bills to protect the individuals who depend on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Waiver Programs. The budget bill that was signed by Governor Cuomo prevents waivered New Yorkers from being placed into the managed care programs until 2026.
Individuals on the New York State TBI Waiver are individuals of high need and require multiple individualized and specialized services. Barry Dain, President of BIANYS said that “for nearly 25 years the New York State TBI Waiver program has maintained a palette of support for a unique group of individuals that has paved a path towards independent living and choice.” The waiver enables individuals to live and thrive in the least restrictive environment and was created as an alternative to nursing home placements. The services consist of medical, behavioral, cognitive and social needs to remain safely in the community (which is a cost saving measure by keeping highly vulnerable individuals out of institutions). Managed care has demonstrated they do not have the capacity to effectively manage these individuals in the community as the services are beyond the scope of managed care. Moving individuals into managed care would create disruption and potential loss of services, putting this community at risk for nursing home placements and an increase in emergency room visits.
“We greatly appreciate the Legislature’s continued support for the needs of individuals with brain injury in New York, particularly those who receive services under the TBI and NHTD Waiver Programs. These essential Medicaid programs provide specialized services and protections that keep them safe and functioning in the community and avoid institutional placement,” said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director of BIANYS.
BIANYS supports the continuation of the Waivers separate from Managed Care because our current system works, and it is in the best interest to the waiver recipients. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Department of Health to ensure these valuable supports remain accessible to the Brain injury Community.