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LeadingAge NY Submits Comments on Master Plan for Aging Preliminary Report

LeadingAge NY submitted comments this week on the Master Plan for Aging (MPA) preliminary report. The association's comments state that the MPA should strive to ensure the availability of, and access to, a broad array of options for individuals as they age, aligned with their needs and preferences and supportive of a high quality of life. Enabling individuals to age in their preferred place with high-quality, financially viable services will, however, require a substantial investment of public funds.

LeadingAge NY points out that the preliminary report does not offer any concrete recommendations related to funding. The association stresses that if NY is truly committed to health equity and aging with dignity in one’s preferred place for people of all income levels and in all regions of the state, it must be prepared to pay for it.

The association's comments note the important role of home-based care in enabling individuals to reside in the most integrated setting, but also highlight the importance of community-based congregate settings in supporting healthy aging, social engagement, and community integration. These include housing with services, adult day health care, social day, assisted living, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Access to these services is limited or non-existent in most communities. Our comments also stress the importance of high-quality, person-centered nursing home care as part of the long term care continuum, and we note the absence of any discussion in the report to support nursing home care for the individuals who need it.

LeadingAge NY offers several recommendations for inclusion in the next report to address the challenges and advance the goals we have outlined. These include (among other items):

  • An immediate increase in Medicaid rates for long term care providers and updating the base year for nursing home, assisted living program, and adult day health care program rates;
  • Expansion of the senior housing with services model;
  • Support for stackable credentials for aides and measures that facilitate the attainment and retention of multiple certifications;
  • Authorization of medication aides in nursing homes; and
  • Capital investment and certificate of need reforms to support the creation of dementia-friendly environments, environmental infection control measures, innovative small house facilities, and technology adoption.

The association's comments are intended to inform the next report of the MPA due in January.

The January report should also be informed by the work of the MPA subcommittees and work groups, which wrapped up their first round of recommendations last week. Work groups formed under each of eight subcommittees, as well as the subcommittees themselves, will continue meeting and developing additional recommendations over the next six to 10 months. As described in the preliminary report, after the publication of an interim report in January 2024, the final report is due in July 2024. The MPA is due Jan. 9, 2025.

Further, according to the preliminary report, the MPA process will continue after the publication of the MPA. Stakeholders will continue to be engaged in providing input into the implementation and evaluation of the MPA, based on two-year, five-year, and 10-year benchmarks. In addition, the MPA website will include a dashboard, allowing the public to monitor its progress and implementation.

LeadingAge NY's comments are available here.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org