Groups That Help Disabled and Elderly Win Lawsuit Against New York State


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) –  A New York state judge has thrown out a decision by the Department of Health that could have left groups like the Finger Lakes Independence Center in Ithaca, without Medicaid funds to help elderly and disabled New Yorkers to live at home. 

Earlier this year, the state’s health department issued changes to a program known as CDPA, that helps pay the wages for in-home assistance. The reductions totaled $150 million.

Provided by Bard Prentiss

Bard Prentiss in a wooden canoe he made. Prentiss is a retired SUNY art professor.  He said his pension would be gone within months without help from CDPA program and the Finger Lakes Independence Center. (Photo: Provided by Bard Prentiss)

They were supposed to go into effect in September, but were held up because of this lawsuit.

Independence centers help people to live at home instead in a nursing facility. In some instances, their clients continue to work and are financially independent. The centers use Medicaid funds to hire, train and pay aides.

The Department of Health recently changed the way those payments are calculated.

Without the reimbursement, these groups said they would go out of business because they can not afford to pay wages without the Medicaid reimbursement.

The groups claim the health department did not follow proper procedures in creating the rates. They charged the state ignored the real-life consequences for disabled and elderly New Yorkers.