Thursday, April 18, 2013


The New York State proposal to implement budget cuts because of the $1.1 billion reduction in Federal Medicaid funding drew a great deal of opposition from key stake holders statewide i.e., nonprofit organizations, consumers and families and the media.  Unfortunately, the nonprofit agencies will bear the exclusive brunt of the cuts.  After the provider community and individuals with disabilities and family members voiced much concern to the 6% cuts, the Senate and Assembly proposed a full restoration of the cuts.  However an agreement was reached that a 4.5% cut would be instituted to non profit providers.   Components of the budget reduction implementation plan aims to recover $40 million from OMIG audit recoveries.  An anticipated $ 32 million cost savings from diverting “institutional” placements, such as residential schools, $6.6 Million in reduced room and board supplemental payments, 11% cut to agencies with “high” surpluses, $2.5 million in reduction of administrative portion of residential and Day Habilitation rates, and $3 million in savings through the transition of individuals from sheltered workshops to integrated community employment.

Along with the elimination of the COLAs for the past five years and the previous drastic cuts experienced since the fiscal crisis, these reductions will hurt all providers, however it will particularly hurt many of the smaller, multicultural agencies throughout New York State.  These smaller, non-traditional agencies which have a vital presence in our communities and provide invaluable access to underserved populations will be the most affected.  Some will not survive, despite the quality of their services or the excellence of their staff.   Consequently, communities of color and those individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families with limited English access who are grossly underserved will have  even less access to services in their already disadvantaged neighborhoods.  We hope we are proven wrong, but the future landscape does not look or feel promising.  Nevertheless, Sinergia will continue to be true to its mission of enhancing the wellbeing of individuals and families who have traditionally experienced difficulties in accessing human services.  We will continue to focus and serve consumers and families in low-income communities and to provide comprehensive services in a culturally and language appropriate manner across the individuals life span. 

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