The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) is appealing to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the state Legislature to restore a proposed 50% workforce recruitment-and-retention budget cut. The association also is urging enactment of a “Home Care First” policy, making care at home a first consideration for patient care, where suitable.

“By law and regulation, home care is supposed to be a primary consideration and right for patients,” said Al Cardillo, president of the Home Care Association of New York State. “Yet home care services are facing cuts in this year’s state budget on top of long-standing under-investment. These actions also fall on an overall structure where the home care option has too often been overlooked or bypassed by referral sources.

“A clear first step is to restore the proposed workforce recruitment-and-retention and service funds and then rededicate longer-term investments to the resiliency of these safety-net services.”

To bolster its case, HCA released a report that found that found that 55% of all New York home care agencies are estimated to have had a negative operating margin in 2019. And home care staff turnover rates are 23% and 29%, on average, for nursing and aide staff, respectively, in New York, according to the report.