Advocate Letter: Moratorium On Cuts To Children’s Behavioral Health

Testimony & Public Comments

December 5, 2019

New York State committed seven years to redesigning its Medicaid system, with a goal of increasing children’s access to behavioral health services by building efficiencies and decreasing the use of less effective, more costly systems. A core component of this redesign was the introduction of the six Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS), designed to keep children safe and well at home and avoid expensive emergency room, hospital, and out-of-home placements. These services promise real hope for children and families by addressing mental health and substance use problems early with effective evidence-based interventions.

As part of Medicaid redesign, the State promised to reduce wait times and make significantly more children eligible for behavioral health services. Instead, due to a planned cut to CFTSS rates at the end of 2019, children and families are at risk of losing access to critical services. We strongly oppose cuts to CFTSS rates that will begin on January 1, 2020 and urge a moratorium on any cuts to children’s behavioral health services. Any rate below this will undercut the ability of the program to continue and will deny children and families the services they need.

Read more in this letter signed on by over 40 organizations urging Governor Cuomo to fulfill the State’s promise and expand access to children’s behavioral health care.

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