HMHK Fiscal Year 2025 Preliminary Budget Priorities

Budget Analysis & Priorities

December 7, 2023

Workforce, Not Waitlists

We envision a future where no child is on a waitlist to receive behavioral health services, and where every child receives the level of care they need when they need it. Achieving this vision requires sustained, multi-year investments and policy reforms from the State. To put New York on the right path, we urge state leaders to make the following investments and reforms in the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget:

  1. Invest $195 million in the children’s behavioral health outpatient system to address the severe reimbursement rate challenges that have undermined the ability of children to access timely, high-quality services.

The Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids (HMHK) developed a first-of-its-kind study of reforms needed to address rate inadequacy and workforce shortages in programs including Outpatient Clinics (Article 31 and 32s), Child and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS), and Home and Community-based Services (HCBS). These rigorously-developed recommendations include adjusting outpatient rates to keep pace with inflation, enabling the children’s clinic rates to reflect the complexity of serving children and families, and increasing pay for providers who coordinate with a growing array of care managers. Without this targeted investment in outpatient behavioral health services, the behavioral health workforce will continue to disappear, the capacity to care for children will continue to shrink, and New York’s children will sit on longer wait lists or go entirely without urgently needed services.

  1. The HMHK Campaign also vigorously supports the following priorities:
    • Require commercial insurers to pay (at a minimum) Medicaid APG rates for in-network and out-of-network behavioral health services.
    • Implement a 3.2% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) tied to the Consumer Price Index-U (July 2023), which measures inflation. This COLA should be added back to the statute across all state agencies that license or regulate behavioral health services for children, youth, and families.
    • Expand funding and eligibility for new and existing recruitment and retention strategies – particularly those supporting BIPOC and multi-lingual professionals – including through loan repayment, tuition remission, scholarship programs, increasing residency and fellowship positions, and employee assistance grants.
    • Improve student access to mental health resources by increasing funding for Student Mental Health Support Grants to School Districts from $50 million over 5 years to $100 million over 5 years. These flexible grants are in high demand and allow school districts to identify student mental health needs, engage with community mental health partners, and implement programming tailored to the needs of their student population.


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