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NY Connects: Choices for Long Term Care 2014-2015

In SFY 2013-2014, an appropriation of $3,350,000 was contained in the enacted Aid to Localities bill for NY Connects: Choices for Long-Term Care (NY Connects). NY Connects serves as one of the integral components of New York State's efforts to rebalance the long term services and supports system through its emphasis on community based services and supports and person centered approach. NY Connects is a locally based, "No Wrong Door" system that provides one stop access to free, objective, comprehensive information and assistance for people of all ages needing long term services and supports. The program links individuals of all ages to long term services and supports regardless of payment source; whether it be private pay, public or a combination of both. Currently, there are 53 local NY Connects programs.

Quantitative Report data indicates that for July 2007- June 2012, there were 887,725 people who contacted the program in search of long term care information and assistance. From October 2010 - September 2011, individuals contacted NY Connects for assistance with Heating and Utility Payments (22,702), followed by personal care (19,868), Home Delivered Meals (16,974), Case/Care Management (16,439), Home Health Care (13,447), Health Insurance Information &Counseling (13,446), Medicaid (13,092), Medical Transportation (12,073), Medicare Information/Counseling (8,992), and Advocacy (7,994).

NY Connects was established in 2006 by the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health. To date, there have been more than one million contacts to the program. NY Connects complies with federal statute as prescribed by the 2006 Amendments to the Older American’s Act and is recognized by the Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) as an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). In 2007, NY Connects was statutorily mandated through section 203(8) of the New York State Elder Law.

Through the provision of free, comprehensive, objective Information and Assistance about long term services and supports, NY Connects empowers individuals and families to identify available services and supports and choose what will best meet their needs at home, in the community and, as necessary, in residential or institutional settings.

NY Connects consists of the following fundamental components:

The recognition of NY Connects as an ADRC by AoA, ACL and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made New York State eligible for additional federal funding for targeted programs.