SERVICES PROVIDED TO A DISABLED MAN BY THE NYS OFFICE OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES COULD NOT BE CURTAILED BECAUSE OF A LACK OF FUNDS (THIRD DEPT).
The Third Department determined the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) was properly prohibited from curtailing services to and disabled man, M,D., because of a lack of funds:
Even if the catch-all of “any other relevant considerations advanced by the parties” (OPWDD Policy and Procedures, Topic No. CP-10 [Rev (Feb. 1995)], at 4, ¶ 10) includes a provider agency’s financial difficulties connected to the provision of services to an individual, the Hearing Officer noted that petitioner “may well have valid fiscal concerns,” but concluded that it would not be proper or in M.D.’s best interest to discharge him on the basis of a lack of funding. We acknowledge the conundrum raised by petitioner — that providers face a difficulty in providing excellent services to a population with special needs but with no avenue of relief to help them financially when those services are more expensive than expected or than the maximum allowed under the HCBS [Home Community Based Services] waiver program. While we applaud providers such as petitioner for striving to provide excellent services to an underserved population, and are cognizant of their frustration when they deem the funding available for such services to be inadequate, the remedy must be for the service providers to apply to or lobby the relevant agencies, the Legislature or the Governor to provide more funding; the answer cannot be that administrative agencies or courts should allow service providers to simply discharge individuals with developmental disabilities from their services whenever the providers deem them too expensive. Based on consideration of the relevant factors, substantial evidence supports the Commissioner’s determination that it was not reasonable to allow petitioner to discharge M.D. from its program. Matter of Community, Work, & Independence, Inc. v New York State Off. for People with Dev. Disabilities, 2020 NY Slip Op 02301, Third Dept 4-16-20