Situation Report | June 21, 2021
Now that the state Department of Health (DOH) has begun to increasingly approve hybrid aide training programs (including approvals for five of our member agencies and some non-members), HCA encourages all members with personal care aide and/or home health aide training programs to consider submitting an application for this combination of online and in-person training.
HCA, along with the New York State Association of Health Care Providers and LeadingAge NY, has worked with DOH to establish this new model and has continuously advocated that the application process be simplified, with reviews conducted in a timelier fashion, given the urgent need to overcome existing barriers to in-person training while addressing the dire workforce shortages caused by the pandemic.
This new training model is even more important as DOH has not lifted social distancing requirements for in-person classes and some individuals still have concerns about attending training in such settings — all issues that have led to major reductions in aide training program classes. The lack of virtual options has also generally disincentivized employment in home care against other competing options and industries.
HCA has urged DOH’s support of hybrid training as part of our funding recommendations under the expanded federal Medicaid funds for home and community based services (i.e., the $1.6 billion in enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages funds to New York) that were included in the adopted 2021-22 state budget.
HCA can put members in contact with approved programs if they have questions. Please send an e-mail to Andrew Koski at email@example.com if you are interested.
Other Areas of Regulatory Relief
In light of COVID-19 restrictions being generally lifted in non-health care settings (see separate COVID-19 article), HCA has reached out to the state Department of Health (DOH) to learn whether these changes signal a resumption of pre-pandemic standards or procedures for health care settings.
DOH has indicated that it is reviewing its guidances on COVID-era regulatory relief to determine their status going forward. HCA will be sending DOH our recommendations for which regulatory relief measures should be continued, modified and/or discontinued and welcomes member input.
Please send your comments to Andrew Koski at firstname.lastname@example.org.