The following are updates on new vaccine requirements and other COVID-19 briefs for August 2, 2021. Continue reading “Vaccine Requirements for NYC-Contracted Staff, Including Home Care, and other COVID-19 Briefs”
The state Department of Health (DOH) this afternoon sent an e-mail to health plans and associations clarifying an earlier guidance (on July 26) that had rescinded certain emergency measures for physician orders and assessments.
HCA calls for provider and worker investments, regulatory relief, and actions to stop dislocations caused by LHCSA/FI RFO process
HCA President Al Cardillo testified yesterday at a daylong state Senate hearing on long term care workforce challenges, offering solutions drawn from HCA’s extensive legislative proposals and new recommendations for home care provider and worker investments.
“The pandemic has left home care in a dire worker shortage,” said Cardillo in his prepared remarks. “Immediate support is needed. We ask your urgent action to help these agencies and workers who provide for New York’s medically needy and vulnerable individuals every day.”
The state Department of Health (DOH) has posted a new guidance rescinding several COVID-emergency-era flexibilities in the requirements for physician orders and various assessments.
On July 23, the state Department of Health (DOH) released a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) on in-service training requirements for Personal Care Aides (PCAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs) and hospice aides. Continue reading “Guidance Issued on In-Service Training for PCAs, HHAs and Hospice Aides”
The following are COVID-19 briefs for July 20, 2021. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for July 20, 2021”
The state Department of Health (DOH) posted its Initial New York State Spending Plan to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) related to the additional federal funds New York will receive for home and community-based services (HCBS) under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The $1.6 billion in funds were appropriated in the 2021-22 state budget. The Cuomo Administration has spent the last several months considering precise target areas and distribution methods. HCA has learned that these funds, along with the corresponding federal match, is expected to grow to nearly $5 billion.
The DOH spending plan is available here. It has been made available on a new DOH website that will specifically house updates and information related to the ARPA and the state’s spending plan. Continue reading “State Department of Health Posts HCBS Funding Recommendations to CMS”
The state Department of Health (DOH) today issued an Advisory related to Tropical Storm Elsa. The Advisory is available here.
DOH is closely monitoring updates to the forecasted path of Tropical Storm Elsa. Based on the current forecasted track of the storm, the National Weather Service does not expect a serious impact on coastal areas of NYS. At this time, there is no expectation that large scale evacuation will be needed. This expectation is subject to change should the path of the storm should take a more westerly direction over the next 24 hours. Continue reading “Advisory Issued on Tropical Storm Elsa “
On June 30, the state Department of Health (DOH) issued new guidelines regarding COVID-19 testing requirements for staff and contracting staff, including home care and hospice personnel, who provide services in adult care facilities (ACFs) and nursing homes. Continue reading “COVID-19 Testing Rules Changed for ACFs and Nursing Homes “
In the June 2021 Capitol Report for the state Legislature and officials, HCA examines next steps in the wrap-up of the state legislative session, our recommendations for New York’s use of $1.6 billion in federal workforce funds, the impact of the state’s nursing shortage on home care for kids, and the Olmstead decision at 22 and its legal guarantee of ‘Home Care First’ for persons with disabilities.
Capitol Report is a monthly e-newsletter that HCA publishes on the last Wednesday of every month.
Late last week and throughout the weekend, the state Department of Health came out with a set of guidance documents extending the continuity of telehealth service allowances now that the state’s declared emergency for COVID-19 has ended. Continue reading “State Guidance Extends Emergency-Era Telehealth Allowances”
In response to HCA advocacy, the state Department of Health (DOH) is reducing the requirement for Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) and Hospices to complete COVID-19 surveys.
Yesterday Governor Cuomo announced that, effective today, the Administration is ending the state’s declaration of a disaster emergency for COVID-19. This follows news last week that the state was lifting most COVID-19 restrictions (with health care settings being one major exception), due to New Yorkers reaching a vaccination threshold of 70 percent with at least one dose.
The end to the health emergency, which was in effect since March 7, 2020, leaves many questions about the status of health care regulations and guidances that were waived, suspended, or relaxed as part of executive orders and state guidance issued throughout the course of the declared emergency.
The following are COVID-19 Briefs for June 7, 2021.
NYSIIS/CIR: The state Department of Health (DOH) has posted reminders about submitting vaccine information to the NYS Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) or Citywide Immunization Registry/CIR (for NYC providers) and the use of the Excelsior Pass. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for June 7, 2021”
In comments to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today, HCA focused on four principal areas of the proposed hospice rule for fiscal year (FY) 2022. These include:
- CMS’s hospice utilization data analysis and spending outside of the hospice benefit and other issues.
- Revision and rebasing of the labor shares of the hospice payment rates.
- Adoption of the 2018 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) hospice wage index statistical area delineations and the elimination of the 5 percent cap on wage index decreases.
- Proposed clarifying regulation text changes for the Hospice Election Statement Addendum.
An expansive page-one story in Saturday’s New York Times examines the nursing shortage in home care and its emotional, physical and economic impact on families with children needing medically complex care.
State and federal reimbursements lag behind the actual cost of care and “effectively establish a benchmark of workers’ compensation that competitively disadvantages this field,” HCA’s Communications Director Roger Noyes says in the article, which emphasized the challenges of recruiting and retaining nurses in home care versus other settings.
The following are COVID-19 briefs for June 1, 2021.
Paid Leave for Vaccine Recovery: On May 27, Governor Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Labor will be issuing guidance to all employers that any necessary recovery period from the COVID-19 vaccine is covered under the state’s Paid Sick Leave Law. More information is here. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for June 1, 2021”
“More people should have the opportunity to receive care at home, in a supportive community, or from a loved one” — President Joe Biden
President Biden and his administration “get it” – the critical importance of home care.
Today the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (HCP), the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) and Leading Age New York (LANY) call on the legislature to support the home care industry by passing S.6640 (May)/A.7304 (Gottfried). This bill would repeal an ill-conceived 2020 Medicaid policy – Public Health Law Section 3605-c – which authorizes an arbitrary, unilateral role for the state Department of Health to cut home care through the issuance of a Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA) Request for Offers (RFO).
Passing this bill is urgent before the conclusion of the 2021 legislative session to eliminate uncertainty, avoid disruption of services, maintain patient access to services and avert a crisis in home care. Failure to do so will be harmful to the home care industry and the patients it serves, creating completely avoidable turmoil, chaos, unpredictability, gaps in care and lack of access to service.
As Assemblymember Gottfried rightly observes in his memo accompanying the bill: “Enactment of Section 3605-c to require LHCSAs to compete for an arbitrarily limited number of contracts with DOH in order to continue operation in the Medicaid program, was an erroneous overreach. This is a misguided and underhanded attempt to choke off the availability – and use — of home care under Medicaid.”
One thing is clear. Preferences are changing and home care is the care setting of choice for those needing services. COVID has shown this more acutely than ever as individuals exercise choice and live in settings that provide them with safety, independence and comfort at home and in their own communities. Patients do better at home.
In calling on the legislature to pass this bill, HCP’s President and CEO, Kathy Febraio said: “Rather than developing and implementing policies that create obstacles and restrict access to home care as New York has done, the state needs to chart a course for the future of long-term care in New York, which must feature home care prominently as the crown jewel of such a system.”
Febraio continued: “The LHCSA RFO runs afoul of the Biden administration’s priority of making significant investments in home and community-based services for vulnerable individuals needing long-term care. As President Biden makes strides to make his plan a reality, New York state’s LHCSA RFO is on a collision course that threatens to strangulate access to home care for New York’s frail and elderly.”
Al Cardillo, President and CEO of the Home Care Association of New York State said: “Imagine you are a home care provider duly licensed and qualified by the state, serving the community for decades with quality care, employing hundreds of workers, only to find that a state agency has unilaterally decided to cut your service to the state’s elderly and disabled. This process is fundamentally counter to the health, safety and future needs of our society, especially in a pandemic when more patients have looked to home care as they recover from COVID-19 or seek out alternatives to congregate care.”
He added: “If the RFO has an underlying objective such as cost-efficiency, we believe that these objectives need to be vetted and crafted in an appropriate, studied and evidence-driven process, with provider and consumer stakeholders at the table.”
James W. Clyne, Jr., President/CEO of LeadingAge New York, a statewide organization representing the entire continuum of not-for-profit, mission-driven and public long term care providers, said: “New York’s frail and elderly population is projected to increase 50% by 2040 and the number of individuals over age 85 in our state will double by that date. Home care is a critical component of New York’s long term care system and needs to grow exponentially to care for this rapidly growing population. New York deserves a thoughtful and reasoned approach to developing the State’s home care infrastructure. The LHCSA RFO process flies in the face of addressing this real challenge.”
The time is now to stand up for the home care industry — its patients, aides and agencies. Recognizing the chaos currently being experienced from a recent and similar RFO process in another home care program, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), we call on the legislature to pass S.6640 (May)/A.7304 (Gottfried) to repeal the LHCSA RFO before it’s too late. It is time for New York to align its policies with the Biden administration’s expectations for home and community-based care.
In the May 2021 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report newsletter, we urge action on S.6640/A.7304, legislation to repeal the Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA) Request for Offers (RFO) process that has given the state Department of Health unilateral authority to decide which LHCSAs can operate in New York State. We also highlight the ongoing effort of providers to vaccinate homebound New Yorkers, plus our annual award winners and a recent WROC-TV Channel 8 report examining New York’s home care workforce shortage.
In a report ‘Urgent matter’: Homebound patients waiting on care, shortage of aides across New York State, the Rochester area’s CBS affiliate, News 8 WROC, examined New York’s home care workforce shortage, along with solutions advanced by HCA to address this chronic area of concern exacerbated by the pandemic.
“The pandemic brought the issue of home care ‘first’ into major focus when I observed the trend of patients referred from hospitals to inpatient rehab and long-term care,” said HCA President Al Cardillo in the report. “The newly passed state budget contains $1.6 billion in federal aid for home and community-based services, and the President is proposing new levels of investment in these services. The time is now to channel these investments accordingly to support this home health system.”
The following are COVID-19 briefs for May 17, 2021. Continue reading “COVID-19 Vaccination Briefs for May 17, 2021”
Awardees include home care and hospice caregivers, programs, patients, leaders and organizations in Rochester, the Capital Region, NYC, statewide, and nationally
ALBANY — At its Annual Conference on May 5, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) honored eight exceptional individuals and programs receiving HCA’s highest awards for excellence in home care and hospice. Continue reading “NYS Home Care Association Presents Eight Awards Recognizing Home Care & Hospice Excellence”
On May 4, the state Department of Health (DOH) and state Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) sent a joint letter to county leaders that asks each county and local health department to develop an in-home vaccination plan.
The plan is to be inclusive of all relevant county departments as well as other providers of home care services within the county.
The state Department of Health (DOH) has issued guidance on predrawn vaccines for providers vaccinating homebound individuals, and vaccination for individuals in nursing homes and adult care facilities.
DOH Again Modifies Return-to-Work Guidance: The state Department of Health (DOH) has updated its “Interim Health Advisory: Revised Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure — Including Quarantine and Furlough Requirements for Different Healthcare Settings” here. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for May 3, 2021”
In a report by The River Hudson Valley Newsroom, HCA raised concerns that a newly proposed wage mandate “created a requirement for salary with no clarity on how that was ultimately going to be covered,” says HCA President Al Cardillo. “HCA proposed a separate plan that would have used state funds, including federal COVID-19 relief funds, to make direct payments to all types of providers for wage increases and other worker supports, like child care and transportation.”
“Investing in the workforce does have a return on investment economically and in quality of life in the community and for the workforce. It’s long overdue,” Cardillo says.
Governor Cuomo recently signed a COVID-19 emergency Executive Order (202.102) with a provision reflecting HCA’s request for flexibility in the timeframes for vaccination administration.
The following are COVID-19 Briefs for April 19, 2021.
Travel Guidance: The state Department of Health (DOH) has posted Updated Interim Guidance for Travelers Arriving in NYS (April 10, 2021). Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for April 19, 2021”
HCA Vice President for Finance and Management Patrick Conole has prepared a comprehensive memo on the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2022 hospice rule recently issued by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Continue reading “HCA Memo on Proposed FY 2022 Hospice Rule “
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker today announced that New York State is temporarily pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines statewide following recommendations from federal health officials who are investigating reports of blood clots.
The following are recent briefs on COVID-19 and vaccinations.
Walk-Up Vaccine Sites for Home Care Workers and Seniors
Home care workers can take a senior who is 75 years or older for a walk-in vaccine appointment at one of 26 city-run vaccination sites. Both the senior and an eligible companion can be vaccinated as walk-ins without prior appointment. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for April 12, 2021”
The state Department of Health (DOH) has issued minimum wage adjustments for downstate Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) Episodic Payment System (EPS) rates. Continue reading “DOH Issues CHHA EPS Minimum Wage Adjustments for Downstate Providers”
See below the following COVID-19 briefs for March 29, 2021.
DOH Guidance on Health Care Services: The state Department of Health has issued an Updated Interim Guidance: Ensuring Access to Health Care Services During COVID-19. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for March 29, 2021”
HCA asks all members to call their State Senators. Request them to immediately contact Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to reconsider the Senate’s home care wage proposal, substituting it with HCA’s alternative plan in the budget.
The Senate’s wage mandate proposal has gained new momentum since the weekend, and HCA understands that it is being directly discussed at the legislative leaders level in budget negotiations.
“While we appreciate the intent of new proposed state budget legislation to increase aide wages, the proposal now under consideration in New York’s state budget would not sufficiently cover the full cost of this new mandate for home care provider employers in New York State, many of whom are operating at negative margins,” HCA recently told McKnight’s Long Term Care News regarding legislation proposed in the state budget.
A proposal requiring aide compensation at 112 percent of minimum wage is gaining steam in the state budget process. It follows and accompanies standalone state legislation, previously introduced outside the budget process, which calls for aide wages at 150 percent of minimum wage. Continue reading “Write Lawmakers Today on Home Care Wage Proposal”
ast week, HCA submitted comments on the recently revised proposed rule by the state Department of Health (DOH) that establishes an Independent Assessor and other changes to Medicaid-covered personal care services (PCS) and consumer directed personal assistance services (CDPAS). Continue reading “HCA Comments on Independent Assessor Proposed Rule “
What follows are important developments in the COVID-19 health response and vaccination effort, as well as related resources, from the past week. Continue reading “COVID-19 Public Health and Vaccine Briefs for March 15, 2021 “
Below are several important updates on vaccination opportunities, resources, and planning efforts for home care workers and patients statewide, including some region-specific information. Continue reading “Home Care and Hospice Vaccine Updates for March 8, 2021 “
In addition to our March 9 State Advocacy Day, HCA is asking HCA members to host their own virtual advocacy meetings during the month of March to discuss this year’s state budget.
Below are several important updates on vaccination opportunities, resources, and planning efforts for home care workers and patients statewide, including some region-specific information.
On the heels of last week’s Medicaid and health budget hearing, HCA urges all home care and hospice providers to connect with your state representatives today urging the restoration of funds in the budget using HCA’s Legislative Action Center here.
The February 2021 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report for state officials and legislators features our legislative priorities for the 2021 state budget, the findings of HCA’s recent finance and trends report, a new survey showing that 25 percent of home care workers have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and a recent social media broadcast hosted by the New York State Office for Aging where HCA, sepsis survivors, and experts commemorated sepsis survivor week.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will be offering online COVID-19 vaccine information sessions for home care workers. It will include a question and answer period to address questions or concerns home care staff might have.
Webinars will be offered in multiple languages:
- English on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, from 1 to 2 p.m. (registration is here)
- Mandarin on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, from 3 to 4 p.m. (registration is here)
- Spanish on Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 4 to 5 p.m. (registration is here)
- Russian on Friday, February 26, 2021, from 3 to 4 p.m. (registration is here)
The webinars will be recorded for people unable to make the above times.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the webinars.
Register today for HCA’s Senior Financial Managers Summit, virtual edition, on March 18.
This signature program is for CFOs, Finance Managers, Executive Staff and other senior leaders at home care, hospice and MLTC organizations with responsibility for budgeting and finance.
McKnight’s Long Term Care, Home Health Care News and WIVB4 News in Buffalo covered a new HCA report showing the impact of the pandemic on home care and our call for the state Legislature to restore workforce funding cuts of 50% at a time of rising demand and a shortage of caregivers. Continue reading “McKnight’s, Home Health Care News and WIVB4 Coverage of HCA’s Financial Report on Home Care in the Pandemic”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced new COVID-19 vaccination efforts to reach homebound New Yorkers and home health aides, including a focus on Brooklyn residents.
HCA calls for restoration of workforce and service funds, as well as a ‘Home Care First’ policy to meet rising demand for home care in pandemic
ALBANY — At a time when home care providers face a 50% workforce recruitment-and-retention funding cut and other reductions in New York’s budget, HCA has issued a new report showing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on home care operations and workforce amid a rising demand for services and escalating new costs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other needs. Continue reading “As NY Budget Proposes 50% Workforce Funding Cut, New HCA Report Shows Devastating Impact of Pandemic on Home Care Finances and Access “
HCA’s 2021 advocacy agenda has several components, supported by draft legislative bill language. These proposals are all condensed in a short-form version or one-pager highlighting HCA’s main areas of priority in an easy-to-read format for state legislators. Continue reading “HCA Issues One-Page State Budget Priority Briefing Document for 2021 Advocacy “
HCA has completed our most comprehensive State of the Industry Report to date — one of our centerpiece documents for HCA’s 2021 advocacy efforts. Continue reading “Read HCA’s 2021 ‘State of the Industry’ Report on Home Care, Hospice & MLTC Finances and Operations “
As of February 14, state-run vaccination sites are now open to New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions. Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates: Vaccine Eligibility Now Open for Underlying Conditions, Changes in Quarantine for Vaccinated Individuals “
Weeks into January, 85% of home care and hospice agencies reported that 10% or less of their staff had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Home Care Association of New York State told MedPage Today. Continue reading “MedPage Today: Struggling to Vaccinate New York’s Home Care Workers”
This past week, HCA continued to be in communication with representatives of the Governor’s office, the state Department of Health (DOH), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and regional vaccination hubs across the state about the lack of vaccines for home care workers. Continue reading “Vaccine Update and Other COVID-19 Briefs for February 8, 2021”
If you missed the 2021 Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit (NELS) in January, fourteen excellent session recordings await for you to enjoy conveniently at any time, on demand.
All content is available through February 21. See our full NELS on-demand session agenda here.
This is a great opportunity to hear from national emergency preparedness, legal and policy experts, plus peer home care executives offering strategies for pandemic response. NELS 2021 thought leaders also offer insights to help you problem solve, build a stronger workforce, and work more efficiently.
New York City providers or organizations with staff residing in New York City, please see the following updates and share with your staff accordingly.
Yankee Stadium Mass-Vaccination Site
The Governor and New York City Mayor have announced that a mass-vaccination site at Yankee Stadium will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible Bronx residents on Friday, February 5.
The state Department of Labor recently posted guidance about use of COVID-19 Sick Leave. Continue reading “COVID-19 Sick Leave Guidance Posted”
According to a letter here from the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the nation’s Governors, the Public Health Emergency (PHE) is likely to last through this year. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for February 1, 2021”
HCA last week published the January 2021 edition of our Capitol Report newsletter, a monthly publication of news for state officials and legislators. We also share this newsletter with HCA members to reinforce our key messaging to elected officials on a range of issues. Continue reading “January 2021 Capitol Report Eyes Budget, Vaccine Rollout, Telehealth Proposals “
Webinar on February 2, from 1-2 p.m.
The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 Act signed into law on December 27, 2020 provided another round of COVID-19 stimulus funding and further relief for taxpayers affected by the pandemic.
In this webinar, Koy Dever, Principal at BKD, will review the latest available information regarding eligibility requirements for new funding opportunities under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expanded Employee Retention Tax Credits opportunities.
In addition, we will cover regulatory updates regarding PPP loan forgiveness applications and Provider Relief Funding reporting guidance.
HCA continues daily outreach and advocacy efforts with state, county, local and hospital-based regional planning officials to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine is made available to home care and hospice staff as the state adjusts its vaccine rollout amid supply shortages.
HCA is extending the deadline for home care providers to complete our finance and trends survey. The survey, originally due today, is now due by close of business one week from today (on January 19).
Throughout the past week — a time when home care and hospice workers were included among phase 1a priority workers — HCA compiled and circulated to members a series of spreadsheets with links for accessing the COVID-19 vaccine in addition to the state and city vaccine appointment pages.
While health care workers remain a priority (including, specifically, home care and hospice), the Governor on Friday announced the expansion of vaccine priority to phase 1b, which includes certain other essential workers and individuals age 75 and older. Continue reading “Vaccine Update: Governor Opens Eligibility to Phase 1b as HCA Continues to Provide Critical Resources for Home Care and Hospice”
“Home care and hospice workers are now part of the pool of New Yorkers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” reports Home Health Care News on January 10, 2021. “This development didn’t just happen overnight. In fact, it was the result of a significant push from New York home-based care associations, Roger Noyes, director of communications at the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA-NYS), told Home Health Care News.”
Yesterday, HCA shared information about vaccination sites and appointment scheduling. Several county health departments have also begun posting vaccination information. All of this is compiled in a new series of spreadsheets on our COVID-19 resource page to further assist in your effort to facilitate staff vaccinations. Please also be sure to review the state and city vaccine eligibility sites.
While not all county agencies are actively vaccinating at this time, many are doing so, and this information is constantly changing.
HCA has some new information to support home care and hospice staff vaccinations for the week 4 prioritization schedule and ongoing vaccination effort. Continue reading “Vaccine Logistics, Resources and Member Zoom Meeting on 1/13”
Vaccine scheduling information now posted to our COVID-19 page. Please bookmark this site and check it regularly for updates.
Following HCA’s daily and continuous outreach to officials at all levels of the statewide vaccination effort, the state Department of Health (DOH) last night revised its guidance to move up the schedule for home care and hospice worker vaccination.
According to the new guidance, home care and hospice workers are now included in the week 4 vaccine prioritization schedule this week (beginning January 4).
At the end of December, HCA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a Request for Information (RFI) about regulatory flexibility granted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “HCA Submits Comments on Federal Regulatory Relief Measures “
On January 2, the state Department of Health (DOH) posted guidance that, for the first time, specifically identifies home care and hospice staff as a priority group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Continue reading “DOH Includes Home Care and Hospice Workers in Vaccine Distribution Guidance “
HCA continues to seek clarity and advocate for prioritization of home care and hospice in the statewide vaccination roll out.
Complicating the consistency of information is the fact that statewide logistics appear to have been substantially delegated to ten regional planning hubs, also known as Regional Advisory Task Force (RATF) coalitions, led mostly by hospitals. A list of all ten hubs is provided on the Governor’s website here. Continue reading “HCA Continues Pressing Home Care, Hospice Vaccine Prioritization with Commissioner, Regional Task Force Coalitions “
While the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for all health care personnel and patients remains fluid, HCA wanted to provide members with a status update on our several recent advocacy efforts, deliberations, and briefings with New York City, regional, and state vaccination planners. Continue reading “COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Update for Home Care, Hospice “
The December 2020 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report includes several features for state legislators and policymakers, including: a COVID-19 vaccination resolution from HCA’s Board of Directors; fiscal implications of the recent federal stimulus package and its absence of state and local aid; a reminder about home care’s role in wintertime emergency preparedness following the mid-December nor’easter; and a new grant to HCA that will expand our work on sepsis screening, prevention and intervention.
New DOH Vaccine Website
New York State has launched a new website dedicated to COVID-91 vaccine information. It includes information about the vaccine, the state’s distribution plan, safety measures, the process for providers to order the vaccine, frequently asked questions, and more. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for December 21, 2020”
ALBANY – The Board of Directors of the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) has unanimously adopted a resolution urging home care and hospice provider vaccination efforts for COVID-19. Continue reading “NY Home Care Association Board Unanimously Adopts Resolution Urging Provider Vaccination Efforts for COVID-19”
On Friday, HCA reported to members about our meeting with New York City immunization officials who confirmed that home care and hospice workers would be included in phase one of the city’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout. Continue reading “NYC Includes Home Care in Phase I Vaccine Rollout, as HCA and Partners Urge Gov. to Do Likewise Statewide “
The Governor last night issued Executive Order No. 202.82 with new flexibilities related to COVID-19 and influenza testing and vaccination. Continue reading “New Executive Order Offers Flexibilities on Testing, Vaccination”
Updated Zone Metrics, Hospital Directives and Business Guidelines
Last week, Governor Cuomo announced new metrics by which micro-cluster focus zones will be determined to help control COVID-19 spread and protect hospital capacity. Continue reading “Updated Zone Metrics and Other COVID-19 Briefs for December 14, 2020”
HCA today spoke with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) immunization officials about logistics for COVID-19 vaccination of home care and hospice workers.
Notably, in response to our ongoing emphasis about home care’s vital patient care role, the city is including home care workers in phase I of its plan, along with other phase I workers (in hospitals and nursing homes) in New York City, consistent with advisory recommendations made at the federal level.
HCA has received confirmation from the state Department of Health (DOH) that home care providers who intend to receive and administer COVID-19 vaccine should prepare now by enrolling in the state’s vaccine program for providers outside of New York City. A separate process is in place for New York City providers.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) has removed the requirement that agencies serving NYC must have less than one week of personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to request PPE from the city’s PPE Service Center. Continue reading “NYC Removes Requirement That Home Care Providers Have Less Than 1 Week of PPE Before Ordering from City Stockpile”
The state Department of Health (DOH) has issued a 20-minute survey here for all health care providers on provider experiences using telehealth during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The survey is due December 15.
The November 2020 edition of Capitol Report includes several features for state legislators and policymakers, including: new videos from public officials recognizing National Home Care Month, a pioneering hospital-home care collaboration model, recent support for HCA’s COVID-19 testing initiative, a new HCA social services initiative for veterans, and research showing that 94 percent of hospital patients discharged to home care saw functional improvements after suffering from COVID-19.
The Governor and state Health Commissioner have requested all county health departments to establish plans for COVID-19 testing and immunization capabilities.
Yesterday, this request was given a major signal for county health officials to work with home care agencies on these efforts, equipped by HCA’s training program.
Sarah Ravenhall, Executive Director of the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO), joined HCA President Al Cardillo in a letter to all county health commissioners whose departments oversee the local public health response to COVID-19. Together they urge commissioners to look to home care agencies as a critical partner and resource that can assist with county-level COVID-19 testing capacity through in-home specimen collection. Continue reading “NYSACHO to County Health Commissioners: Include Home Care in Your Partnerships on COVID-19 Testing, Equipped by HCA Training “
HCA Education and Research (E&R) is pleased to present Best Clinical and Operational Practices in COVID and Beyond, a grant-funded online learning series curated by HCA E&R under a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.
These 24/7, on-demand webinars are free of charge. They provide model insights and innovations pioneered by home and community-based providers. Our faculty include home and community care clinicians, operational leaders, and executives covering a range of clinical and operational topics.
The state Department of Health (DOH) has recently updated its state Medicaid billing guidance to explain how Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHA) can bill for COVID-19 specimen collection under fee-for-service Medicaid.
It describes steps and protocols to ensure the safe and efficient distribution and administration of vaccine to New York residents. The document includes: guidelines and vaccine planning considerations; measures to ensure vaccine safety; a vaccine prioritization matrix; a distribution and delivery process; training and support of providers administering the vaccine; data and IT infrastructure to coordinate and monitor the program; public education and community outreach; and a budget and procurement process. A Vaccine Central Command Center is proposed to manage the entire vaccine program.
During National Home Care Month, in November, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) recognizes thirty exceptional individuals as part of our Home Care Heroes campaign.
Each Hero was nominated by a home care or hospice agency in many regions of New York State. HCA has created an individualized profile link telling each person’s story with a picture. Please see links to all 30 individuals here: http://nationalhomecaremonth.com/home-care-heroes.
“During the COVID-19 health emergency, thousands of home care and hospice aides, nurses and therapists marshaled their unique skills and capacity for caring to help patients amid new fears, anxieties and intensified needs,” said HCA President Al Cardillo. “Their contributions to the pandemic response are nothing short of miraculous, in large part because their great work has exemplified what home care always accomplishes, during ordinary times, to address countless individual needs and urgencies.” Continue reading “For National Home Care Month, HCA Recognizes 30 Aides, Nurses and Therapists Who Are Home Care Heroes”
In late September and early October, HCA conducted our third survey of the industry to determine home care and hospice provider experiences in the ongoing public health emergency following the springtime surge and in anticipation of additional surges. The results are compiled in a Phase III COVID-19 Survey: Summary of Impact on Home and Community-Based Entities, Staff and Patients in New York State.
This third survey (Phase III) was completed on October 14, 2020, netting responses from 77 respondent organizations serving the home and community-based care needs of New Yorkers.
It examines the latest workforce, referral, access and fiscal impacts of the public health emergency on home and community-based care as well as trends like telehealth use as a means of protecting patients and staff and expanding access.
Both houses of Congress have introduced legislation that would provide Medicare reimbursement to home health agencies that deliver audio and video telehealth services during COVID-19. This is a major priority.
Today, we ask that you use our online Legislative Action Center to write New York’s Senators and your Member of Congress to pass this critical bill. It takes less than a minute to do.
As we note in our Action Center campaign, “this technology is vital in the pandemic. It extends home care’s reach to patients who are socially isolated, anxious, and in need of more complex services, especially the growing number of patients discharged from hospitals to home care with severe post-COVID-19 care needs.”
We also cite recent HCA data collected in a survey of providers showing that the number of home health providers having to turn to telehealth in the pandemic has doubled, from 22 percent of providers before the pandemic to 46 percent today, yet there’s no Medicare reimbursement to support this service.
Thank you to all of the providers who answered this survey, which supports key advocacy messaging.
Please act on this advocacy messaging today, and urge your staff to do the same.
Please join HCA and home care labor law expert Emina Poricanin for a webinar on Monday, October 26 (at 1 p.m.) where she’ll provide an update on the state’s Paid Sick Leave law.
The state law requires employers with five or more employees to provide their employees with paid sick and safe leave. Businesses with fewer than five employees and a net income of $1 million or less must provide unpaid sick and safe leave to employees.
Poricanin will explain the law’s implications for home care providers so that your organization can develop leave policies and practices for 2021, ensuring compliance. She’ll specifically cover highlights of new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted earlier this week by the state Department of Labor.
Pat Northrup is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story.
Pat Northrup is a specialist on the Cardiac Care team at Lifetime Care-Rochester Regional Home Care in Rochester NY who took the lead in caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
The pandemic posed many challenges for all health care providers. PPE mandates and other practice guidance changed rapidly. Pat stepped up and managed the first patient in the area who transitioned from hospital-based care to home health care.
From the outset, she established standards of excellence while maintaining the health and safety of the patient, their family and home care staff members. Her commitment, willingness and experience guided the care of this patient and helped the agency outline lasting care-planning and best-practice standards.
She provides first-class patient care and education in a straight-forward approach. Her sense of humor puts patients at ease, so they can better absorb information, learn yo care for themselves and protect their loved ones while remaining encouraged and calm during their recovery period.
Pat continues to provide exceptional care to patients who have significant cardiac issues either predating this diagnosis or as a result of contracting COVID-19, making her a #HomeCareHero.
The state Department of Health (DOH) has posted two Dear Administrator Letters (DALs) for home care and hospice agencies on the status of various emergency regulations.
Register today for an October 16 Zoom presentation to learn how your home care, hospice or MLTC organization can onboard patients/clients so they can connect to the Statewide Virtual Senior Center (VSC).
The session, from 11 a.m. to noon, will be hosted by HCA Education and Research (HCA E&R) and Selfhelp Community Services, building on an introductory webinar that we held in July.
To register for the October 16 Zoom session, just complete the online form here and HCA E&R will e-mail you a Zoom link on the morning of the program so that you can connect to the discussion.
In the September 2020 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report newsletter, HCA sums up testimony delivered by HCA President Al Cardillo during a legislative hearing on COVID-19, highlighting home care’s response to patients’ needs, as well as systemic challenges that have impeded this vital work.
We also highlight Sepsis Awareness Month, including an HCA interview on WNYT NewChannel 13’s Health Beat program, plus HCA’s work to promote pre- and post-acute partnerships among hospitals and home care as part of our “Statewide Hospital-Home Care Collaborative for COVID-19 and Beyond.”
Plus, a recent report on home care shortages helps explain the importance of reforms to help build capacity in the current pandemic, including a recent move by the state Department of Health to permit an online component to aide training programs.
The state Senate has passed a resolution recognizing September 2020 as Sepsis Awareness Month in the State of New York.
HCA, our Stop Sepsis at Home NY screening initiative, and allied partners recognize and greatly appreciate this action initiated by the Senate’s Health Committee Chairman Senator Gustavo Rivera.
Our partners at Sepsis Alliance are working to achieve similar resolutions in all 50 states, and HCA is proud to be part of efforts to put New York State in that number as we work alongside other leading advocacy and awareness organizations like End Sepsis: The Legacy of Rory Staunton. Continue reading “Sepsis Month: Senate Resolution, NYSOFA PR, Plus HCR, VNSNY & Americare Features”
New York City (NYC) has been working to compile an emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) for home care and other health care providers that service NYC in the event that there is a COVID-19 resurgence.
To streamline the product request process, NYC is partnering with Medline to support the requesting and delivery process. Once in effect, this will replace the system that HCA and the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (HCP) worked out with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) whereby some of our members devoted much time and resources to serve as distribution sites for PPE furnished by the City for home care providers in all boroughs. Continue reading “NYC PPE Stockpile Information Released”
Julie Howe is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story.
#HomeCareHeroes like Julie Howe are the eyes and ears for potential environmental health or safety risks in a patient’s home.
Julie, an assessment clinician for Rochester Regional Lifetime Care, was performing an evaluation and smelled gas. Both the patient and their caregivers did not smell the odor. The patient and family did not feel it was a big deal.
Julie took the patient for a walk outside the apartment and, upon returning, the patient acknowledged the odor and Julie was able to convince the patient and caregiver of the safety risk. She helped facilitate a call to 911 and to the local gas company which discovered two gas leaks that were repaired later the same day. The patient and family were extremely thankful.
Julie Howe is a #homecarehero who assesses and evaluates her patients on a daily basis. These skills keep her attuned to all potential risks in a patient’s home environment some of them dangerous and potentially life threatening so they can be addressed immediately.
Shelly Falbo is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story.
Speech Therapist Shelly Falbo has been an incredibly resourceful and knowledgably advocate for her patients at Rochester Regional Lifetime Care.
Working with a patient who has ALS and relies on a ventilator, Shelly researched novel tools like a tobii dynavox communication platform that allows her patient to communicate, text, operate a TV, and more using eye gaze.
Backup generators are a vital emergency planning resource for people who need ventilators. But this patient did not have the means to purchase one, requiring a trip to the emergency department every time there was a power outage.
Shelly explored some options. She reached out to Shades of Greatness Inc., a philanthropic organization founded by former Buffalo Bills Running Back LeSean McCoy (whose grandmother had ALS), to procure a generator for this patient’s home.
Shelly consistently demonstrates a very high level of care to her patients and their families. She is a #HomeCareHero.
In a September 3 presentation, we introduced hospitals and home care providers to the HCA-HANYS-IHA “Statewide Hospital-Home Care Collaborative for COVID-19 and Beyond.”
As part of this program, we are offering seven upcoming webinars free of charge for all hospital and home care organizations in New York State. Continue reading “Free Series: 7 Hospital-Home Care Collaboration Models for Improved Patient Care”
Online registration is now open for HCA’s Senior Financial Managers Retreat, our signature finance program for CHHAs, LHCSAs, hospice and MLTC.
While the retreat (on September 15 & 16) was originally planned for the Mohonk Mountain Resort in New Paltz, New York, we have transitioned to a virtual live event this year that will be broadcast through Crowdcast to any location using your computer, tablet or smart phone.
Karla Germano is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story.
While most people are watching TV, getting ready to enjoy their weekend or sleeping, Karla Germano is responding to urgent calls from patients in need.
In her role as the weekend overnight on-call nurse for Lifetime Care of Rochester Regional Health, Karla is prepared for anything a day or night may bring. She collaborates with members of the patient care team and often contacts providers to enable her patients to remain safely at home, avoiding a hospital admission.
COVID-19 has added to the anxieties of patients and families. In this environment, no one wants to go to the hospital unless absolutely necessary, and Karla does everything possible to avoid that outcome by working closely with doctors to provide patient-specific treatment in the home.
In one instance, Karla was called to see a patient who was rapidly declining. The patient did not want to go to the hospital and the family wanted to respect her wishes; they had recently endured a long separation while she was previously in the hospital, followed by several more weeks in a nursing home for rehab.
Karla was able to work with the doctor to obtain an order for fluids, arrange pharmacy delivery on a Saturday night and work with other members of the team to coordinate needed services at home.
Karla does it all with a smile, providing reassurance and encouragement to anyone who comes across her path.