September 28, 2021
September 28, 2021
As HCA continues its efforts at all levels to press accommodations for home care, hospice agency and employee vaccination under the state’s adoption of an emergency regulatory mandate, the U.S. District Court for the Northern New York District took action entering into the fray today, granting petitioners with a temporary restraining order on the regulations.
HCA is seeking input from agencies and hospices on how New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will impact the ongoing workforce shortage.
As HCA previously reported, the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) requires employers to adopt and maintain an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan to be implemented when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health.”
While August 5 was the deadline for adopting such a plan, employers also have to provide the plan in writing to all employees by September 4.
The New York State Business Council advises: Currently, while employers must adopt plans as required by the law, no such designation has been made by the Commissioner and plans are not required to be in effect. It is possible, however, that with the increase in infections as the result of the COVID Delta variant, these plans could be activated.
The state Department of Labor has posted resources on the HERO Act, including The Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan and industry-specific templates.
The state Department of Health (DOH) posted a Dear Administrator Letter(DAL) that provides an update on home care and hospice regulatory waivers that were issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DAL is available on the DOH home care website.
The DAL notes that the COVID-19 State of Emergency in New York ended on June 25, 2021 and addresses the resumption of routine services for home care and hospice agencies, and under what limited circumstances DOH will continue to exercise ‘enforcement discretion’ in recognition that providers need time to restart and complete activities previously suspended.
Providers are advised to immediately initiate efforts to restart activities and be able to demonstrate to DOH surveyors that there is a plan in place for compliance as soon as practicable.
The DAL addresses the following areas:
Please note that as it relates to hospice, the DAL mentions that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived the requirement that hospice aides receive at least 12 hours of annual training. CMS has modified the regulation that requires hospices to annually assess the skills and competence of all individuals furnishing care and provide in-service training and education when required. Specifically, CMS postponed the annual assessment requirement until the end of the first full quarter following the declaration of the end of the federal PHE. HCA is verifying how these federal waivers currently affect hospices in New York State.
HCA has communicated with DOH, the Legislature and the Executive and has sent regulatory relief recommendations to the state’s key decision-makers. HCA is still reviewing this DAL to determine which relief measures need any further action and which have not been addressed. HCA will continue to monitor all state and federal guidance related to regulatory relief and communicate updates with the membership as more is learned.
The August 26 meeting agenda of the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) Special Codes, Regulations and Legislation Committee includes the consideration of an Emergency Rule that would mandate vaccines for “personnel” of Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs), Long Term Home Health Care Programs, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Home Care Programs, Licensed Home Care Service Agencies (LHCSAs) and Limited LHCSAs; hospices; and adult care facilities by October 7 (with limited medical and religious exemptions).
Read the Rule here.
The Rule states that “covered entities” will have to continuously require personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the first dose for current personnel received by October 7, 2021 (September 27, 2021 for general hospitals and nursing homes).
Agencies will be required to obtain documentation of such vaccination and retain it in personnel or other appropriate records in accordance with applicable privacy laws.
Medical exemptions to the vaccine requirement are allowed if any licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner certifies that immunization with the COVID-19 vaccine is detrimental to the health of the member of a covered entity’s personnel, based upon a pre-existing health condition.
Covered entities will be able to grant a religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccination for personnel if they hold a genuine and sincere religious belief contrary to the practice of immunization.
Entities must also review and make determinations on requests for medical and religious exemptions, which must also be documented in personnel or other appropriate records, as well as any reasonable accommodations to protect the well-being of the patients, residents and personnel in such facilities.
Upon the request of the state Department of Health, covered entities must report and submit documentation for the following:
The Rule also adds documentation of COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical or religious exemption to the personnel requirements for CHHAs, LHCSAs and hospices.
These proposed emergency regulations will become effective upon filing with the Department of State and will expire, unless renewed, 90 days from the date of filing.
HCA is currently reviewing this major proposal and its ramifications from all sides with the HCA Board of Directors. This includes critical information that we will send and that must be considered by the PHHPC in weighing these actions on home care, as home care vaccination is an extremely complicated matter.
Regardless of the decision it takes, the Council and the state must attend to the urgent access and support needs in home care, and direct its COVID-related policies in the full and necessary support of this sector, its workforce, agencies and patients.
HCA will follow with an update to the membership on the proposal’s status and the imminent actions the Association takes with the Council.
Today, the state Department of Health (DOH) posted the 2019 Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA)/Long Term Home Health Care Program (LTHHCP) Statistical Report and 2019 Hospice Cost and Utilization Report on the Health Commerce System (HCS).
Access DOH’s Dear Administrator here.
The reports must be submitted by October 8, 2021.
All CHHAs, LTHHCPs and hospices are required to complete and submit the 2019 reports.
Failure to submit all required information will subject the agency to enforcement action, resulting in the agency being liable for civil penalties for violations under Article 36 (CHHAs and LTHHCPs) or Article 40 (hospices) of the Public Health Law and New York State Medical Facilities Code.
DOH encourages agencies to enter and submit data as early as possible. Agencies that wait until the last week to enter data may encounter extended system delays and wait times for support due to limited system and personnel resources.
Please note that these reports are different from the Home Care Cost Report, which must be completed by CHHAs, Licensed Home Care Services Agencies and Fiscal Intermediaries. The Home Care Cost Report was posted on August 16 and is due November 15, 2021.
Questions and requests for assistance should be submitted to HCStatRpts@health.ny.gov.
HCA has confirmed that mandate will not apply to home care
In a press release this morning, Governor Cuomo announced a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, with first doses to be required by September 27.
The Governor’s press release does not mention home care, but HCA has confirmed with state health officials today that the new requirements announced will not apply to home care workers.
While the announcement said the mandate was required for “all healthcare workers in New York State,” it references imminent Section 16 Orders for hospitals, nursing homes and other long term care facilities (including adult care and other congregate care settings).
The Governor’s announcement also says that Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was briefed on today’s announcement, signaling coordination on the issue between the outgoing Cuomo administration and the incoming Hochul administration following Governor Cuomo’s announcement last week of his resignation, effective August 25.
According to today’s press release, the Section 16 Orders will require providers to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccinations, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.
The announcement does not mention testing as an alternative to vaccination.
Applicability to Contractors?
HCA is seeking to determine whether the mandate for workers in congregate settings would also apply to contractors in those settings, such as home care or hospice providers whose workers provide services in skilled nursing facilities and adult care facilities.
Reminder about the NYC mandate for contractors
HCA has already reported on a vaccine mandate for all New York City employees and NYC-contracted employees. Contracted employees include home care staff employed by agencies that have contracts with NYC Human Resources Administration for personal care services and personal assistants providing consumer directed services whose Fiscal Intermediaries have contracts with NYC. This would also include those agencies that have contracts with the NYC Department for the Aging and provide services under the Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) and other city agencies.
While the Governor’s mandate does not apply to home care, we are watching developments very closely and discussing concerns with state officials.
We are also redoubling our effort to ensure that vaccines are readily available for home care and hospice workers while calling for funds to cover non-reimbursed COVID-related costs such as education, infection control initiatives, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other expenses to help provide critical relief and stability to the home care and hospice infrastructure.
Please stay tuned as we learn more about this major development.
The Governor also announced that the Department of Health has authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for New Yorkers with compromised immune systems, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation last week.
Eligible New Yorkers can receive their third dose 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series, effective immediately.
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 “
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”
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”
The following are COVID-19 briefs for May 17, 2021. Continue reading “COVID-19 Vaccination Briefs for May 17, 2021”
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”
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”
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 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”
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 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:
The webinars will be recorded for people unable to make the above times.
Please e-mail email@example.com 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.
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 “
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”
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).
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 “
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 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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today issued a press release and letter to federal health officials seeking vital supports for home and community-based providers in the pandemic. Among them: priority access to personal protective equipment (PPE); telehealth reimbursement for home health agencies; and funding support for Medicaid home and community-based providers and workers.
HCA and HCA member the Visiting Nurse Service of New York have been working closely with Senator Gillibrand’s office on this appeal.
Hospital and home care leaders are invited to join HCA, the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and the Iroquois Healthcare Association (IHA) for a September 3 webinar launching our “Statewide Hospital-Home Care Collaborative for COVID-19 and Beyond.”
Registration for the launch webinar, at 4 p.m., is here.
This HCA-HANYS-IHA collaborative is being supported by a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. It is designed to promote pre- and post-hospital collaboration among hospitals and home care providers to address patients’ needs not only in the COVID-19 pandemic but also on a lasting basis.
On Saturday evening, President Donald J. Trump signed four executive actions that would: extend unemployment benefits; prevent residential evictions and foreclosures; assist with student loans; and suspend the collection of payroll taxes.
Federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have questioned the constitutionality of these actions amid a stalemate on negotiations over the next coronavirus aid package. Continue reading “President Trump Signs Executive Orders to Extend Federal Relief and Other COVID-19 Updates”
HCA will be testifying today in the second of two state legislative hearings examining the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes and other long term care settings. The hearing begins at 10 a.m.
At the first hearing — for New York City, Westchester and Long Island last week — lawmakers raised numerous questions focused on nursing home fatality rates, how the data were represented, nursing home visitation policies, and more. Continue reading “HCA to Testify Today at Legislative Hearing on COVID-19 and Long Term Care”
Two days, ten sessions and a much-needed time for learning, reflection, collaboration and morale!
A global health pandemic. Long-pressing industry needs. Some of the most consequential program changes in recent history. We need this gathering more than ever before: a moment for learning, reflection, collaboration and morale.
Participants have ten sessions to choose from, spaced across two days and streamed through our new online learning management system. Read our agenda at-a-glance to learn more.
To register through our learning management system, you’ll need to create a profile first and then follow the instructions. We will provide you with all the details for accessing our conference stream on August 25 and 26, including the opportunity to watch content on-demand as well.
Every crisis is an opportunity. While we would love to see you in person, this virtual format offers convenience, flexibility and lower registration fees, including a new group discount rate for an UNLIMITED number of staff to attend from your organization.
Got questions? Contact HCA’s Director of Education Celisia Street.
The federal COVID-19 public health emergency has been extended another 90 days. It was set to expire on July 25.
Alex Azar, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signed the extension last week (July 23), putting the new expiration date in late October. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for July 27, 2020”
Interactive online platform helps overcome social isolation in older adults during COVID-19 health emergency
Join HCA Education and Research (E&R), Selfhelp Community Services and public officials on July 24 at 10:30 a.m. to see first-hand a powerful, interactive Virtual Senior Center (VSC) platform open for all home and community-based clients to enroll. Register for the webinar here.
As HCA announced in our member newsletter yesterday, our grant-funded program to train home care and hospice clinicians on COVID-19 testing in the home care setting has been extended through year’s end.
State DOH Issues Return to Work Guidance
As announced in a member alert last week, the state Department of Health (DOH) released guidance on revised protocols for home care and other health care personnel to return to work following COVID-19 exposure or infection.
The guidance outlines the conditions under which entities may allow staff to return to work after: 1) being confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 exposure or infection; or 2) after traveling to a state with a significant degree of community spread (see DOH’s travel guidance and update below), among other situations. Continue reading “COVID-19 Briefs for July 13, 2020”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced $15 billion in CARES Act relief funds for Medicaid providers who lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. HHS has clarified that home care agencies are eligible, under fee-for-service and managed care. This includes Licensed Home Care Services Agencies and Certified Home Health Agencies who meet all of the conditions.
On July 10, in two days, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement expert Koy Dever of BKD, LLP will lead a webinar offering the latest information on eligibility criteria, navigating the application process, terms and conditions, reporting and audit requirements, as well as frequently asked questions.
On July 3, the state Department of Health (DOH) released guidance on revised protocols for home care and other health care personnel to return to work following COVID-19 exposure or infection.
What follows are the most salient COVID-19 updates for HCA members as of the week ending June 21, 2020.
This is a weekly digest of new information as well as briefs that may have already been provided to home and community-based organizations via e-mail alert throughout the past week. Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates for the Week Ending June 21, 2020”
What follows are the most salient COVID-19 updates for HCA members as of the week ending June 14, 2020.
This is a weekly digest of new information as well as briefs that may have already been provided to home and community-based organizations via e-mail alert throughout the past week. Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates for the Week Ending June 14, 2020”
What follows are the most salient COVID-19 updates for HCA members as of the week ending June 7, 2020.
This is a weekly digest of new information as well as briefs that may have already been provided to home and community-based organizations via e-mail alert throughout the past week.
To catch up on all COVID-19 updates, please see the news feed on our “home care prepare” website (here), including our resource page with COVID-19 regulatory waivers, guidance and more (here). Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates for the Week Ending June 7, 2020”
What follows are the most salient COVID-19 updates for HCA members as of the week ending May 31.
This is a weekly digest of new information as well as briefs that may have already been provided to home and community-based organizations via e-mail alert throughout the past week.
To catch up on all COVID-19 updates, please see the news feed on our “home care prepare” website (here), including our resource page with COVID-19 regulatory waivers, guidance and more (here). Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates for the Week Ending May 31, 2020”
Please act today here on a new HCA Legislative Action Center campaign urging direct federal funds for New York home care providers at the front line of the COVID-19 epicenter.
As previously reported, HCA has estimated home care’s COVID-19 financial impact to be at least $200 million in New York State, a conservative estimate. We are calling on Congress to appropriate this baseline, threshold amount needed in the next aid package to stabilize New York home care providers who have, to date, received little aid relative to other settings. Much of this aid has come in the form of advance payments, loans and other financial mechanisms primarily through Medicare-funded programs but with little comprehensive support for providers of all home and community-based programs, including Medicaid services. Continue reading “Act Now on Urgent Call for Federal COVID-19 Funds to Home Care in Congress”
What follows are the most salient COVID-19 updates for HCA members as of the week ending May 25.
This is a weekly digest of new information as well as briefs that may have already been provided to home and community-based organizations via e-mail alert throughout the past week.
To catch up on all COVID-19 updates, please see the news feed on our “home care prepare” website (here), including our resource page with COVID-19 regulatory waivers, guidance and more (here). Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates for the Week Ending May 25, 2020”
What follows are the most salient COVID-19 updates for HCA members as of the week ending May 17.
To catch up on all COVID-19 updates, please see the news feed on our “home care prepare” website (here), including our resource page with COVID-19 regulatory waivers, guidance and more (here). Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates for the Week Ending May 17, 2020”