DOH to Issue LHCSA Need Methodology Survey Today 

Situation Report | June 22, 2020

Late on Friday, HCA received word from the state Department of Health (DOH) that it is issuing a survey today, Monday, June 22, for Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs) to complete related to the LHCSA public-need methodology process. HCA alerted members about it on Friday evening.

The survey (which will be due by close of business on Monday, June 29) will ask about patient counts as DOH seeks to identify the number of LHCSAs actively serving patients in each county.

As extensively reported, a LHCSA public-need methodology was to be effective April 1, by statute, yet implementation activities have largely been suspended due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Under that methodology, LHCSA licensure applications will need to include information on the public need for additional LHCSAs or LHCSA capacity and the financial resources of the proposed agency, in addition to the existing requirement of a character-and-competence review.

As part of this need review, there is a rebuttable presumption that no need exists for additional LHCSAs in a planning area (each county is a separate planning area) if there are five or more LHCSAs actively serving patients within that area as of April 1, 2020. This is why DOH is seeking the information in today’s survey request — ostensibly as data to guide public-need planning decisions under this presumption.

The survey will be implemented through the Health Electronic Response Data System (HERDS) on the Health Commerce System.

A final rule implementing the need methodology was posted in early March. HCA had submitted comments in December on the then-proposed rule and some of our concerns and questions were addressed in the final rule, including our recommendation that DOH include the word “rebuttable” as a proviso for LHCSAs seeking to contest the five-or-more LHCSA presumption outlined above.

HCA appreciates the time and resource burden on LHCSAs completing recent DOH COVID-19 surveys that have just recently been phased out, only to be followed so closely by yet a new survey request at short notice on top of all other COVID-19 demands. We have expressed this concern to the Department.

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