Emergency Preparedness Update: OHEP Meeting and Issues Raised 

Situation Report | November 16, 2020

This past week, HCA and association partners met with the state Department of Health (DOH) Office of Emergency Preparedness (OHEP) as part of a monthly meeting to discuss deliverables under a state grant and other important issues. 

At this meeting, HCA:

  • Expressed concern that certain regions of the state did not notify HCA about an Interoperable Communications (IOC) drill held on September 24.
  • Requested the number of home care and hospice providers who participated in the September 24 drill.
  • Raised objections about the absence of home care and hospice personnel and patients as priorities in the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan that was submitted to the federal government. (See related story here.)
  • Sought clarity on whether federal changes in exercise requirements for home care and hospice providers have been adopted by New York.
  • Explored revisions to the state’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan/pandemic template to reflect the needs of home care and hospice providers.


During the meeting, DOH suggested that agencies not rely only on Medline for personal protective equipment (PPE) as DOH has heard from some providers across the health care spectrum that they are having trouble obtaining PPE from Medline.

As extensively reported, Medline is the company selected by New York City (NYC) to distribute emergency PPE to home care and other health care providers in NYC. To obtain PPE, providers must submit a request confirming that the PPE is required to protect staff and patients during the COVID-19 response and that the agency has less than one week of the requested supplies on hand.  

HCA, the New York State Association of Health Care Providers, and the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State receive a grant from OHEP to educate and support involvement of the home care and hospice community in emergency preparedness initiatives, drills, training and partnerships. These meetings with OHEP are an essential part of that initiative.