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DOH Hurricane Alert: Immediate Action for Home Care, Hospice Storm Preparedness

The state Department of Health (DOH) late yesterday sent a brief alert to LHCSAs, CHHAs and Hospices (see here) on “immediate action” to be taken for Hurricanes Irma and Jose preparedness efforts.

These actions include required updates and corrections to your agency’s contacts in the Health Commerce System (HCS), as well as provider readiness to use the HCS to assist in possible DOH survey efforts.

Hurricanes Irma and Jose may impact New York State early next week, and DOH is monitoring the forecast closely. To prepare, all home care agencies and hospices must:

  • Ensure complete and up-to-date contact information for individuals assigned to management roles in the HCS Communications Directory, to assure they receive critical notifications.
  • Ensure that staff are ready to complete Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) surveys that will be requested of agencies to determine their status and needs, their patient census and available/needed capacity should an evacuation become necessary. If these surveys are activated, all agencies and hospices must complete the surveys and submit their data.

Please note that the following HCS Communications Directory Roles for agencies and hospices must be assigned to staff with HCS accounts to grant them access to the HERDS application: Administrator; Data Reporter; Director of Patient Services/Director of Homecare Patient Services; Emergency Response Coordinator; and HPN Coordinator.

Your HCS Coordinator can assign staff to these roles.