Situation Report | June 29, 2020
HCA and home care providers are urging the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to continue supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) for home care under our existing coordination effort. HCA has also asked the state Department of Health and members of the State Legislature to engage in this appeal for PPE.
Of great concern, NYC DOHMH has signaled its intent to cease its PPE distributions on the basis that the surge of COVID-19 patients in hospitals has eased. (A final shipment has been scheduled for July 8.)
However, providers have not seen any decrease in the needs for PPE for COVID-19 positive and high-risk patients at home — a message communicated to city health officials earlier this month.
In outreach on June 11, HCA and the New York State Association for Health Care Providers (HCP) requested NYC DOHMH to maintain its PPE supply for home care “at least for the months leading into the upcoming flu surge, so agencies can continue to meet their patients’ needs and transition to direct ways to establish and maintain an adequate stockpile.”
As previously reported, HCA, HCP and individual home care providers have worked out a limited yet vital PPE gap-filler supply process with NYC DOHMH. Under this arrangement, NYC DOHMH has been furnishing PPE to distribution points hosted by home care providers. At these locations, peer home care agencies have been able to pick up an allocated supply of PPE based on their answers to a survey assessing need criteria. Providers at the host sites have volunteers to assist all others at their own expense and time.
HCA will report back on any further developments as we urge continuation of this important supplemental equipment effort during the public health emergency.