Situation Report | October 4, 2021
On Friday, the state Department of Health (DOH) sent out an IHANS Alert to Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs) about a new HERDS survey that LHCSAs will have to complete beginning today, October 4 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and then each day the rest of the week.
The survey is intended to measure agency staff’s vaccination rates and agency capacity to provide services as the October 7 vaccine mandate approaches.
The survey is currently available on the Health Commerce System (HCS).
Late Friday afternoon, HCA and other provider associations participated in a DOH walk-through of the survey and HCA raised a number of concerns, including: lack of clarity of some questions; inability of the survey to measure true unmet need; and lack of necessity for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) questions. HCA also asked for an extension of the current LHCSA survey related to a new Certificate of Need process, which is due October 15.
In response to some of HCA’s concerns, DOH agreed to remove all questions related to PPE as agencies have not raised lack of PPE as an issue, and added separate questions to gauge the impact of the vaccine mandate on nurses and aides.
Some of the question asked in the survey, include:
- Number of patients on census;
- Number of Level One patients;
- Total number of RN services provided yesterday;
- Number of RN services not filled yesterday;
- Number of aide service hours provided yesterday;
- Number of aide services not filled yesterday;
- How many additional patient admissions you can accept;
- Total number of your staff;
- Number of staff with direct patient care responsibilities, and then broken down by nurses and aides;
- Total number of direct care staff who have been fully vaccinated, and then broken down by nurses and aides;
- Total number of direct care staff who have declined vaccination, and then broken down by nurses and aides;
- Total number of direct care staff with allowable medical exemptions , and then broken down by nurses and aides; and
- Total number of direct care staff with another exemption, and then broken down by nurses and aides
Agencies should ensure their HCS Communications Directory is updated and inform the staff who will complete the survey to be prepared to fill out the survey.
Inquiries related to the HERDS Surveys should be sent to the following email address: email@example.com.
HCA has been in continuous communication with DOH and the Governor’s office throughout the week and weekend, urging for the consideration of home care agencies and patients’ needs in the implementation of the vaccine mandate.