DOH LHCSA Survey UPDATE

As HCP has reported, yesterday, the Department of Health (DOH/the Department) launched its COVID-19 survey for LHCSAs that serve clients outside of an Adult Care Facility (ACF). LHCSAs are required to fill out and submit a LHCSA COVID-19 survey.

DOH advises that if your agency has not received the LHCSA COVID-19 Survey, to please check your spam filters and then add noreply@salesforce.com to your address book. If you have a corporate filter on a server, please speak to your IT department about approving the email address. Another way to facilitate daily submission of the survey is to bookmark https://nys-doh.secure.force.com/LHCSACOVID19Survey/.

Please visit the site every weekday and complete the survey. People entering data for your agency must know the site license ID and a Health Commerce Administrator email address for that site.

The survey must be submitted by 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday and it must be submitted for each site (separate license number) that your agency operates.

The survey is intended to collect information that will enable the Department to better understand how the COVID-19 virus is affecting the provision of home care by your agency and the industry as a whole, so that informed decisions can be made about the State’s response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Please send any questions to hcstatrpts@health.ny.gov.

State Issues Guidance on Face Covering Requirement for Employees

Interim Guidance on Executive Order 202.16 Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Executive Order:
Executive Order 202.16, issued on April 12, 2020, provides the following directive:
For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law. This requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

Guidance:
Essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee.
  • Businesses are deemed essential by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), pursuant to the authority provided in Executive Order 202.6. Please visit the ESD website for specific information on essential businesses. For the purpose of this guidance, essential businesses shall also provide face coverings to contractors, including independent contractors.
  • Face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” website for information on cloth face covers and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as instructions on use and cleaning.
  • Direct interaction with the public shall be determined by the employer, but, at a minimum, shall include any employee who is routinely within close contact (i.e. six feet or less) with members of the public, including but not limited to customers or clients.
  • Employees are allowed to use their own face coverings, but shall not be mandated to do so by their employer. Further, this guidance shall not prevent employees from wearing more protective coverings (e.g. surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields) if the individual is already in possession of such PPE, or if the employer otherwise requires employees to wear more protective PPE due to the nature of their work (e.g. healthcare).
  • Employees are required to wear face coverings when in direct contact with members of the public, except where doing so would inhibit or otherwise impair the employee’s health. Employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring medical or other documentation from an employee who declines to wear a face covering due to a medical or other health condition that prevents such usage.
  • Employees who are unable to wear face coverings and are susceptible to COVID-19 based on the “Matilda’s Law” criteria (i.e. individuals who are 70 years of age or older, individuals with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying illnesses) should consult with their employer to consider reasonable accommodations, including but not limited to different PPE, alternate work location, or alternate work assignment with fewer interactions with the public. Employers should work with their employees to see if they can be accommodated to ensure the employee can continue to deliver essential services in the safest manner possible.
  • If an employer is unable to procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings for their employees, they may consult with their local office of emergency management to determine if extra supplies exist within the municipality for this purpose and, if so, they may submit a request for face coverings. Please note that quantities are extremely limited and are prioritized for health care workers and first responders. Not being able to source face coverings does not relieve an employer’s obligation to provide such face coverings to their employees.
  • Nothing in this guidance shall supersede the respiratory protection equipment requirements set forth by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

DOH Announces EVV Choice Model

Following a lengthy process DOH has announced that it has elected to proceed with the Choice Model for implementing EVV requirements under the 21st Century Cures Act as HCP had repeatedly advocated.

In announcing this decision, DOH explained that it chose the Choice Model, because: (1) it best ensures that consumers will have EVV options from which to consider when selecting a provider; (2) it gives providers of service the flexibility to select an option that best meets their business needs and the needs of the consumers they serve; and (3) it recognizes that many providers serving New York’s Medicaid consumers have already implemented EVV systems that meet the requirements of the Cures Act, preserving the investment that has already been made, avoiding duplicative costs, and eliminating disruption to consumers and caregivers. New York has notified CMS it has selected the Choice Model – please see letter at https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/evv/repository/index.htm.

To immediately help providers select and implement an EVV solution under the New York State EVV Choice Model, the Department of Health (DOH) has published EVV Program Requirements, including Considerations for Selecting an EVV system in its EVV Resource Library at https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/evv/repository/index.htm.

DOH will also be setting up a Technical Assistance Forum to allow for continued collaboration and communication with EVV stakeholders. The first session will be held on April 20, 2020. The schedule for subsequent sessions will be available on the NY Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification Program Event Calendar at https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/evv/calendar.htm.

If you have general EVV inquiries or if you would like to submit written comments, please email EVVHelp@health.ny.gov.

Reminder: Weekly DOH Provider Update

Please join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, April 16th at 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM for a COVID-19 update for healthcare providers.

To accommodate the large number of participants, our webinar will be streaming via YouTube Live: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/weekly-healthcare-provider-update.

For audio only, please dial in: 844-512-2950

PPE Reminder

The Department of Health has asked HCP to reiterate the process for requesting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies. Requests that go directly to the State are not being processed.

Requests must be made as follows:

  • Use existing vendor agreements and procurement plans to place orders for quantities needed by type and size of PPE.
  • Notify County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) when all existing agreements are exhausted and supply needs exceed those available from these sources.
  • Coordinate with County OEM to identify and utilize other existing county resources.
  • Notify the respective Department of Health Regional Office of ongoing need.
  • If all local resources have been exhausted, submit a request to your County OEM, who will communicate the needs to the New York State OEM.

If providers do not hear back from OEM after a couple of days, they should follow up with OEM.

Requests MUST include:

  • Type and quantity of PPE by size;
  • Point of contact at the requesting organization;
  • Delivery location;
  • Date request is needed to be filled by; and
  • Record of pending orders.

Please use this link for specific county contact information: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/contact/map.cfm.