DOH DAILY LHCSA Survey UPDATE

DOH launched its COVID-19 survey for LHCSAs that serve clients outside of an Adult Care Facility (ACF) this week. LHCSAs are required to fill out and submit a LHCSA COVID-19 survey EVERY WEEKDAY.

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.

Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Requiring All People in the State to Wear Masks or Face Coverings in Public

Governor Cuomo today announced that he will issue an Executive Order (EO) requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation. The Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th.

Governor Cuomo also announced the state will begin conducting antibody tests, prioritizing frontline health care workers, first responders and other essential workers, beginning this week. Using a new finger prick method, the state will test up to 2,000 New Yorkers per day. The state is also asking the FDA for expedited approval of a finger prick antibody test that could test up to 100,000 New Yorkers a day. Additionally, the state is continuing to engage with other partners including hospital labs and private companies to bring mass antibody testing to scale statewide.

The Governor will also issue an Executive Order requiring nursing homes to report positive COVID-19 cases and deaths to the families of those who are living in the nursing home facility within 24 hours. The order will include adult home and other assisted living facilities. Previously, State Department of Health issued guidance asking these facilities to communicate this information to families; this new order makes that guidance mandatory.

The Governor also announced that the State University of New York and The City University of New York are using 3D printers to produce critical personal protective equipment for New York's frontline health workers. SUNY campuses are producing about 2,100 face shields a day amongst 13 SUNY campuses, its four Cornell colleges, and its four university centers. Teams at six CUNY colleges have adapted their 3D printers and associated materials to make elements that are used in protective face shields for local hospitals. The face shields are being donated to medical teams across the state, as resources are needed by hospitals, nursing homes and testing sites.

The latest EO has not yet been issued. HCP will share it when it becomes available.

HCP Seeks to Ensure that Home Care Providers are Immune from Liability related to COVID-19

HCP has joined with a number of other provider associations in urging the Governor and the Department of Health (DOH/the Department) to issue an Executive Order, emergency regulation, interpretation or opinion to ensure immunity from liability for home and community based care providers under the provisions of the newly enacted Public Health Law Art. 30-D, The Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act.

The purpose of the Act, in part, is to broadly protect "health care facilities and health care professionals ... from liability that may result...from the ... public health emergency".

HCP raised concerns that our provider members are not defined in the Act as are hospitals, nursing homes and other Article 28 facilities.

Under the Act the term health care professional includes home care services workers defined in PHL Section 3613.

HCP has explained that this is a gap in the language, whereby home care services workers are explicitly immune from liability, but their employers are not.

HCP has requested of DOH an opinion, interpretation, or language under a "Covid-19 emergency rule", as contemplated under the Act that would broadly include in the immunity from liability under the Act, PHL Article 36 providers.

We have also had conversations with members of the legislature to discuss these concerns and will pursue an amendment to the law.

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.