Urge your representatives in Washington, D.C. to support home care now!

As Congress continues its consideration of the next round of federal COVID funding relief, send a message to your congressional representatives urging them to ensure that home care gets the financial relief it needs and deserves. 

Take a moment to send a message to your federal representatives now!
Please share this call to action widely on social media and with your colleagues, staff, vendors and other supporters of the home care industry!

Thank you for your sharing in these critically important advocacy efforts.

Click here to take actions!

DOH Publishes Proposed Regulatory Amendments Regarding PCS and CDPAP

Today in the NY State Register at pages 16 – 19 Department of Health (DOH/the Department) published its expected notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM), the purpose of which is to implement a revised assessment process and eligibility criteria for Personal Care Services (PCS) and Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). The proposed rulemaking would amend 18 NYCRR § 505.14, related to PCS and 18 NYCRR § 505.28, related to CDPAP to implement recent statutory changes resulting from recommendations of the Medicaid Redesign Team II as adopted in the State Fiscal Year 2020-21 Enacted Budget and to make other conforming changes.  

HCP is reviewing these proposed regulations to prepare and submit comments concerning their impact on the industry. Publication in the State Register begins the 60-day comment period, which will expire on or about September 13, 2020.

July 17 Deadline for CDPAP RFO Contract Awards Approaches

As HCP has reported, late in the afternoon of Friday, July 3, the Department of Health updated its CDPAP RFO website to state that contract awards are now “anticipated” to be announced on Friday, July 17.  DOH also announced that “anticipated” contract start dates would begin upon contract approval of the State Comptroller’s Office.  

The process for Comptroller’s Office approval remains unclear. It may include review by the State Attorney General’s Office, as well. The contract review process could take several weeks to be completed. HCP continues to work to get clarity on what this process entails and how long it may take.  

HCP continues to urge DOH that whenever contracts are awarded and approved care must be taken to ensure a smooth and orderly transition in the program. Likewise, it is expected that there will be extensive questions once an announcement is made. HCP is urging DOH to ensure a mechanism is in place to answer questions.  

With respect to transitions in the program DOH has reiterated that the current CDPAP policy and process for transitions remains in place. 

CDPAP RFO information will be posted when it becomes available. HCP continues its inquiries of DOH, as well as continuing to monitor the website for updated information. HCP will share information once it becomes available. 

DOH Issues MLTC Policy 20.03: Non-emergency Transportation in CDPAP

Late yesterday afternoon, the DOH distributed MLTC Policy 20.03 with respect to non-emergency transportation in CDPAP.  

The purpose of which is to advise Managed Long-Term Care Plans (MLTC) that DOH has issued new guidance (GIS 20 MA/07, which supersedes GIS 08 OLTC/007) to allow personal assistants to provide transportation and accompany consumers to standard medical appointments under CDPAP. 

MLTC Policy 20.03 observes that a consumer’s life activities may take them outside the home, e.g., for work, school, social activities, shopping, standard medical appointments, etc. A personal assistant may transport a consumer in a personal vehicle or accompany the consumer on public transport if there are tasks on the consumer’s plan of care that the personal assistant will perform in transit or at the destination venue, e.g., toileting, ambulating, etc. 

The provision for transportation is not a discrete service, therefore, no additional hours of CDPAP service should be authorized solely for the provision of such transportation. 

Under this policy, a personal assistant is eligible for their normal hourly compensation, including lawful overtime, if their responsibilities require transporting the consumer during the consumer’s authorized hours. Personal assistants are not eligible for separate Medicaid reimbursement of any other costs incurred during this transportation, e.g., mileage, gas, tolls, public transportation fare, etc. 

Consumers (or their designated representatives) are responsible for provisioning an effective method for transportation. The fiscal intermediary is not incumbent to provide any additional financial support to either the consumer or personal assistant for transportation. 

Effective immediately, a personal assistant is able to transport a consumer under the following conditions: 

• The personal assistant is not receiving compensation from any other Medicaid program(s) while performing their work for their consumer. 
• The personal assistant and the consumer (or their designated representative) agree that they will be fully responsible for any potential personal liability, or associated expenses, that may result. A fiscal intermediary cannot require additional waiver(s) for transportation. 
• The plan of care prescribes what support the consumer would require assistance with during transport or at the destination venue. 

Transportation to standard medical appointments is allowed under this policy but should not take the place of emergency medical transportation should an emergency situation occur. 

This policy applies only to transportation under CDPAP during authorized hours and is not to replace any existing transportation support a consumer may receive in other programs. 

Questions regarding this MLTC policy should be directed to the Division of Long Term Care CDPAP Unit at (518) 486-6121 or consumerdirected@health.ny.gov

DOH Issues MLTC Policy 20.02: Moratorium on Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Plans 

Also this week, DOH released MLTC Policy 20.02 in relation to a moratorium on MLTCs.  

As part of the New York State Fiscal Year 2020-2021 enacted budget, provisions of Section 4403-f(d) of the Public Health Law were amended to impose a two-year moratorium on the processing and approval of applications regarding the operation of MLTCs. The moratorium became effective on April 1, 2020 and will continue until March 31, 2022. 

The scope of the moratorium applies to the processing and approval of MLTC Plan applications that:
i) Seek a new certificate of authority to operate a MLTCP Plan; 
ii) Expand the service area of an existing MLTCP Plan; and 
iii) Expand the scope of eligible MLTCP Plan enrollees. 

The law provides for some limited exceptions to the moratorium, which are detailed in MLTC Policy 20.02 in relation to a moratorium on MLTCs.  

REMINDER: HHS Medicaid CARES Act Allocation - Application Deadline July 20!

As HCP has reported, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the availability of $15 billion in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to high Medicaid providers.  

HHS recently held webinars to educate providers on the application process, discuss eligibility and answer questions submitted by providers.  These HHS webinars were recorded and can be accessed below.

Tuesday June 23 HHS Webinar 
Thursday June 25 HHS Webinar

To be eligible for this funding, health care providers must not have received payments from the $50 billion Provider Relief Fund General Distribution and either have directly billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for healthcare-related services between January 1, 2018 to May 31, 2020. 

HHS gives as an example of providers that might qualify for the $15 billion allocation home and community based services providers.

The application portal is OPEN. 

HHS expects to distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers. The payment to each provider will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue from patient care; the final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid patients providers serve. 

The deadline to submit an application for the Medicaid Targeted Distribution is Monday, July 20, 2020. Funds are limited and will be disbursed on a rolling basis, as information is validated. HHS may seek additional information from providers as necessary to complete its review.

Providers should routinely review the HHS FAQs which are regularly updated.

CHC Webinar on New Paid Sick Leave Developments 

On July 9, CHC speaker and HCP Associate member Emina Poricanin, Esq., of Poricanin Law presented a webinar on the most recent guidance released by the NYS DOH concerning the use of sick leave by Health Care Employees as well as recently issued Executive Orders and guidance regarding COVID related travel restrictions. The program explained the guidance as well as answered many attendee questions. In addition, there was discussion different scenarios home care providers may face with staff returning from an increasing number of hot spot states.

A recording of this program including the question and answer session is now available on the CHC website.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, fees for this program recording have been reduced; $29 for HCP members, and $49 for Prospective or Non-Members. Any questions can be directed to HCP Director of Marketing and Education Marissa Crary.