LHCSA Stat Report and OSHA ETS Changes

LHCSA Stat Report Update

This morning, the Department of Health (DOH/the Department) provided some temporary relief to Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSA) regarding the 2020 LHCSA Statistical Report. (Stat Report).

To comply with NYS Public Health Laws requiring annual LHCSA registration, DOH has made available a HERDS LHCSA Registration Short Form to allow continued operations and reimbursements for the month of January 2022. 

However, registration will not be deemed fully effective until the LHCSA Statistical Report is submitted by the deadline of close of business, January 31, 2022. This report was made available on November 29, 2021. DOH is providing this short-term compromise to allow continued operations without a full Stat Report submission.

The message was relayed from DOH Division of Home and Community-based Services (DHCBS) via the Health Electronic Response Data System (HERDS).

Directions for using the HERDS LHCSA Registration Short Form:

  • Log on to the Health Commerce System (HCS).
  • Open HERDS in your "My Applications."
  • If you do not have HERDS listed under "My Applications,"
    • Click on the "My Content" tab on the HCS menu bar.
    • Click on "All Applications".
    • Click on H.
    • Locate HERDS (Health Electronic Response Data System).
    • Click on the green ball with the + (plus sign) on the right-hand side. This will add HERDS to your HCS Applications List.
    • Navigate back to the HCS Home Page.
    • HERDS should now be listed in your "My Applications."
  • Open HERDS.
  • Click on Data Entry.
  • Select LHCSA Registration Short Form as the Activity.
  • Enter your data.
  • SAVE and SUBMIT your data. **Make sure you select 2022 as the Report Year.

HCP cautions members that submitting this Short Form does not relieve you of your obligations to complete the LHCSA Stat Report by the extended deadline of January 31, 2021. See HCP’s Dear Administrator Letter webpage for all necessary documents regarding the 2020 Stat Report.

Questions regarding submission should be addressed to [email protected].

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Reinstated

As previously reported in the HCP Insider, HCP Associate members, as well as provider members who operate as Fiscal Intermediaries in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program are bound by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) as large employers (100+ workers). The suspension of this rule has ended and compliance is now required.

Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSA) must continue to follow the New York State COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. This state mandate does not provide for testing as an alternative to vaccination for health care workers.

The OSHA vaccine mandate had been suspended pending multiple court cases in several circuits. The cases were combined and ultimately heard by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel, the Vaccinate or test ETS was reinstated on December 17, 2021. OSHA quickly posted updated compliance information on its website.

All employers with 100 or more employees have until January 10, 2022 to comply with the ETS requirements for vaccination against COVID-19 as well as the associated record keeping. Recall that employers can opt instead to have employees regularly tested for COVID-19. Businesses choosing this testing option must implement such a program on or before February 9, 2022.  See the ETS for details.

In light of the delays, OSHA has extended the comment period for this rule until January 19, 2022. Written comments on any aspect of the ETS may be submitted by to www.regulations.gov  in Docket number OSHA-2021-0007,

OSHA Health Care ETS

Meanwhile, OSHA’s Health Care ETS, which was issued in June and sets forth rules to protect health care workers from infectious disease, is set to expire tomorrow, December 21, 2021.

Some health care provider groups support its continuation, and other groups want it to expire, as this ETS overlaps with many state plans, causing confusion among health care employers. Historically, ETS of this type are not extended, however pandemic conditions may be an exception.

OSHA’s last comments on this ETS were posted in November and imply monthly updates:

To assess the ongoing need for an Emergency Temporary Standard for healthcare and related industries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reviewed the latest guidance, science and data on COVID-19 and has consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) (NIOSH)). OSHA has determined that the requirements of the healthcare ETS released on June 10, 2021, remain necessary to address the grave danger of COVID-19 in healthcare. OSHA will continue to monitor and assess the need for changes in the healthcare ETS each month.

HCP members are reminded that the NYS HERO Act is still activated for businesses. Continue to adhere to your policies and procedures under both plans, where applicable. HCP will report any changes as soon as possible.