Included in this alert:

  • Statewide Survey of COVID-19 Vaccination Providers, Due Monday, December 28
  • DOH Issues Updated Return to Work Guidance
  • Home Care Vaccination Update
  • EVV Technical Assistance Call Tomorrow
  • 2019 Statistical Report and LHCSA Registration – Due December 31

 

Statewide Survey of COVID-19 Vaccination Providers

Due Monday, December 28

Last week, DOH (DOH/the Department) issued a survey of COVID Vaccination Providers. While not many home care providers have enrolled to administer vaccine, HCP wants to ensure providers are aware of this survey.

As vaccine supplies increase over time, COVID-19 vaccine will become available to additional priority groups and will eventually be available to all New Yorkers. In an effort to measure the capacity and throughput to vaccinate the people of New York against COVID-19, the State is requesting additional information about vaccine providers’ ability to assist in vaccinating.

This survey is to be completed for each facility/practice location that intends to vaccinate and is strictly a preliminary data collection exercise. Responses to this questionnaire are for informational purposes only and are not binding for participation in any potential mass vaccination program.

DOH requests survey participation by 5:00 pm on December 28.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VaccineProvider

DOH Issues Updated Return to Work Guidance

On Sunday, December 27, 2020 the Department of Health (DOH/the Department) issued updated guidance for all healthcare settings, including home care.

In order to align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance issued on December 2, this guidance updates and supersedes previous guidance regarding return to work after COVID exposure or travel outside of New York.

  • Health Care Personnel (Personnel) at nursing homes or adult care facilities certified as Enhanced Assisted Living Residences (EALR) or licensed as Assisted Living Programs (ALP) should note additional requirements listed for them below.
  • This guidance does not apply to personnel who are known or suspected of having COVID-19 who are in isolation; requirements for the discontinuation of isolation should be followed for these individuals.

Background
New York continues to experience a surge in COVID-19 cases which is expected through at least mid-January. Such a surge increases the possibility of exposures for health care personnel. This may affect staffing levels. Concerns about staff shortages must be balanced against the risk of further exposures and outbreaks among staff and possible transmission of COVID-19 to patients.

To ensure adequate and appropriate staffing while minimizing risk of transmission, DOH has issued these revised guidelines for return to work for personnel, whether direct care providers or other staff, who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are asymptomatic.

Revised Protocols for Personnel to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure
The following guidelines apply to personnel returning to work following a COVID-19 exposure:

  • Asymptomatic personnel who have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 within the past 10 days may return to work after a 10 day quarantine without testing if no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period, providing the following conditions are met:
  • Personnel must continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14.
  • Personnel must be counseled to continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of appropriate face coverings.
  • Personnel must be advised that if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

The following guidelines apply to personnel returning from travel to a non-contiguous state or territory subject to a CDC Level 2 or higher COVID-19 risk assessment level or for which the COVID-19 risk level is designated by the CDC as unknown:

  • Personnel who travel outside of NYS beyond its contiguous states should adhere to the essential worker requirements pursuant to the Department’s November 3, 2020 travel guidance when not at work and must seek diagnostic testing on Day 4.
    Personnel at Nursing Homes and Adult Care Facilities Certified as EALRs or ALPs
    Health care personnel working at nursing homes or adult care facilities certified as EALRs or ALPs who were exposed to COVID-19 may be released from quarantine in accordance with the guidance described above; however, they must remain furloughed from work for 14 days.
General questions or comments about this advisory can be sent to icp@health.ny.gov, covidhospitaldtcinfo@health.ny.gov, or covidadultcareinfo@health.ny.gov.

Home Care Vaccination Update

As recently as this morning, HCP is incessantly advocating for the prioritization of New York’s home care workers in the COVID-19 immunization program, as presented in CDC guidelines. HCP has submitted letters to the Department of Health (DOH/the Department), the Governor’s Vaccine Commission, and the Governor himself. We are meeting regularly with multi-state stakeholders and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), and will continue to do so in order to highlight the importance of protecting home care workers during the pandemic.

140,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in New York to date during the Phase 1a efforts. HCP learned recently that home health/home care is, indeed, included in Phase 1a of NY Department of Health’s planned roll out for its 2 million health care workers. This is encouraging but this process is and has been very fluid. In addition, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has indicated that the home care sector may expect to fall in the middle on the timeline of the Phase 1a classification. The first group of immunizations for hospital workers and long-term care facilities are still being completed. Sub-prioritization is ongoing and fluid as the limited vaccine supply is allocated to the states and decisions are released weekly only to current vaccinating providers. OMRDD, OASAS, and similar congregate living facilities have recently been notified of their staff’s upcoming eligibility. HCP is pushing hard for home care to be included in the coming days and allow the industry to be alerted well enough in advance to plan appropriately.

Through these meetings, we are explaining the importance of timely vaccinating home care staff. With over 200,000 home care workers in New York, multiple distribution methods will be necessary. It’s reassuring that planners are considering our discussions as essential to the equitable, successful COVID-19 immunization program; home care has a voice!

HCP encourages its members to prepare NOW for when the time to vaccinate arrives. Providers need to plan for the communication with staff, logistics of how staff will be vaccinated, and the need to stagger staff vaccinations to ensure patient coverage and to adjust for vaccine availability.

HCP will continue to alert members to news, guidance, educational materials and other resources as they become available. The newly launched HCP COVID-19 Vaccine webpage is a great place to start!

HCP advises its members to remind your home care workers that DOH is the only entity with the power to authorize eligibility for immunizations, and they can rely on you to provide accurate guidance when the time comes. Providers should also be mindful of the Governor’s announcement today of serious penalties for providers who access and administer vaccines to unauthorized recipients.

EVV Technical Assistance Call Tomorrow

The Department of Health (DOH/the Department) has scheduled a Technical Assistance Call for tomorrow, Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Reminder: December 31, 2020 - Final Date for Providers to Implement EVV for Medicaid Personal Care Services (PCS)

Please register here prior to the event.

Additional details can be found here.

Please note, the EVV Technical User Guide has been posted here.

2019 Statistical Report and LHCSA Registration – Due December 31

With just days remaining to submit the 2019 Statistical Report and LHCSA Registration and with the holiday season in full swing, HCP urges providers to work towards timely submission.

HCP strongly encourages providers to complete the report to the best of their abilities as soon as they can. Providers should keep in mind that the Statistical Report is the mechanism through which LHCSAs fulfill their annual registration requirements. Timely submission is very important for providers.

HCP has urged the Department of Health (DOH/the Department) to extend the time to complete the report. It is unclear whether such an extension will be approved in time for the looming deadline. DOH has been contacting providers directly urging them to submit the Statistical Report on time. This is an indication of the importance of timely submission of the Statistical Report, especially for registration purposes.

HCP strongly encourages members to contact HCP Public Policy Staff with questions or concerns with meeting Statistical Report Deadlines.

Background

On November 1, DOH released the 2019 LHCSA (Licensed Home Care Services Agency) Statistical Report and the 2019 ALP (Assisted Living Program) LHCSA Statistical Report. It is now available on the Healthcare Financial Data Gateway on the Health Commerce System (HCS).

All LHCSAs are required to submit these reports. If your agency opened in 2020 – you need to complete and submit the Agency Form and the Registration Form.

As a reminder, failure to timely submit the statistical report and registration by December 31 will result in penalties including a fine of $500 per month, inability to operate until in compliance, and/or license revocation for excessive non-compliance.

The following documents are available to assist you:

1. Dear Administrator Letter DHCBS 20-12, including a document that outlines all changes made from last year’s 2018 LHCSA Statistical Report.
NOTE: DOH has asked HCP to alert providers to an ambiguity in the language of the LHCSA Statistical Report DAL concerning LHCSA registration via the Short Form. To be clear only LHCSAs that were newly licensed in the current year are eligible to use the Short Form.
2. Instruction Document on uninstalling the old Report Manager Software, downloading and installing the revised Report Manager Software and downloading the Report.
3. Instruction document that reviews all forms to be used for the 2019 LHCSA Statistical Report.
4. Instruction document that reviews all forms to be used for the 2019 ALP LHCSA Statistical Report.
5. Frequently Asked Questions Document for LHCSAs, which will be updated and distributed multiple times during the reporting period.
6. Frequently Asked Questions Document for ALP LHCSAs, which will be updated and distributed multiple times during the reporting period.