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DOH Revises Process for ACFs to Submit Waiver for Hospital Beds, Side Rails, and Enablers

As previously reported, LeadingAge NY has been working in coordination with other adult care facility (ACF) stakeholders to try and improve the process that the Department of Health (DOH) established when residents are in need of certain durable medical equipment such as hospital beds or beds with half side rails, or an enabling device on a standard bed. Click here for background on this issue and LeadingAge NY’s advocacy efforts related to it. The Department has just issued a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL #22-22) that revises the process.

It should be noted that when the DAL was first issued, there was a typo, which has been addressed in this version of the DAL. Specifically, the correct mailbox for the Secure File Transfer submission is acf.waiver@health.ny.gov. This is the email to be used to submit all Medical Equipment Waiver requests and all supporting material, effective April 1, 2022.

The DAL was also issued with the following attachments:

Members should review the DAL and attachments carefully and let us know what questions you have. There are several important details outlined in the process to submit a waiver, as well as responsibilities once a waiver is approved. Members should save any documentation or approval notices received from the Department in their files. It is our understanding that the approval will be communicated via the Health Commerce System (HCS) and will only be available for a short period of time in the system.

While some aspects of the process are improved, we objected to the requirement to resubmit previously submitted information. We also had concerns about the amount of time that this process may take, particularly as a resident awaits the needed resources. Lastly, we understand that not all ACFs will have the resources to conduct the required assessment in house and will need to bring in a third party. Given the current workforce shortages, this could pose a challenge. The Department has indicated a willingness for ongoing conversations on this issue, so we welcome your feedback as you begin to utilize the process. Again, these changes were made to address serious safety concerns about the use of this equipment.

Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828