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LeadingAge NY Discusses Various ACF/AL Issues with DOH

LeadingAge NY recently met with the Department of Health (DOH) to discuss various adult care facility (ACF) and assisted living issues. Below is a summary.

Incident Reporting Reminders

Members are reminded that the Department has been using the Drupal platform to streamline submissions, most recently shifting the Incident Report submission to that platform. As of May 1st, the report must be submitted on Drupal, which is not contained in the Health Commerce System (HCS).

Facilities can look up old reports through the report function in the Health Electronic Response Data System (HERDS), rather than data entry. Unfortunately, this function does not exist in Drupal; however, you will receive a confirmation email and summary page, encouraging providers to save the PDF of the report electronically.

Regional Meetings

LeadingAge NY inquired regarding the Department’s intentions for regional meetings going forward. The Department is evaluating how they will continue. They are interested in provider feedback; please let Diane Darbyshire know your suggestions.

Medical Equipment Waivers

If members are having difficulty with getting waivers approved and need assistance, you may reach out to DOH at acfinfo@health.ny.gov.

Services for the Blind

During the meeting, the NYS Commission for the Blind provided this presentation regarding services available to people who are legally blind of all ages in the state. There are 16 not-for-profit providers across the state that will provide services at no cost. Training for people who are blind and staff working with them is also available. Applications can be done by phone, and the process is simple.

Awaiting COVID-19 Guidance

LeadingAge NY inquired about updated COVID-19 guidance and updates on the HERDS survey changes. We highlighted the frustration regarding the inconsistency with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding active screening and the lack of direction regarding masking with new metrics available from the CDC. The Department indicated that updated guidance would be forthcoming. LeadingAge NY sent this letter to the Commissioner outlining the issues that need to be addressed given the conclusion of the federal Public Health Emergency.

HCBS Settings Rule

LeadingAge NY inquired about the status of the federal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule guidance for assisted living programs (ALPs) regarding person-centered care planning. Again, DOH indicated that guidance would be forthcoming.

Regulatory Proposals

Members are reminded of two regulatory proposals that have been published for public comment. Members can submit comments directly and/or submit comments to LeadingAge NY to be incorporated into our response. Please submit any comments to be incorporated three days in advance of the due date to ensure the ability to include.

DOH has proposed changes to assisted living residence (ALR) regulations and is accepting comments on the proposed changes until June 5, 2023. The proposed changes are based on settlements from litigation in 2010. Additionally, language is proposed to implement a law passed requiring facilities to inquire about veteran status; it should be noted that this law applies the requirement to all ACFs, not just ALRs. Click here for more information.

DOH has also issued proposed regulation changes for ACFs. Public comment will be accepted until July 3, 2023. The changes incorporate the residents’ rights standards of the federal HCBS Settings Rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including the rights of access to visitors, freedom of choice, and community participation. The proposed regulations also amend reporting requirements in the event of a resident death or attempted suicide, or where a felony crime may have been committed by or against a resident, pursuant to Social Services Law Section 461-m. The proposal reflects minor modifications in regulations recently published for public comment. Click here for more information.


LeadingAge NY meets with the Department on a regular basis. Members are encouraged to share your questions and concerns so that we may address them with the Department on your behalf.

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