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Mandatory Emergency Drill Underway for Home Care and Hospice Providers

Today, the Department of Health (DOH) commenced its three-day mandatory emergency drill for home care and hospice providers across the state. The exercise is mandatory for all Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs), Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs), and hospices, and providers should have received a DOH Health Notification late last night or early this morning. The drill started at 9 a.m., will continue through 3 p.m. on June 13th, and will simulate a significant hurricane, with impacts throughout the state. Agencies are required to participate in the three-day exercise, including responding to the Home Care Emergency HERDS survey on the Health Commerce System (HCS) daily.

The HERDS survey activity is entitled "2019 Home Care Hurricane Drill" and was activated on the HCS at 9 a.m. today. The survey activity will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily from June 11th to 13th. The drill includes a drill scenario and instructions on navigating the survey forms, entering data, and submitting forms. Please read the instructions carefully.

According to the Department, agencies must report their actual patient census and real/actual patient information (for example, patient classification levels and Transportation Assistance Levels (TALs)) as directed in order to determine the number of patients potentially impacted and to test the agency's ability to report this data in the case of a real emergency.

As you may recall from our last article on the drill, if an Assisted Living Program (ALP) LHCSA serves only the ALP, participation is brief and simple (checking a box on a survey questionnaire). If the ALP LHCSA also serves the community, however, that LHCSA must be a full participant in the drill.

If you have any questions, please contact HCEmergency@health.ny.gov.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871 or Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828