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LeadingAge NY Meets with DOH on Provider Issues

LeadingAge NY and other long term care provider associations meet with the Department of Health (DOH) every two weeks to share information and obtain updates on provider issues.

The Director of the Division of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in the DOH Office of Aging and Long-Term Care (OALTC), Dr. Thomas Bathrick, has stepped down from his position. Deputy Director Seon Davis has stepped in as interim.

The meeting yielded an update on the nursing home staffing requirements. Facilities are making significant requests for redeterminations and penalty reductions. The Department is in the process of asking for additional information from providers. They will be reaching out for specific information and supporting documentation to verify the status of providers. Currently, they are receiving a significant amount of unnecessary information from providers. The Department will be reviewing the process before the next assessment period to ensure that all parties are aware of the process.

The Department plans on publicly posting patient counts and staffing level data soon for home care agencies. They will start with historical data and then update information on a weekly basis. Providers reminded the Department of the burden of Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) reporting on all providers and the redundancy and irrelevant questions still on the report. DOH urged advocacy at the executive level, and LeadingAge NY will take next steps to that effect.

New Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) regulations to implement passage of the PACE legislation passed this session are in draft form and are undergoing review. There is no State need methodology for PACE, as entities are subject to federal standards for establishment.

DOH is working on a need methodology for the establishment of hospices and will be taking steps to work with stakeholders to engage in the review process before publishing the draft regulations. Staff said that the language will include elimination of outdated cancer care need methodology references. Typically, provider associations have been involved earlier in the development process and voiced their concern and interest in providing input.

Five new Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA) applications and two changes in ownership of Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) were approved in a recent meeting of the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC).

Providers should note that the DOH incident reporting system was down between 10:30 and 11:20 a.m. on Tues., Sept. 5th. Providers should take note to confirm any incident reported that day.

The Department stated that it is working on finalizing its Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) on home care screening and will have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document out shortly. Providers inquired about the Assisted Living Program (ALP) need methodology, and the Department has no information to provide at this time. There were also no details regarding the development of guidance regarding telehealth and adult day health care (ADHC) reopening.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871