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Governor Extends Workforce Shortage Executive Order

Last week, Governor Hochul issued Executive Order (EO) 4.1 extending workforce shortage flexibilities for health care providers dealing with staff resignations and terminations following the State-issued COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Members should refer to both EO 4.1 and EO 4 to see the full range of provisions issued and their referenced statutes. Unless extended, the provisions expire Nov. 26, 2021.

The new EO offers the following additional flexibilities to providers: 

  • Permits initial patient visits for certified home health agencies (CHHAs), long term home health care programs (LTHHCPs), and AIDS home care programs to be made within 48 hours of receipt and acceptance of a community referral or return home from institutional placement;
  • Permits CHHAs, LTHHCPs, AIDS home care programs, and licensed home care services agencies (LHCSAs) to conduct in-home supervision of home health aides and personal care aides as soon as practicable after the initial service visit and permits in-person and in-home supervision to be conducted through indirect means, including by telephone or video communication;
  • Permits nursing supervision visits for personal care services to be made as soon as practicable;
  • Allows EMTs and advanced EMS providers, at the discretion of the Commissioner of Health, to provide emergent and non-emergency services in non-traditional EMS environments, such as hospitals, provided, however, that only services within such providers’ level of certification may be performed;
  • Allows certified EMTs and advanced EMS providers to administer vaccinations against influenza and COVID-19 pursuant to a non-patient-specific order, including in non-emergency environments and locations, provided that EMTs and advanced EMS providers first meet conditions set by the Commissioner of Health;
  • Permits registered nurses to also order the collection of saliva and nasal tests, in addition to throat and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from individuals, for purposes of COVID-19 testing;
  • Referencing various State Education Law provisions regarding non-patient-specific orders, permits non-nursing staff, upon completion of training deemed adequate by the Department of Health (DOH), to (1) collect throat, saliva, nasal, or nasopharyngeal swab specimens, as applicable and appropriate, for purposes of COVID-19 or influenza testing; (2) collect blood specimens for the diagnosis of acute or past COVID-19 disease; (3) administer vaccinations against influenza or COVID-19 pursuant to the most recent recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and/or an applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval or Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), subject to any other conditions set forth in the EO, including, but not limited to, conditions related to training and supervision, where applicable; and (4) where applicable and to the extent necessary, perform tasks, under the supervision of a nurse, otherwise limited to the scope of practice of a licensed or registered nurse to provide care for individuals.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have questions about these provisions or would like to discuss workforce concerns. 

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-929-9342