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Reminder: Telehealth Flexibilities Are Available for Home Care and Hospice Providers

As COVID-19 cases rise and home care and hospice agencies experience staffing shortages, agencies are reminded that they may utilize the following telehealth flexibilities:

  • The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) 21-11 provides flexibility for telephonic and video use for assessments, reassessments, and opening cases for home care agencies. The phrase as soon as practicable is the operative wording, and the fact that enforcement discretion will be provided by DOH during the federal Public Health Emergency. LeadingAge NY confirmed these flexibilities with the Department in early January.
  • Executive Order (EO) 4.1 also provides for supervision of aides via telephone or audio and several other flexibilities:
    • Subdivision a of section 763.5 of Title 10 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR), only to the extent necessary to permit 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;
    • Paragraph 2 of subdivision g of section 763.4; paragraphs 7 and 8 of subdivision h of section 763.4; paragraph 2 of subdivision a of section 766.5; and subdivision d of section 766.5 of Title 10 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit 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, or to permit in-person and in-home supervision to be conducted through indirect means, including by telephone or video communication;
    • Paragraph 3 of subdivision f of section 505.14 of Title 18 of the NYCRR, to the extent necessary to permit nursing supervision visits for personal care services to be made as soon as practicable.

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