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Aug. 25th COVID-19 Update

New updates pertaining to the COVID-19 emergency continue to be announced by both the state and federal government on a regular basis. The latest developments for providers of long-term/post-acute care (LTPAC) and senior services are described below.

As a reminder, LeadingAge NY continues to convene weekly webinars on Mondays at 11 a.m. to address emerging questions on COVID-19. A recording of our most recent webinar, held on Aug. 24th, is available here. If you have questions for next week’s update, please send them to Ami Schnauber, and be sure to check your email for the access information, or contact Jeff Diamond.

Cross-Sector Updates

Reminder to Apply for Provider Relief General Distributions

The deadline to apply for Provider Relief Phase 2 General Distribution funding (primarily aimed at Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and dental providers) is Aug. 28th. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is also accepting applications for this funding from Medicare-certified providers that may not have applied previously or were not fully funded. Click here for more information.

New York Updates Travel Advisory List

LeadingAge NY has been tracking the COVID-19 Travel Advisory requiring people to quarantine if traveling to New York from certain states, with certain conditional exceptions for essential workers. On Aug. 25th, the Governor announced that five states have been removed from the list: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, and Montana. Guam has been added. Click here for more information and an archived list of states as they have been added or removed.

Nursing Home Updates

Pandemic Emergency Plan Guidance Issued

On Aug. 20th, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) NH 20-09 providing guidance on the requirements of the Pandemic Emergency Plan (PEP) for nursing homes. Included with the DAL was a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) template and a CEMP toolkit addressing various planning issues and potential vulnerabilities. Also included was an announcement of online CEMP training with a link to enroll. Click here for more information.

New Law Amends COVID-19 Immunity Provisions Relating to Health Care Facilities and Professionals’ Liability

On Aug. 3rd, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation amending the COVID-19 immunity provisions relating to health care facilities and professionals’ liability during the COVID-19 emergency. Click here for more information on the amended law and a link to a newly issued comprehensive memo from LeadingAge NY general counsel Hinman Straub.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Updates

Extensions of Re-Approvals of Certain HHA and PCA Training Programs

On Aug. 24th, DOH issued a notification providing a six-month extension for re-approval of currently authorized Home Health Aide (HHA) and Personal Care Aide (PCA) training programs with re-approval end dates in the Home Care Worker Registry of March 1st through Sept. 30, 2020. The communication was sent to all licensed home care service agencies (LHCSAs), certified home health agencies (CHHAs), and hospices. This applies to programs that have not already received program re-approval. The DOH notification is available here.

The DOH Division of Home and Community Based Services will reach out to programs regarding their extension and re-approval. In seeking clarification from DOH, they have informed us that providers with March re-approval end dates will have their six-month extension deadlines expire next month (the deadline for an extension of a March 1st re-approval end date is Sept. 1, 2020). Providers should be aware of upcoming end date extensions soon to expire and seek program re-approval immediately. Agencies that miss their new deadline will have to submit full applications for their training programs.

Questions may be submitted to hhatp@health.ny.gov or pcatp@health.ny.gov.