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Aug. 4th COVID-19 Update

New COVID-19-related updates for providers of long-term/post-acute care (LTPAC) and senior services continue to be shared on a regular basis by both state and federal authorities. The latest developments are outlined below.

As a reminder, LeadingAge NY continues to convene weekly webinars on Mondays at 11 a.m. to address emerging questions on COVID-19. Due to a scheduling conflict with the first Joint Legislative Hearing on residential health care facilities and COVID-19, this week’s update will be held tomorrow, Wed., Aug. 5th. If you have any questions that you would like answered, please send them to Ami Schnauber, and be sure to check your email for the access information, or contact Jeff Diamond.

Cross-Sector Updates

HHS Further Extends Provider Relief Application Deadline

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it is extending the deadline for eligible Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and dental providers that have been impacted by COVID-19 to apply for $15 billion in Provider Relief Funding. HHS is also giving Medicare providers a second chance to apply for funding under the Provider Relief General Distribution. Click here for more information.

DOH Publishes Emergency Regulation on Social Distancing

The July 29th issue of the New York State Register includes an emergency regulation issued by the Department of Health (DOH) entitled “Enforcement of Social Distancing Measures.” The rule is aimed at enforcing social distancing measures to control the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19. The regulation, which took effect July 9th, will apply for the duration of the State disaster emergency declaration related to the outbreak of COVID-19. 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. 4th, the Governor announced that Rhode Island has been added to the list and Delaware and Washington, DC have been removed. Click here for more information and an archived list of states as they have been added or removed.

LeadingAge NY to Host Webinar on “Managing Trauma, Grief, and Loss During the Pandemic”

On Thurs., Aug. 13th from 1 to 3 p.m., LeadingAge NY will offer a webinar entitled “It’s Not Just the Virus: Managing the Pandemic of Trauma, Grief and Loss.” The webinar, sponsored by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, is free and offers both National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and Social Work (SW) credit. Click here for more information and here to register.

Nursing Home Updates

Nursing Home COVID-19 Cost Survey

LeadingAge NY needs your help. Early in the pandemic, we surveyed nursing home members to collect preliminary data on the financial impact of COVID-19. As the emergency has unfolded, providers are struggling with mounting revenue losses accompanied by increased expenses that include significant staff testing costs. It is critical that we have current and complete data to advocate for the essential resources that providers need. We ask nursing home CFOs to complete the updated survey that focuses on the fiscal impact of the pandemic in May and June. We thank you in advance for your participation. The online survey form is here.

Adult Care Facility (ACF)/Assisted Living (AL) Updates

LeadingAge NY to Host “Clean Up Your Infection Control Practices in ACF/Assisted Living” Webinar

Don’t miss this valuable program tailored specifically for ACF/AL providers to implement and maintain a strong infection control program in the current COVID-19 environment. The session will provide a wealth of information and best practices, with ample time for questions and answers. The webinar will take place on Thurs., Aug. 6th from 1 to 3 p.m.

Our presenter, Dawn Carter, is a consultant for LeadingAge NY ProCare. She is a registered nurse with over 28 years’ experience, including experience in infection control. Dawn has been actively involved with policy and procedure development, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance.

Since successful infection control involves everyone in your organization, feel free to invite your colleagues, including, but not limited to, caregivers, activities professionals, dining, and housekeeping staff.

Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. ACF Administrator and NAB credit are available for this free program.

Data Collection Efforts Underway for ACF/AL Members Regarding Advocacy for Potential Funding

We know that members are extremely busy, but we urge ACF/AL providers to take a few moments to submit data to support our advocacy. LeadingAge NY is working with other associations to collect COVID-19 cost information from ACF/AL providers for the months of May and June to help inform our advocacy efforts. This data collection effort serves to update data previously collected; however, the survey has been streamlined to make it easier for you to complete. The survey has been emailed to all ACF/AL providers and can be accessed here. Please complete it as soon as possible, but no later than Aug. 21st.

We had also been urging ACF/AL members to submit data as part of an effort that our colleagues at LeadingAge National have been working on to advocate for federal funding. HHS is considering the possibility of funding for ‘assisted living’ providers that have not had access to other federal provider relief funds. If you missed the deadline of Aug. 3rd to submit data into the portal, you should still have the opportunity to apply for funding if it indeed becomes available. We will keep members apprised of any developments on this issue. Click here for background on this issue.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Updates

CMS Clarifies Home Health Quality Reporting Program Requirements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just issued a tip sheet summarizing the status of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program (HH QRP) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). The tip sheet also provides information on HH quality data submission requirements starting July 1st, now that the temporary HH QRP exemptions from the COVID-19 PHE have ended. Click here for more information.

Selfhelp Virtual Senior Center Resource Available to HCBS Providers

With funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) and LeadingAge NY member Selfhelp Community Services offered an introductory webinar opening the door for home care patients and clients to access Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center (VSC). An archived presentation is available here, and the slide deck is here. HCBS providers across the state are encouraged to access this resource for their patients and clients.

HCA and Selfhelp are working to expand the VSC’s capabilities and invite HCBS providers across New York State to enroll their own clientele as well. The webinar explains that process. It also described the VSC, its benefits, and why it is a vital platform for seniors to connect, especially now at a time of increased social isolation.

The webinar walked participants through the intake and onboarding process, including the assessment criteria you should consider for your home care clients to determine if they are best suited to benefit from enrolling in the platform.

Additional webinars will be announced soon about upcoming VSC enhancements anticipated this fall, supported under the grant. However, as stressed during the webinar, agencies can now enroll their patients in the VSC, even as expanded VSC content is being ramped up. Agencies interested in enrolling their patients or clients are encouraged to contact Selfhelp directly at vsc@selfhelp.net or 718-559-4460.

Members are encouraged to take advantage of this valuable resource during this challenging time.

Affordable Housing Updates

HUD Issues Updated Multifamily Q&A

On July 31st, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued its first update since May 21st of its Q&A for Multifamily Housing programs. The Q&A document relays HUD’s guidance on operational and procedural questions related to the safe administration of HUD-assisted programs during the COVID-19 emergency. Click here for more information from LeadingAge National.