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June 6th 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 discussed 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 June 5th, is available here, and a list of the items shared by LeadingAge NY staff in the webinar chat can be accessed here. If you have questions for next week’s update or would like the access information, please contact Jeff Diamond.

Cross-Sector Updates

CMS Suspends Enforcement of Health Care Personnel COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

In a final rule officially published on June 5th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) removed the health care personnel COVID-19 vaccination mandate. CMS announced that it would suspend enforcement of the vaccination mandate pending the final rule’s effective date in 60 days, following a similar decision by NY in late May. Accordingly, neither NYS nor the federal government will be enforcing a requirement that health care personnel be vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here for more information.

EO 4 Workforce Flexibilities Set to Expire June 8th

Governor Hochul has renewed Executive Order (EO) 4, which establishes flexibilities to address health care workforce shortages. This renewal is only for a few weeks, through June 8th. It is not the typical monthly renewal, which may mean that it will be allowed to expire on June 8th. EO 4.21, issued on May 22nd, is available here.

In addition, the State has posted two documents in reference to the pending expiration of the EO. One is to facilitate licensure applications for out-of-state registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). The other provides the licensure requirements for out-of-state RNs and LPNs and other professional roles. Those documents are available here and here.

LeadingAge NY will continue its advocacy for continuation of the EO, as well as legislation to make these flexibilities permanent.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)/Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Updates

DOH Prepares PACE Program Payments

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) participating in the Support of the Unique PACE Fully Integrated Care Model Initiative should receive payments toward the end of June. The initiative is funded by enhanced federal Medicaid payments authorized by Section 9817 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Additional Support for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) during the COVID-19 Emergency. The funding will support workforce investments, help with reopening costs and infrastructure upgrades, and aid in growing the PACE program. Click here for more information.