May 11th 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 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. A recording of our most recent webinar, held on May 10th, is available here. In addition to updates from LeadingAge NY staff, this week’s webinar features a discussion with Chris Ferreri, chief operating officer at The Osborn, about the organization’s successful implementation of a mandatory staff COVID-19 vaccination policy. 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.
The latest vaccination information, including updates on new general guidance for vaccinators, new VaccineFinder onboarding requirements, the State’s framework for counties to develop plans for vaccinating the homebound, and upcoming webinars on vaccine hesitancy, is summarized here.
Upcoming HANYS Webinar on Vaccine Hesitancy
On Wed., May 19th from 3 to 4 p.m., the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) will host a free webinar featuring Tina Sandri, CEO of Forest Hills of DC nursing home and senior living community, who will discuss her successful efforts in achieving vaccination of 86 percent of her staff (and still climbing). Ms. Sandri has been featured in The New York Times, Becker’s Hospital Review, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, and on CNN for her unique, trauma-informed, and caring approach to vaccine hesitancy. She will share the strategies that led to the significantly high vaccine uptake among her staff as well as participate in a Q&A and discussion with the audience. Attendees are encouraged to bring commentary from their own successes and challenges in this crucial area.
Click here to register for the webinar. (Please note that while the form is designed for HANYS members, non-members may proceed to the registration page without designating a facility.)
CMS Increases Medicare Payment for COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Infusions
As part of the ongoing response to address the COVID-19 emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has increased the Medicare payment rate for administering monoclonal antibodies to treat beneficiaries with COVID-19, continuing coverage under the Medicare Part B COVID-19 vaccine benefit. Click here for more information.
On May 10th, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order (EO) 202.107 extending all current EO 202 provisions to June 9th.
Additionally, recently issued EO 202.106 extended EO 202 provisions to June 5th and included relevant provisions below:
- The directive…that required in certain circumstances a coroner or medical examiner to administer a COVID-19 and influenza test within 48 hours after deaths, is hereby extended and modified only insofar as to no longer require in such circumstances the administration of an influenza test. (This was the original requirement in EO 202.60: Whenever a coroner or medical examiner has a reasonable suspicion that COVID-19 or influenza was a cause of death, but no such tests were performed within 14 days prior to death in a nursing home or hospital, or by the hospice agency, the coroner or medical examiner shall administer both a COVID-19 and influenza test within 48 hours after death, whenever the body is received within 48 hours after death, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Department of Health. The coroner or medical examiner shall report the death to the Department of Health immediately after and only upon receipt of both such test results through a means determined by the Department of Health. The State Department of Health shall provide assistance for any requesting coroner or medical examiner.)
- The directive…that directed the Department of Health to determine areas in the State that require enhanced public health restrictions based upon cluster-based cases of COVID-19.
Nursing Home and Adult Care Facility (ACF)/Assisted Living Updates
DOH Responds to Questions on Nursing Home/ACF Vaccination Regulations
The Department of Health (DOH) has responded to questions and concerns posed by LeadingAge NY regarding the emergency vaccination regulations for nursing homes and ACFs. The responses, transmitted as an attachment to an email on May 6th, clarify several key elements of the regulations. Click here for some of the highlights.
Nursing Home and ACF Immunization Rates
DOH posts daily COVID-19 vaccination rates for staff and residents of both nursing homes and assisted living facilities on their website. The site shows county and regional average vaccination rates and contains links to provider-specific listings. These are based on Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) reporting and are updated daily.
While county rates vary, statewide nursing home staff vaccination rates are at 58 percent, and assisted living staff rates are at 67 percent, up one percentage point since last week. Over 84 percent of nursing home residents and 93 percent of assisted living residents have received at least one vaccination. The data can be accessed here.
Any member encountering difficulty in accessing vaccine is asked to contact Meg Everett at email@example.com.
Local Positivity Rates
A document showing the most recent 14-day test positivity rates for each county in New York State based on both federal and state figures is available here. Based on federal data, only four counties have test positivity rates above 5 percent. The county positivity data posted by CMS are lagged by a week and are updated each Monday or Tuesday. They are available for download in raw format here. LeadingAge NY extracts the CMS-calculated rates for New York State counties and posts them here, along with positivity rates calculated on state data covering the same two-week period.
Current daily county-level data for New York State are here, 7- and 14-day regional data are here, and ZIP code-level data for New York City showing infection rates during the most recent four weeks are available here. The State’s regional COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard showing new infections, severity of infections, and hospitalization data is available here.
Affordable Housing/Independent Living Updates
HUD Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership Webinars
Following last week’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement of a joint effort to increase vaccine access at HUD-assisted communities, HUD this week announced that it will be hosting a series of COVID-19 webinars focusing on housing and health partnerships, the COVID-19 vaccine, and community health workers. Click here for more information and registration details.