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May 2nd 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 reviewed 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 1st, 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.

Nursing Home and Adult Care Facility (ACF)/Assisted Living (AL) Updates

DOH Issues New Emergency Preparedness DAL for Nursing Homes

On May 1st, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) NH 23-03 providing information on updating nursing home pandemic emergency plans (PEPs). In August 2020, DOH issued DAL NH 20-09 requiring that nursing homes develop a PEP. The most recent DAL updates the August 2020 guidance. Click here for more information.

CDC Announces Termination of Community Transmission and Community Level Metrics

Due to changes in reporting requirements for case data following the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) on May 11th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it will no longer be able to calculate COVID-19 Community Levels (CCLs). CCLs will be sunset and removed from the CDC COVID Data Tracker (CDT) on May 11th. The CDC will provide a new metric for people, organizations, and communities who want information on current COVID-19 risk to help their decision-making. Click here for more information.

CMS Issues Guidance for the Expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On May 1st, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued memorandum QSO-23-13-ALL advising providers of the termination of certain waivers that were in place as a result of the COVID-19 PHE. Section 1135 of the Social Security Act permits waivers to certain regulations to allow for greater flexibility during a PHE. With the declared end of the PHE on May 11th, these waivers will end. Click here for a review of the expiring waivers that are most pertinent to nursing homes.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Updates

New CMS QSO Addresses Status of Home Health and Hospice PHE Waiver Provisions

On May 1st, CMS issued memorandum QSO-23-13-ALL, Guidance for the Expiration of the COVID-19 PHE, addressing provisions for several health care provider facilities and agencies. Click here for a review of the provisions that are most pertinent to Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) and Hospices.