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Nov. 2nd 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 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 Nov. 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.

Cross-Sector Updates

Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Decision on Vaccination Mandate Allows State to Bar Most Religious Accommodations

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Oct. 29th vacated its preliminary injunction in the health care personnel vaccination mandate cases. As a result, it appears that the State’s vaccination mandate can be enforced as written in the regulation – i.e., requiring vaccination of any employee who might expose patients, residents, or other personnel to COVID-19, unless they are medically exempt. Click here for more information.

Governor Extends Workforce Shortage Executive Order

Last week, Governor Hochul issued Executive Order (EO) 4.1 extending workforce shortage flexibilities for health care providers dealing with staff resignations and terminations following the State-issued COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Members should refer to both EO 4.1 and EO 4 to see the full range of provisions issued and their referenced statutes. Unless extended, the provisions expire Nov. 26th. Click here for more information.

TB Testing and COVID-19 Vaccination Can Occur at the Same Time

The Department of Health (DOH) recently issued a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) and updated a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to reflect Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on the timing of tuberculosis (TB) testing and COVID-19 vaccination. LeadingAge NY has known of this new protocol and communicated it to members for a few months now with the issuance of CDC recommendations and communications with DOH. This guidance formally adopts these changes. Click here for more information.

Provider Relief Funding Extension

Although the deadline to initiate a Provider Relief Funding (PRF) application passed on Oct. 26th, some providers have an additional week to complete the application process. Applicants who submitted their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for validation prior to the Oct. 26th deadline now have until Nov. 3rd at 11:59 p.m. to submit a completed application. Providers who submitted their TIN for validation prior to the deadline, and that TIN is later validated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), can take advantage of the application deadline extension. Click here for more information.

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

DOH Issues Updated Nursing Home Testing Guidance

On Oct. 27th, DOH issued DAL NH-21-23 updating its guidance on nursing home COVID-19 testing to align with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance issued on Sept. 10th. Click here for more information.

LeadingAge NY Reminds Members of CDC and DOH Guidance on Antigen Testing

Since the conclusion of the Oct. 28th infection control webinar presented by LeadingAge NY ProCare, we have received multiple questions regarding the appropriateness of the use of Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests in an outbreak situation. Click here for some clarification, including links to CDC and DOH documents related to antigen and molecular testing.

Minor Change in Regulation a Small Win for Providers

The Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) recently met and reviewed various emergency regulations that pertain to LeadingAge NY members. According to DOH, three of the four regulations had no material changes. Click here for more information.

Minor Changes in Daily HERDS Surveys for ACFs and Nursing Homes

Nursing home members surely noticed today, Nov. 2nd, that the monthly personal protective equipment (PPE) reporting was included in the daily Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) survey and will be requested on a monthly basis. Members can still access the PPE data for their organization on the Health Commerce Data Management System (HCDMS).

In addition, the weekly workforce reduction and EO 4 questions were incorporated on today’s survey for both nursing homes and ACFs and will be asked on a weekly basis.

Members are reminded that LeadingAge NY has developed an advocacy letter you can easily send to the Governor, asking for a reduction in the frequency of the HERDS reporting requirements.

Testing Program Resource for NYC ACFs and Nursing Homes

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) wanted to ensure that nursing homes and ACFs are aware of a free COVID-19 testing program that is available to providers located within NYC. Click here for more information.

Affordable Housing/Independent Living Updates

Reminder: CSP Reimbursement Requests Due to HUD by Nov. 19th

Housing members are reminded that COVID-19 Supplemental Payment (CSP) reimbursement requests are due to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by Nov. 19th for expenses incurred through Oct. 31st. Expenditures generally must now be completed for Round IV CSPs to be considered for reimbursement by HUD. Capital expenditures may be completed by March 31st but must have a committed contract or purchase order in place by Oct. 31st. More information about CSPs from LeadingAge National is available here.