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Nursing Home PPE Deficiency Letters Raise Concerns

Many nursing homes received notices on Dec. 2nd indicating that their facility was out of compliance with the regulation requiring a sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) inventory to meet the needs of facility personnel. The notice was not customized to individual facilities and did not specify the items that had fallen below required levels or the extent of the shortfall. It provided affected facilities with seven days to come into compliance and threatened penalties of up to $10,000 per day for inadequate supplies and additional penalties for false certifications.

LeadingAge NY and other associations participated in a call with Department of Health (DOH) and Governor's Office staff to learn more about the deficiency determination process and the process for coming into compliance. The Department indicated that deficiencies were based on the PPE burn rates reported by facilities during the week of April 19-27, 2020 and inventories reported on or about Sept. 30th. They stated that facilities that have a sufficient inventory based on the April burn rate would be in compliance if they reported the appropriate PPE numbers on their upcoming Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) daily surveys.

We asked the Department to supply facilities with the data used to determine the deficiency, and those data were supplied to facilities the following day. We also explained to DOH and Governor's Office staff the problems associated with using an April burn rate to assess the sufficiency of current inventory under current conditions. We are continuing to press them to rely on a more current burn rate to assess compliance.

In the meantime, facilities are encouraged to use the greater of their current burn rate or the April 19th-27th burn rate to calculate the amount of PPE necessary to comply with regulatory requirements. The regulation on the PPE stockpile requirements is available here.

Nursing homes in New York City (NYC) that are not able to reach required PPE levels should contact NYC's PPE stockpile for support here.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8838