Health Care Worker Bonus FAQ Updates Continue
After delaying the close of the second claiming period until Nov. 30th early last week, the State has posted several updates to the Health Care Worker Bonus (HWB) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which serves as a primary source of guidance for the program. The most current FAQs are dated Nov. 4th. Information on the submission extension and a list of FAQs updated Nov. 1st are available here. We remind members that the extension notice explicitly advises that employers document and retain information regarding the reason for any late submission.
In the Nov. 3rd and 4th updates, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified that bonus payments are not subject to the cash receipts assessment and corrected a previous answer to now indicate that “HWB bonus payments must be offset by a qualified employer in compliance with any legally enforceable order against an eligible employee’s wages, which includes the HWB bonus payment.” The previous version of that FAQ had indicated that wage garnishments should not be applied to bonus payments. The updates also clarified certain administrative processes for obtaining payment IDs and portal registration.
FAQs added or posted since Nov. 1st are copied below. We continue to seek answers to outstanding questions and will keep members informed of updates.
Contact: Darius Kirstein, email@example.com, or Diane Darbyshire, firstname.lastname@example.org. Both can be reached at 518-867-8383.
Q: Is the HWB payment subject to the health facility cash receipts assessment (including the nursing home cash assessment)? (NEW 11/3/22)
A. No HWB payments are not subject to the health facility cash receipts assessments.
Q. Should bonus payments be reduced for any wage garnishment liabilities (e.g., for child support)? (REVISED RESPONSE 11/3/22)
A. A previous version of this Q&A indicated that the HWB should not be reduced for any wage garnishment liabilities. This was incorrect. HWB bonus payments must be offset by a qualified employer in compliance with any legally enforceable order against an eligible employee’s wages, which includes the HWB bonus payment.
Q. Should Providers use their MMIS ID to register for the HWB Portal or their SFS Vendor ID? (NEW 11/3/22)
A. Employers who are enrolled to receive payments from eMedNY and meet all other requirements to be eligible for the HWB Program, should utilize their New York State Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) ID to register for the HWB Portal and claim for employees meeting the 20% Medicaid threshold, regardless of the status of their SFS ID. Employers who are not enrolled to receive payments from eMedNY, but meet all other requirements to be eligible for the HWB Program, should utilize their State Fiscal System (SFS) Vendor ID should refer to FAQ’s below. A brief video on registration is available here.
Q. Should I use an SFS ID to register on the HWB Portal? (REVISED RESPONSE 11/3/22)
A. If you are seeking to claim bonuses for eligible staff employed in programs that provide Medicaid services funded by: the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for the Aging, and Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) you should utilize your Medicaid Management Information System number (MMIS ID) to submit claims for Medicaid services.
However, you should utilize your SFS ID to submit claims for eligible staff employed in programs that provide non-Medicaid services, or if you don’t have a MMIS ID.
If you are not funded through the above agencies, you should utilize your Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS ID) number. You can verify your MMIS is active by calling the eMedNY Call Center at (800) 343-9000. Call center representatives are available from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.
Please note that the education and state operated facility portion of the bonus program will rollout in Fall. If the above scenarios do not apply to you, you are likely not an eligible employer according to Part ZZ of Chapter 56 of the Law of 2022.
Q. I operate under Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), how do I obtain my SFS ID? (REVISED RESPONSE 11/3/22)
A. All OPWDD providers who receive payments other than Medicaid from NYS already have a Statewide Financial System (SFS) Vendor ID#. This is required for your agency to access SFS and receive payments. If you would like to confirm your SFS Vendor ID#, please contact email@example.com. Please use MH Worker Bonus in the subject of the email to ensure a timely response.
If you deliver non-Medicaid supports and services and don’t already have an SFS Vendor ID#, you can obtain one by completing the New York State Substitute W-9 Form. Once completed please double check that the legal name and TIN fields are accurate, as discrepancies in these fields will cause processing delays. After you double check the information in the form, please send the signed form to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. Processing the form in the system should take about a week, and then you will receive your SFS username and password by email. If you do not receive an email within 7 business days, please check your junk folder, and if it is not there, please contact email@example.com for a status update.
After the login information is received, SFS functions as a self-service portal where banking information, additional users and additional addresses can be added. For information on the self-service functionality, please see the SFS vendor page found at: https://www.sfs.ny.gov/index.php/vendors or contact the SFS vendor page found at: https://www.sfs.ny.gov/index.php/vendors or contact the SFS helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 457-7717 or (855) 233-8363 toll-free.
Q. Are guidance counselors eligible for the bonus? (REVISED RESPONSE 11/4/22)
A. Guidance Counselor as listed in the Consolidated Fiscal Report (CFR) is not an eligible title. Guidance counselors may be eligible for the bonus if they are working in the capacity of another title on the list of eligible titles as defined in the CFR during the applicable vesting period, so long as they meet all other eligibility criteria including appropriate licensure. Employers should select the applicable title from the list of eligible titles for employees working in this capacity.