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DOH Issues DAL Regarding Closure Process for Local Health Department LHCSAs

(July 2, 2024) The Department of Health (DOH) issued a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) on July 2nd relating to closure procedures for a local health department’s (LHD) licensed home care services agency (LHCSA). The guidance provides the option for LHD LHCSAs to relinquish their license upon choosing to provide only core public health services in the home that require minimal contact.

Effective Feb. 7, 2024, Public Health Law (PHL) Article 36 was amended to allow LHDs to relinquish their Article 36 licenses while still attending to their core public health functions. Chapter 36 of the Laws of 2024 added PHL Section 3605(1-A) and (1-B), which provide:

(A) Core public health services, as defined in [PHL Section 602], when provided in the home by the local health department of a county or of the city of New York, shall not require licensure under [PHL Section 3605] if such core public services require only minimal patient contact. Patient contact shall be considered minimal if it is of limited duration for acute or non-chronic conditions, including but not limited to any health conditions posing a potential threat to public health, and treatment is generally expected to require no more than six patient visits; provided, however, that a local health department may exceed six visits in the interest of patient safety and public health.

(B) Core public health services that may be provided without a license pursuant to [PHL Section 3605(1-B)] include, but are not limited to: immunizations; testing for tuberculosis and observation of tuberculosis self-directed therapy; verbal assessment, counseling and referral services; and such other services as may be determined by the Department, provided that such services shall not include home health aide services, personal care services, or nursing services that require more than minimal patient contact. 

The DAL provides the parameters for this change in licensure for LHD LHCSAs, as well as sets for the process for relinquishing a license. The law and DAL also set forth a process for referral to a traditional LHCSA if services require more than six visits or additional non-public health services are required.

Please feel free to contact LeadingAge NY with any questions you may have.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871