powered by LeadingAge New York
  1. Home
  2. » Providers
  3. » Home and Community-Based Services
  4. » LHCSA
  5. » LeadingAge NY Advocates for Passive Screening Guidance for Home Care Staff

LeadingAge NY Advocates for Passive Screening Guidance for Home Care Staff

LeadingAge NY, along with our colleagues at the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA), recently asked new Department of Health (DOH) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Division Director Dr. Thomas Bathrick for flexibility for home care providers on daily COVID-19 staff screening requirements.

The request follows the recent DOH guidance issued on the March 17, 2023 Health Advisory that rescinded active COVID-19 screening for nursing home visitors and staff.

LeadingAge NY asked the Department to revise the August 2022 guidance that modified the twice-daily screening requirements for home care and hospice staff upon arriving at work to screening only once a day for COVID-19, and to adopt a passive screening policy for home care and hospice staff. With DOH allowing other provider types to relax their practices, a more passive approach for home care should be adopted, relying on staff to monitor symptoms on their own and report if symptoms arise. We suggested the following policy:

The Department recommends that home care and hospice providers continue to conduct passive screening, including education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, and other applicable practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask; and hand hygiene) and require home care workers to contact the agency if they develop symptoms during the workday and immediately cease patient visitation. Facilities that choose to continue active staff screening may do so at their discretion.

The August 2022 guidance also mandates masks, a requirement that appears to be superseded by Feb. 10, 2023 guidance for health care personnel, including Article 36 agencies.

LeadingAge NY will inform members when the current guidance is updated.

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