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DOH Hosts Meeting with Associations on LTC Provider Issues

(June 6, 2024) The Department of Health (DOH) covered a wide range of updates in its biweekly long-term care provider association meeting on June 6th

The issues addressed included the following:

  • Hospice in Nursing Homes: DOH will be hosting an educational webinar in the near future for nursing homes and hospice programs regarding their obligations when a patient/resident is receiving hospice services in the nursing home. The webinar is intended to clarify a Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) issued in late 2022 that set forth reporting requirements for hospice programs serving patients who are also receiving Medicaid-covered services from a non-hospice provider. An Intelligence article published after the original issuance of the DAL is available here.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Emergency Preparedness trainings have been posted in the Learning Management System (LMS) on the Health Commerce System (HCS). Providers should ensure that the appropriate staff have the roles needed to access the system.
  • Home Care and Hospice Surveys: DOH will be sharing survey forms for certified home health agency (CHHA), hospice, and licensed home care services agency (LHCSA) providers to assist them in preparing for and complying with current regulation and surveys. DOH will be holding a two-part training on LHCSA surveys. The first session, to be held on June 27th from 1-2 p.m., will launch DOH's LHCSA survey toolkit for compliance. The second session will be held in July and will cover common LHCSA survey deficiencies. LeadingAge NY members should share with us potential training topics they would like the Department to provide.
  • HCS Accounts: Providers are reminded to update their accounts in the HCS. Emergency contacts must include a current direct contact number in case the Department reaches out on an urgent basis, especially on a weekend or evening. 
  • ACF Licensure: The Adult Care Facility (ACF) Streamlining Committee will be meeting on July 10th. An invitation has been sent to selected stakeholders.
  • VAPAP: DOH will be issuing updates to the Vital Access Provider Assurance Program (VAPAP), in light of the cut in VAPAP funding enacted in the State budget.
  • ARPA Funding: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for adult day health care (ADHC) programs and Assisted Living Programs (ALPs) is still being processed by the Department. LeadingAge NY's hope is that they will be announcing the distribution of funds sometime soon. Providers should not make plans to spend their expected ARPA funds until they receive guidance from DOH.
  • Telehealth Guidance: DOH will be issuing clarifications to the telehealth guidance issued in DAL 23-27. Those clarifications will pertain only to home care and hospice services, although the original DAL generally addressed home and community-based services (HCBS) providers, including ACFs and ADHC programs. DOH indicated that ACFs and ADHC programs would be addressed in separate guidance. LeadingAge NY and the Adult Day Health Care Council (ADHCC) continue to advocate for equitable access to telehealth services in all settings.
  • Master Plan for Aging: An advisory report for the Master Plan for Aging (MPA) is to be issued in July. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will be reviewing and prioritizing the recommendations. The interim report due in February is still under review. DOH noted that the Governor's Commission on Health Care and the MPA are coordinated, but operating on two different tracks.
  • Nursing Home Minimum Staffing: DOH stated that the nursing home minimum staffing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) would be updated with modest changes to the penalties chart and posted here. However, the update has not yet been posted as of the publication of this article.

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