Emergency Preparedness Resources for Home Care

News Archives

HCA to Hold Free April Programs on Emergency Preparedness: Register Today

March 24, 2014

Amid a particularly intense winter — and following recent large-scale weather disasters like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene — emergency-preparedness issues remain at the forefront of state policy-making.

Such issues have also long been a vital part of HCA’s engagement with providers and state officials, given the unique role of home care in emergency response. These issues have risen to even greater prominence in the current post-Sandy state policy environment, which has prompted many new developments affecting home care.Starting in April, HCA will hold a series of regional emergency preparedness meetings for home care providers across the state to focus on a range of critical topics.

HCA is pleased to report that legislation we have written to grant “Essential Personnel” status to home health and hospice care personnel and their vehicles has been introduced in both houses of the State Legislature (A.6530/S.4719).

Under state laws, governing officials may impose curfews and other access restrictions during times of declared emergency, but may grant exceptions for “essential personnel.”  The types of responders granted that status are commonly police, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel — a status which, to date, has not subsumed home health and hospice personnel.

With more and more of the health care system shifting to community-based care, and with large and increasing numbers of medically or functionally needy individuals receiving care at home, the health and safety imperative to ensure access to home health and hospice personnel during crises is inarguable.

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Assembly Advocacy Needed as Essential Personnel Bill Passes Senate

June 18, 2013

This is the last scheduled week of the state’s legislative session. It’s also the last opportunity to push for vital home care measures, including bills to provide regulatory relief and home care program sustainability in the transition to managed care as well as legislation to support the emergency response role of home care providers.

This latter proposal — the home care ‘essential personnel’ bill (S.4719) — was passed unanimously in the Senate late yesterday (by a margin of 62 to 0) but has yet to pass the Assembly, where the bill (A.6530) is currently held in the Government Operations Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Steven Englebright.

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Governor Issues Executive Order with Further Regulatory Relief for Hurricane-affected Health Providers

November 14, 2012

Governor Cuomo has issued Executive Order No. 72 that provides further relief to home care and other health care providers affected by Hurricane Sandy. This order follows numerous discussions held by HCA and the state Department of Health (DOH) on ways to provide regulatory relief to home care agencies adversely impacted by the hurricane.

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Update on Post-Sandy Regulatory Waivers and Home Care Access to Cash Assistance

November 12, 2012

The state Department of Health (DOH) today issued a new Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) to home care providers affected by Hurricane Sandy indicating areas of regulatory flexibility approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the 1135 waiver. Meanwhile, HCA has also today secured confirmation that DOH is developing an HCA-sought process for providers affected by the hurricane to obtain much-needed financial assistance.

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Governor Issues Executive Order Authorizing Home Care Service Flexibility

November 6, 2012

Governor Cuomo has issued Executive Order No. 47 “temporarily suspending and modifying” certain regulatory provisions in home care due to the state of emergency caused by Hurricane Sandy.

HCA has been working nonstop with the Department to identify areas for urgent regulatory flexibility for home care providers, including and beyond the areas addressed in this newest Order, the progress on which is needed and appreciated.

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HCA To Hold Statewide Conference Call for Home Care Providers on Hurricane

November 3, 2012

The Home Care Association of New York State will be holding a conference call on Monday, November 5, to update home care providers on our efforts to obtain regulatory relief and other issues. The call will take place from 11 a.m. to noon. To register, please fill out the form at the link here and dial-in information will be sent to you on Monday morning. To read the latest updates, please see HCA’s November 2 edition of our newsletter which has extensive coverage about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Waiver Areas and Other Updates on: DOH Surveys, Assistance from Massachusetts Providers, and Food Distribution Locations

November 1, 2012

HCA late this afternoon participated in a conference call by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is engaged in further outreach with state Department of Health (DOH) officials on areas of regulatory flexibility for home care providers affected by Hurricane Sandy.

HCA also confirmed procedures for completion of a survey that DOH has asked providers to complete as soon as possible. (A PDF link to this survey is available on HCA’s website here.)

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Hurricane Sandy Updates: Health Professionals Needed in NYC Shelters, Bus Service Soon Restored, Share Your Story

October 30, 2012

HCA wanted to share a few updates we have received late today from city officials and the Home Based Care Alliance.

Please circulate these messages to your clinical staff in particular, as this Alert concerns the need for health professionals in City shelters and transportation issues.

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Hurricane Sandy Update: Two New Notices on Provision of Services in Shelters and Authorization, Eligibility Verification

October 29, 2012

The state Department of Health has issued two General Information System (GIS) notices to local social service district officials regarding the provision of home care services in shelters and implementation of specific authorization and eligibility verification processes during the state of emergency caused by Hurricane Sandy.

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DOH Issues Hurricane Instructions

October 28, 2012

The state Department of Health has issued important instructions to prepare providers for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy. Those instructions, including information about an important DOH conference call at 11:30 a.m. today, are provided in this HCA E-alert. Please read this important information.

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