COVID-19 Update
September 30, 2020

NYS Travel Advisory Update
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo announced the addition of Colorado to the travel advisory. Arizona, Illinois and Virginia were removed from the list. Chapters should continue to review the list and advise employees of the current designated states. The current list can be found here.
Wage Theft Prevention Act: Hazard Pay Concerns
Please be aware of the implications of the Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) as you issue hazard pay, shift stipends, or any other methods of extraordinary pay during the COVID health emergency. WTPA requires that wages be specifically and clearly recorded on each pay stub, including:  
  • Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay (if it applies)
  • How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week, commission, etc.
  • Regular payday
  • Official name of the employer and any other names used for business (DBA)
  • Address and phone number of the employer's main office or principal location
  • Allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (tips, meal and lodging deductions)
Each Chapter's payroll system has different functionality, and each Chapter needs to ensure that wages are being identified on each pay stub in accordance with the level of detail required by the WTPA.  
Residential Habilitation Billing Guidance 
Given the anticipated October 1, 2020, reimbursement cut and unit cap to Therapy Leave Days, we decided to closely re-examine the criteria for billing IRA Days when families take their loved ones for the weekend or longer. Many initially believed that the individual must be in the IRA at 11:59 p.m. to bill for that day of service. We no longer believe that this is accurate, and we feel very confident that the documentation from the state supports our views for greater flexibility.

We have reviewed the ADM, regulation, FAQ and other guidance on IRA Residential Habilitation billing. It is the interpretation of The Arc New York that days an individual is taken by family or loved ones can definitely be billed as service days when:
  • lodging was provided the previous night into the morning of the day in question; 
  • Residential Habilitation service was provided on the day in question by IRA staff and properly documented, and 
  • the individual was in the care of IRA staff at census taking time, which the chapter can establish via policy. 
Further, we believe that you could bill on any day that the individual is home with family as long as services are provided by IRA staff in the family home and documented appropriately. The ADM allows for remote IRA service provision. 
We recommend that Chapters revise their policies and procedures to specify a census taking time that will allow the greatest flexibility for IRA billing. For example, if the Chapter determines that census taking will occur each evening at 6 p.m., then individuals should not leave to visit with family before 6 p.m. on Friday evening and would need to return on Sunday prior to 6 p.m. in order for the chapter to bill for Friday and Sunday as service days.  You should analyze the schedule needs of families who utilize Therapy Leave days to identify an ideal census taking time.
We are working to get OPWDD to repeal the outdated census taking requirement but we do not see the continued existence of such to be a barrier, just a nuisance.

This and all related updates will be cataloged on The Arc New York COVID-19 Resource Page for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.

Erik GeizerDeputy Executive Director & Corporate Compliance Officer
Josh Christiana, Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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