COVID-19 Update
July 14, 2020

NYSDOH In-Person Instruction Guidance
Yesterday, The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released " Interim Guidance for Instruction for Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools." The guidance follows the release of the reopening framework and guidelines released by The New York State Department of Education (NYSED). We touched on that guidance in our July 13 COVID-19 Update.
The NYSDOH guidance establishes the minimum standards that schools must meet in order for staff and students return in the fall. The guidance also allows schools to mandate additional requirements locally. A more complete set of guidelines with instructions for learning plans is expected to be released on Wednesday.
Federal Health Care Provider Relief Fund Webinar Materials 
On Friday, June 10, at 2 PM, Gerry Archibald, Terry Phillips and Margaret Lally from The Bonadio Group, Al Kaplan from AHRC NYC and Phil Aydinian from the Arc NY participated in a panel discussion of the Federal Health Care Provider Relief Fund. This is the fund that has provided relief monies to certain clinics and other Medicare and Medicaid funded providers. Questions continue to circulate as to what services and revenues are used to calculate the amount which a provider is entitled, what to do if the amount you received is wrong, whether everyone should apply through the portal, what attestations are required, etc. The deadline for applications is July 20. You can find the webinar recording here and the slide deck here.
Provider Association Billing Proposal to OPWDD
Provider Associations conferenced with OPWDD leadership on the impact of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement imposing a hard cap on reimbursement for retainer days at 3 consecutive 30-day periods. OPWDD reported that the 90-day period runs through July 21.
Provider Association representatives developed and presented a proposal to OPWDD that would preserve the flexibility included under the retainer program, and rely on added flexibility provided through revised ADMs to support billing of additional units targeting each provider's average monthly pre-COVID-19 revenue. To supplement any shortfall, it was further proposed that an eMedNY billing code be designated through which ongoing retainer payments could be made that would no longer include federal share. The recommendation was also made that PPA property be reimbursed monthly, at 1/12 the PPA amount, to ensure that property is fully funded. Finally, the proposal included lifting the requirement to retain staff, in the event that average monthly revenue targets cannot be met.
OPWDD committed to quickly evaluating the feasibility of the recommendations and will respond as soon as possible. The Office has also received requests for clarification on the transportation guidance, which is currently undergoing further revision.

Updated Travel Advisory List
Governor Cuomo announced today that four additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. Delaware has been removed. Additional information on this announcement can be found here

Lunch & Learn Series Materials 
Over the last three weeks, the Executive Directors Association's Build for Our Future Team hosted a series of Lunch & Learn webinars addressing three topics that have been identified as program models to consider as alternatives to traditional site-based Day Habilitation. The recordings and slides for the presentations are available below for your reference. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, there is no recording available for the third session, however the slides are provided. We hope everyone enjoyed participating in this series.
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.

Josh Christiana , Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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