COVID-19 Update
April 9, 2020

New York Times Story
The New York Times' published a powerful story, " It's Hit Our Front Door: Homes for the Disabled See a Surge of COVID-19,"  explores the challenges faced by providers of supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis, and the dedication of our front-line staff. This coverage continues to further discussions with the state about needed support for the field, our staff and the people we support. 

SEMP Not Covered Under Appendix K Waiver
OPWDD reported that Supported Employment (SEMP) is not covered under the Appendix K Waiver. This means providers cannot bill retainer days for SEMP programs. The Arc New York is developing proposals for possible billing flexibilities or other solutions to make up for lost revenue during the closure period and sustain this essential program. The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation is also holding a call tomorrow morning for SEMP Supervisors to discuss ideas for providing and billing for SEMP during the COVID-19 crisis. 

NYSDOH Health Advisory Update: LHD Contact Investigations
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has published an updated health advisory pertaining to Local Health Department (LHD) contact investigation practices. Based on recent studies and increasing concern over pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19, NYSDOH is recommending adjustments to contact tracing time frames for confirmed, suspected, and asymptomatic positive cases. This may lead to changes in information requests from the LHDs. Chapters should read the health advisory carefully so they can anticipate what contact information LHDs might ask for.

NYSDOH Health Advisory: Cloth Face Coverings
Following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NYSDOH has published a health advisory on the use of cloth face coverings. The advisory reinforces the CDC recommendations of wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 

Updated ESD Guidance On Essential Businesses
Empire State Development (ESD) updated its formal guidelines regarding essential businesses as of April 9, 2020. Executive Order 202.8 required non-essential businesses in New York State to reduce their onsite workforce by 100%. Only organizations and entities that were deemed essential by the Executive Order are exempt from these restrictions. The Arc New York Chapters remain exempt under the updated guidelines, however employees should continue to work remotely whenever possible. 
Care Coordination Organization Emergency Contact Information
The seven Care Coordination Organizations have provided a listing of contact numbers that Chapters may use. The contact information is as follows:
  • Advanced Care Alliance: 1-833-692-2269 (or  833-MY-ACANY)
  • Care Design NY:1-877-855-3673
  • LIFEPlan CCO: 1-866-946-9733
  • Person Centered Services: 1-716-392-4812
  • Prime Care Coordination: 1-844-347-3168
  • Southern Tier Connect: 1-607-376-7526 x101 (After hours extension option)
  • Tri-County Care: 1-844-504-8400
Updated Guidance for the Authorization of Community Based Long-Term Services and Supports Covered by Medicaid
NYSDOH published an update to guidance issued on March 18, 2020. The guidance clarifies Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS) authorization, options for obtaining a medical examination and initial and recurring Community Health Assessment (CHA) requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. More information on CDPAS can be found here.

Executive Order 202.15
Governor Cuomo issued Executive Oder 202.15 today. The new order does not appear to substantially impact the operation of OPWDD providers during the public health emergency. We will continue to review this and future Executive Orders for any provisions relating to the field. 

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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