COVID-19 Update
June 29, 2020

OPWDD COVID-19 Weekly Data
On Thursday, June 25, The Office for Persons With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) shared their latest COVID-19 Impact data with the Provider Association. The summary they shared is below and current through June 24, 2020.
  • 3,077 total infections to date
  • 2,492 of those infections can be attributed to individuals residing in OPWDD certified residential settings
  • 437 Fatalities
  • 90% of deaths are located in the downstate region (NYC, LI, Rockland, Putnam, Westchester, Orange, Nassau, Suffolk)
  • 83% of deaths are attributed to individuals that are 50 or older 
  • 61% of deaths are men 
  • 80% of those who have passed away also had one or more comorbidities (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, dementia, cancer, etc...)
  • 3,547 staff infections to date
Rensselaer Family and Community Supports Visitor Screening Sample Policy
As promised, we continue to collect and distribute sample policies and procedures developed by Arc Chapters to address the OPWDD visitation guidelines. The Arc of Rensselaer County provided us with a thorough " Family and Community Supports Visitor Screening" policy. The policy addresses the screening and visitation process, includes an IRA visitation planning form, and a form to document the justification in determining that visitation is not appropriate. We thank The Arc of Rensselaer County for their willingness to share this sample and assisting The Arc New York Chapters.

Managed Care and the I/DD Community 
On Friday, we shared comments submitted to OPWDD by The Arc New York on the   Specialized I/DD Plans-Provider Lead (SIPs-PL) draft document.  Since perspectives on managed care differ from one organization to another, we wanted to share other viewpoints that are part of the conversation. The views expressed below are not necessarily those of The Arc New York: 
We will continue to share other perspectives and additional information on this critical issue as it becomes available.

Lawmakers Urge Governor, OPWDD to Rescind Proposed Cuts 
The Arc New York also sent a letter to OPWDD on Friday, reacting to proposed rate cuts in the 1915(c) Comprehensive Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver amendments. Families and advocates have made over 8,500 connections with lawmakers from across the state opposing these cuts through our online advocacy platform.

In response to comments from families and providers in their districts, State Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) have called on Governor Cuomo to rescind the proposed cuts in a letter and press statement Thursday. 

A dozen state Senators also signed onto a letter submitted today by Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) to OPWDD Commissioner Kastner, urging the office to reverse the proposed cuts to the voluntary sector. 

If you have knowledge of similar actions taken by your representatives, please let us know so we can track accordingly.

Electronic Visit Verification Update
In April, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) notified the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) of their selection of the Choice Model for implementing electronic visits verification (EVV). The NYSDOH notification to CMS can be viewed hereWe recently reached out to OPWDD to seek update on EVV. OPWDD provided the following update.
OPWDD has identified Community Habilitation and In Home Respite as OPWDD services that meet the Federal EVV inclusion requirements. At this point, DOH has announced the "Choice" model for EVV implementation, but the State's program inclusion/exclusion has not changed. As DOH is New York State's lead agency on EVV, all program updates are posted here, as well as the availability to register for the online Technical Assistance Webinars.  Also of note to providers is the NYS MMIS Interface Control Document (ICD) at this link, which details the EVV data Aggregator. The ICD lays out the technical plans for submitter/State interface.
The Arc New York will continue to update Chapters with information regarding EVV implementation as it becomes available. Please see NYSDOH's EVV Resource Library.

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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