COVID-19 Update
June 12, 2020

OPWDD Guidance on Day Service Retainer and CH-R Programs
The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities published several guidance documents on the Day Service Retainer and Community Habilitation-R programs. These guidance documents include:
Mid-Hudson and Long Island Entering Phase Two Reopening
Governor Cuomo announced that the Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island regions have entered phase two of reopening. New York Forward guidance for phase two reopening can be found here.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Announces $15 Billion Relief Fund Payments for Medicaid Providers
Over the past few weeks, The Arc US has diligently worked to ensure that Provider Relief funding be released to Medicaid providers, as was the initial intent of the law. The Provider Relief Fund initially distributed funds to Medicare providers only.  
To be eligible for this funding, health care providers must not have received payments from the $50 billion Provider Relief Fund General Distribution, and must either have directly billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for healthcare-related services between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020. Assisted Living Facilities and other Home and Community Based Services were specifically mentioned as eligible, but additional guidance will be provided as necessary. Applications are due by July 3, 2020.

On June 10, HHS launched an enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal to assist with eligibility reporting. More information about eligibility and the application process is available here and at the links below.
Updated and Consolidated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidance
The CDC has released new and consolidated resources related to individuals with disabilities. Much of the information is familiar and already in-line with previous guidance. 
FEMA Grant Resources
Resources to assist Chapters with the FEMA Grant application process can be found below:  
NYS DOH Special Education Guidance
On June 8, 2020, The New York State Department of Health published " Interim Advisory for In-Person Special Education Services Instruction." This advisory is in response to the June 5, 2020 Executive Order 202.37, which authorized the provision of in-person special education services for the summer term in school districts (including 853, 4201, and 4410 schools). The advisory provides guidance on operating special education services, cleaning, and responding to COVID-19 in schools.

Employee Leasing Agreements
We previously provided template agreements for leasing employees from another provider and also between The Arc New York Chapters. Copies of these agreements are once again being shared again here. 
Executive Order (EO) 202.40 
EO 202.40 extends and modifies Executive Order 202.30 regarding testing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. All nursing homes and all adult care facilities, which are located in regions that have reached phase two of reopening, still must test or make arrangements for the testing of all personnel, including all employees, contract staff, medical staff, operators and administrators, for COVID-19, once per week, rather than twice per week.

Unemployment under the CARES Act for Self-Insured Chapters
As previously communicated, if your Chapter self-insures for unemployment, you are required to pay all unemployment claims in full and then seek reimbursement. We are still waiting for clarity on how the reimbursement process will work. Guidance will be provided once available. 

DOL Finalizes New Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor
On May 27, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published a Final Rule that establishes an alternative "safe harbor" method by which retirement plan administrators can provide participant disclosures and notices electronically. The alternative safe harbor could significantly reduce the costs of providing required disclosures such as summary plan descriptions (SPDs), summaries of material modifications (SMMs), summary annual reports (SARs), notices regarding default investment funds and other disclosures required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Final Rule sanctions a "notice and access" disclosure method, where the administrator notifies the participant by email or text message that an important document is available on a designated website. The Final Rule also permits administrators to send documents to participants directly via email. Additional details can be found here.

Phase Three Reopen Guidance
Beginning today, five regions were given the green light to enter Phase 3 of reopening: Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier. Phase 3 allows indoor restaurant and food services and personal care services to resume. The full guidance and applicable industry details can be found here.
News Coverage of Advocacy for Day Program Reopening 
News 10 covered advocacy efforts to allow for the opening of day programs for people with I/DD. You can view the segment  here.
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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