COVID-19 Update
June 18, 2020

OPWDD Visitation Guidance
In yesterday's COVID-19 Update, we provided information on the forthcoming Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) visitation guidelines, which would address the Governor's announcement that visitation may resume at OPWDD certified homes on Friday, June 19. This afternoon, OPWDD published the visitation guidelines.
Participation in OPWDD's Visitation Program is optional. Chapters that wish to participate in the program must complete OPWDD's " Attestation of Participation in Interim Visitation Program at OPWDD Certified Residential Facilities" form. Chapters must identify each certified residential site that will be permitting visitation. Participating Chapters must develop or revise visitation policies and procedures consistent with the visitation protocols within the guidance.  Liberty Arc graciously offered a sample visitation policy that incorporates the new parameters established by OPWDD and can serve as a good reference when designing a visitation policy. We will share additional sample policies and procedures as we obtain them. Additionally, families of individuals supported within participating certified residential sites must be notified of the visitation protocols. 
The restrictions on return to home visits, community outings and in-person day services remain in effect. OPWDD is working with the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) to develop guidance towards lifting these restrictions.

OPWDD COVID-19 Impact Data
On today's call with the Provider Association, OPWDD shared data regarding the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to COVID-19 within the service system. The following was shared:
  • 3,041 individuals supported have been confirmed to have COVID-19
  • 3,436 employees have been confirmed to have COVID-19
  • There have been 432 deaths relating to COVID-19, with 90% occurring in the downstate region. 
  • 83% of the deaths involved people 50 years of age or older.
  • This population consisted of 61% men and 39% women.
  • 81% of the deaths included a co-morbidity (e.g., cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, etc.).
OPWDD has not yet supplied more detailed data regarding COVID-19 cases by setting. As a reminder, New York state maintains data on cases by county here

New IRMA Functionality
In May, The Arc New York engaged with OPWDD's Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Quality Improvement (DQI) to raise concerns about inefficiencies in the COVID-19 reporting process. OPWDD agreed to review our concerns and seek modifications to their process and systems. Today, OPWDD modified their Incident Management Reporting Application (IRMA) to allow for searching and identifying staff involved in a COVID-19 Event/Situation in IRMA. OPWDD has published a " cheat sheet" for providers to reference when using this new function.
DQI COVID-19 Activity
OPWDD's Division of Quality Improvement (DQI) implemented a new process for collecting information on provider preparedness for COVID-19 cases, e ffective June 17. DQI staff will be contacting provider facilities that report a positive case of COVID-19 for the first time. DQI's intention is to use this contact as the earliest possible intervention, assisting the provider in identifying any potential inefficiencies in their infection control and prevention practices. This information gather is separate from the DQI Enhanced Oversight process, which includes both on-site visits and desk review of written infection control and prevention policies, procedures, and employee training documentation. OPWDD shared that a request for this documentation does not automatically result in an on-site review. 
Please let us know if you receive notice of an on-site review or experience any challenges with the above DQI processes. 

Community Hab-R Billing and Multiple Day Service Providers
OPWDD released an additional guidance document related to billing and claims submission for the Com Hab-R program intended to provide support for agencies who have individuals who reside in Supervised IRA's and used to receive services in another agency's day program. 

Bonadio Cares Act/PPE Flexibility Webinar June 19
Bonadio is holding a webinar on Friday, June 19 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. to provide the latest updates on Federal stimulus programs eligible for Behavioral Health and OPWDD providers. The webinar will also cover the Federal stimulus announcement for Medicaid HCBS providers described further below. 

As you may know, President Trump signed a new piece of legislation on June 5, known as the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which provides for significant modifications to the original provisions of the PPP Loan Program created by the CARES Act. The webinar will include a thorough review of the significant changes enacted that affect the original PPP Loan Program and other CARES Act stimulus programs. In addition, HHS announced June 9 that $15 billion in additional stimulus funding will be available for Medicaid and CHP providers that did not receive money in earlier general distributions, if the provider had no Medicare reimbursements in 2019. This latest HHS announcement has a deadline of July 20 for submission of necessary information to qualify for the HHS distribution to Medicaid and CHP providers. 

You can register for this free webinar here Registrants will receive a copy of the slide deck and other presentation resource materials. 

More information about these topics can be found at the links below: 
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

This email was sent to:
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