November 2, 2020
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Updated revised guidance
DQI hosting webinar on COVID-19 Proactive Testing and IRMA Entry, OPWDD Revised Guidance
Please note: On October 30, OPWDD issued Revised-IRMA Entry of Proactive COVID-19 Coronavirus Testing Data to accompany the webinar information. This post reflects that change.
As noted at the DQI Fall 2020 Provider Training on October 21, OPWDD will be requiring agencies to enter information on the proactive testing of individuals and staff into the Incident Report and Management Application (IRMA). 
This change will be in effect in IRMA on Monday, November 02. 
In addition, OPWDD is providing written instructions for IRMA Entry of Proactive COVID-19 Coronavirus Testing Data. Click here for IRMA proactive entry information. 
On Monday, November 09, 1-3 p.m., The Division of Quality Improvement will be hosting COVID-19 Proactive Testing Reporting and IRMA Entry and OPWDD Revised Guidance.
This event will be conducted using a WebEx webinar format. Click here to register.
  • Event number: 171 343 5760
  • Event password: DQI123
Once registered, you will receive an approval email with a link to “Join event” and information for the audio portion.
Family Support Services meeting Wednesday, November 4
The next public meeting of the Family Support Services Quarterly Committee will be held November 4, 2020 at 2 p.m. via WebEx.
Nineteen local FSS Advisory Councils made up of individuals with developmental disabilities and family members plan, coordinate and monitor the delivery of FSS across the state. In addition, a Statewide FSS Committee made up of one representative from each of the nineteen local FSS Advisory Councils advises OPWDD regarding families’ support needs and the design, implementation and monitoring of FSS.
American Sign Language interpreters will be made available for this meeting. Each participant can choose who appears in their thumbnail videos by “pinning” them to their screen in order to see them clearly. See directions on how to do that here.
Protect your agency from ransomware
Ransomware is on the rise!
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that encrypts a victim's files. The attacker then demands payment for the victim to regain access to them. In addition to the massive interruption to operations this would cause, the protected health information that could be released by the attackers could lead to large fines.
One Affiliate has taken the following approach which you might consider:
  1. Reiterating to staff the risks of attachments and links in emails. Don't click on them unless you are sure they are legitimate. This is being done via emails to staff and a required online training.
  2. Review/revamp all existing security protocols: firewalls, spam detection, password strength, password update requirements, dual authentication implementation, hiring a company to review security protocols, system backups, etc.
  3. Create a ransomware disaster plan. What will you do if your system including your email system is locked down? How would you communicate with staff and public?
DOH issues EVV overview
DOH has issued communication regarding the Electronic Visit Verification Program which provides an overview of the NYS EVV Program, providers that are subject to EVV, program and policy requirements, technical system requirements, and steps on how to begin working with NYSDOH.  
The EVV provider community is also advised to monitor the NYS EVV Website and the EVV Listserv for additional EVV guidance. To receive email updates on EVV in New York State, please subscribe by emailing the address: Please be sure to include the following in the body of your email sign-up request: SUBSCRIBE EVV-L YourFirstName YourLastName 
If you have any EVV related questions, please email  
Clarifying guidance regarding OPWDD Housing Subsidy
Please see the clarifying guidance regarding initial and annual documents required for the OPWDD Housing Subsidy in the document below.
The QA checklist should be completed in-person to the greatest extent possible. For annual housing subsidy reviews due beginning October 20, 2020, the QA checklist may be completed virtually during the COVID-19 public health emergency, but only in areas designated as red or orange “hot spots” by the DOH. If a QA checklist is completed virtually, an in-person visit should occur by the end of the month after the “hot spot” designation is lifted, but must be completed no later than 6 months after the date of the virtual QA checklist completion.
Questions regarding this document can be sent to the OPWDD Home and Community Living unit at
Interim guidance regarding visitation at Certified Supportive Residential Facilities
On June 18, 2020 OPWDD issued COVID -19: Interim Visitation Guidance for Certified Residential Facilities. In recognition of the distinct differences in staffing and operation of residences not providing 24-hour support (aka “supportive” residences), this guidance is provided to ensure individuals living in these homes can enjoy visitation safely and with consideration of possible risks and needed precautions. The guidance applies to residences certified as a Supportive Community Residence, and any Small or Large Individualized Residential Alternative that provides less than 24-hour staff support.