DOH Provider Meeting Update

Nancy Leveille in Clinical & Quality

This afternoon we had a conference call with the Governor’s and DOH staff. Below is a summary of key issues discussed:

  1. Resident testing: DOH will be testing all residents in SNF across the state over the next 2 weeks. They will have the local DOH, Contractors, or assistance from Providers to complete this task by June 7, 2020. DOH will communicate the date and method of testing ahead of time with the provider. Testing will be conducted over the weekend as needed. SNF will need to provide DOH with resident information prior to the testing date and DOH will supply the PPE and supplies for the testing. This is part of the recovery process to reopen SNF. ACF will have testing continued, but not at the same full level of SNF during this time. Residents have a right to refuse but encourage providers to assist with education of the necessity of testing to assist in reopening the SNF. Residents who are not tested may need to be quarantined for 14 days, but DOH will affirm in their FAQs.
  2. Contact Tracing: There will be no contact tracing for residents at this time, just staff who test positive.
  3. DOH Surveillance Staff testing: As of today, the DOH staff conducting any surveys in SNF/ACF will have been tested prior to conducting those surveys. Providers have the right to screen them as they do their SNF/ACF staff directed by the Governor’s EO. If they pass the screen and they have had a COVID test, they can come in and conduct their survey. Test outcomes are protected by HIPAA. If they test positive, DOH will not allow them to survey.
  4. HERDS Surveys and Certificates of Compliance: DOH is compiling the data from the last survey and the Certificates of Compliance. All is not completed yet. However, they noted that if a provider could not Certify  that they complied to testing staff as directed due to the cost involved, this will be an issue of their compliance plan as SNF and ACF are responsible to have staff tested per the EO regardless of cost or reimbursement issues. We noted there have been other issues related to testing: i.e. labs not cooperating, and those issues have been forwarded to them.
  5. Staff Testing Positive: We discussed many of our members’ questions related to employees having been positive, furloughed for 14 days and returning to work after a negative test only to test positive with the twice a week testing. They did not have an answer if they needed a 2nd full 14-day furlough but would get that answer as soon as possible. NYSHFA/NYSCAL is further exploring this issue and will post any updates as soon as we receive them.


Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Director, Special Projects and Educational Development
518-462-4800 x20