COVID-19 Update on July 10, 2020
OPWDD COVID-19 Data
On Thursday, July 9, The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (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:
- 3,161 individuals supported have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
- 2,556 of the cases were in certified residential facilities.
- There have been 440 deaths relating to COVID-19.
- 3,679 staff have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
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.
OPWDD On-Demand SNAP Training Course
OPWDD's Revenue Support has developed an on-demand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) course, which is available in SLMS to meet the need for more frequent SNAP trainings. SNAP can be found in the SLMS under class code OPWDD-EL-SNAP. Click here to enroll. You will be prompted to sign in to the SLMS.
For detailed instructions on how to access the SLMS, visit the SLMS Reference page on the OPWDD website. If you have any questions about using the SLMS, please contact Talent Development and Training at email@example.com.
Please forward this email to anyone who may be interested in learning more about SNAP.
AHRC Suffolk COVID-19 Policy and Procedure Binder Sample
In response to OPWDD's increasing COVID-19 Prevention and Control Review of OPWDD Certified Residences, several Chapters have developed audit preparation materials. AHRC Suffolk developed a COVID-19 policy and procedure binder. The Chapter provides a copy to each IRA and ICF. The binder is used to educate staff on agency and OPWDD protocols in preparation for any audits. The binder also includes some useful nursing services documents. The Chapter has recently experienced some OPWDD surveys and the outcomes were very positive. Having the protocols available to staff certainly helped the Chapter obtain these positive outcomes.
This document is best used as a reference for how you might establish your own binder. Chapters should not simply adopt the contents of this document, as OPWDD's health advisories and protocols are frequently updated and some of the material included may have changed.
We very much appreciate the AHRC Suffolk Chapter sharing this information.
NYSDOH EVV Technical Assistance Call
On Tuesday, July 14, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) will be holding an Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) technical assistance call. Registration for the call can be completed here.
NYSDOH maintains a schedule of these calls as well as FAQs 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.
Impact on COVID-19 for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in NYS
OPWDD Data Update for June 26, 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
Howie Ganter held a virtual Town Hall for family members on 6/17/20. Video of the open forum is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1IX8OEKPBc.
Call to Action: Oppose OPWDD Cuts by July 1st!
Write the Governor and OPWDD to Avoid Drastic Cuts in Funding
On May 27, 2020, the Department of Health published a public notice in the New York State Register announcing proposed cuts in reimbursement for IRA and ICF residential programs by eliminating the occupancy adjustment resulting from vacancies and slashing reimbursement by 50% for retainer days when residents are in the hospital or are taking therapeutic leave days for family visits. Finally, after cutting reimbursement by 50% for leave days, the proposal also would impose an annual “cap” of 96 days of therapeutic leave days, after which reimbursement would be reduced to zero.
Ostensibly, this is being done to save taxpayers from paying for “empty beds,” which implies services aren’t delivered. But you know these are not empty beds, they are the homes that our loved ones return to, and you know that service doesn’t stop simply because they’re not in their bed.
If you would like to write your own letter in opposition to the vacancy rate cuts, we have provided some context below for how the proposed cuts would affect service to people with I/DD.
Tips for Writing Your Letter
Say why you are writing and who you are. List your credentials, your relationship to the I/DD field, and state that you are a constituent. It also doesn't hurt to mention if you voted for or donated to them.
Tell your elected official why this legislation matters to you and the people you know. If you have one, include a personal story that shows how this issue affects you and your family.
Be emotional and factual
Provide detail without exaggeration about how the vacancy rate cuts would affect you and others.
Close with a request
Close by requesting the action you want to be taken. Ask that the state do away with cuts to the vacancy rates and find savings elsewhere.
The proposed vacancy rate cuts in reimbursement for IRA and ICF residential programs would:
- Take about $200 million every year from our loved ones with I/DD.
- The proposed cuts will severely limit funding for individuals simply because they require hospitalization due to medical or psychiatric illness or choose to take a therapeutic leave to spend time with family members.
- Reduce reimbursement by as much as 7.5% for certain residential programs with significant vacancies, including vacancies due to deaths from COVID-19.
- Disproportionately harm individuals with serious medical or psychiatric conditions, as they spend more time away from a residence and therefore create more “empty beds.”
- Drastically cut funding to providers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, after providers were seemingly abandoned to the point of having to purchase their own personal protective equipment.
- Come at a time when voluntary providers are already owed funding from the state. The proposed cuts will directly offset rate enhancements previously provided by the NYS Legislature in 2019. The Legislature approved two 2% salary enhancements for direct care and clinical staff working in OPWDD residential programs – one increase to be implemented on January 1, 2020, and the second on April 1, 2020. Neither has been implemented as of this date but remain “under review” with the Division of the Budget.
Where to Send Your Letter
OPWDD Commissioner Dr. Theodore Kastner
Written comments on the proposed cuts will be accepted from June 1, 2020 through July 1, 2020 and may be submitted by mail to:
OPWDD, Division of Policy and Program Development
44 Holland Ave
Albany, NY 12229
or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Mail: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Submit a message online at https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
Please share your voice! Contact your legislators and let them know that you oppose these funding cuts!
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY:
Assemblyman Billy Jones
115th Assembly District
Legislative Office Building 551
Albany, NY 12248
202 U.S. Oval
Plattsburgh, NY 12903
Assemblyman Mark Walczyk
116th Assembly District
Legislative Office Building 940
Albany, NY 12248
Jefferson County District Office
Dulles State Office Building, Suite 210
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13601
St. Lawrence County District Office
3 Remington Ave, Suite 1
Canton, NY 13617
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush
117th Assembly District
Legislative Office Building 322
Albany, NY 12248
15 Bridge Street
West Carthage, NY 13619
NEW YORK STATE SENATE:
Senator Elizabeth "Betty" Little
NYS Senate District 45
188 State Street
Legislative Office Building 711B
Albany, New York 12247
5 Warren Street Suite 3
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Senator Patty Ritchie
48th Senate District
Legislative Office Building 302
Albany, NY 12247
330 Ford St.
Ogdensburg, NY 13669
Dulles State Office Building, Room 418
Watertown, NY 13601
Impact on COVID-19 for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in NYS:
As of June 17th
- Covid-19 positive cases – 3,041
- Covid-19 deaths - 432
- Distribution around geography, gender, age, and co-morbidities remain constant from 6/10.
- Staff: Covid-19 positive cases – 3,436
- Individuals: Covid-19 positive cases – 2,959
- Individuals: Covid-19 deaths - 427
- 90% of deaths occurring in downstate region – NYC/Rockland/Westchester/Orange/Nassau/Suffolk
- 83% were 50 years of age or older
- 61% men
- 39% women
- 80% of deaths had a comorbidity diagnosis
- Staff: Covid-19 positive cases – 3,148
OPWDD Visitation Guidance 06182020
Journal of ID Report on Serving People During the Pandemic
Click here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jir.12740 to review The Journal of Intellectual Disability's abstract on serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities during the first 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic.