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April 10, 2020 News Headlines

COVID-19 in New York: How we’re responding and how you can help

New York’s hospitals and health systems are urgently responding to the evolving coronavirus outbreak. Read our latest blog post to see how HANYS, allied associations and our members are responding to COVID-19 and what you can do to help.

Update on COVID-19 response

HANYS continues to work around the clock to support our members’ efforts, including on a variety of issues related to workforce, emergency funding, supplies, telehealth and more. 


State response       

On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.14, which includes a provision to allow for recent medical school graduates from accredited programs, who have been accepted for a residency, to begin practicing under the supervision of a physician. It also includes authority for DOH to shift urgently needed supplies held in inventory of any entity in the state to areas where there is immediate need. In collaboration with Gov. Cuomo, HANYS and our allied association partners coordinated a voluntary effort to redeploy available ventilators to regions where they are needed. We thank our members for their continued collaboration, and we thank the governor for his partnership in this effort. Gov. Cuomo also issued Executive Order No. 202.15 on Thursday, which included several additional key workforce and pharmacy-related waivers, including allowing reciprocity for out-of-state respiratory therapy technicians and funeral directors licensed and in current good standing in another state. The order also allows for out-of-state manufacturers, repackers or wholesalers of prescription drugs or devices to deliver to New York.


After extensive advocacy by HANYS, our allied regional associations and other stakeholder groups, a dozen major insurance plans in the state with Medicare Advantage products will help reduce the administrative burden on hospitals during this time of unprecedented strain by following the regulatory changes put forth in DFS Circular Letter No. 8. The DFS letter suspends a number of administrative requirements for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, including certain utilization review and emergency admission notification requirements for healthcare providers. Previously, these changes had only applied to insurance products regulated by the state.


Federal response

HHS began making its first round of payments to providers from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency fund today. HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD, issued the following statement in response:


“HANYS appreciates that desperately needed funding has begun to flow to New York’s hospitals and other healthcare providers. However, we strongly oppose how these funds were allocated. HHS’ methodology did nothing to prioritize support for COVID-19 hot spots like New York, and it leaves behind hospitals that serve higher shares of Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, uninsured and pediatric patient populations.


New York hospitals and health systems are in the thick of a tremendous battle against COVID-19, and they need federal support to continue their fight. HANYS urges HHS to direct additional emergency relief to New York hospitals as quickly as possible.”


Earlier this week, CMS released nearly $34B in Medicare Advanced/Accelerated Payments to hospitals to assist hospitals with cash flow issues. Also this week, HANYS, Greater New York Hospital Association and pharmacy groups contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to urge the immediate release of critical medications from the Strategic National Stockpile, in response to reports of critical drug shortages throughout the state.


Additionally, Republican members of the New York congressional delegation sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging the administration to reconsider moving forward with its proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation. The proposal would restrict the use of existing legal and flexible mechanisms that currently enable states to finance and bolster their Medicaid programs. HANYS applauds Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse), who led the letter, and Reps. Peter King (R- Seaford), Tom Reed (R-Corning) and Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) for joining this important effort to protect states’ scarce Medicaid resources and spare hospitals and health systems additional harmful Medicaid reductions, particularly at a time when our entire healthcare system is strained in the fight against COVID-19.


Resources and updates

Please see our COVID-19 Member Updates for all of our latest news and notifications. We continue to post resources for our members on our COVID-19 webpage. Please reach out to HANYS if you have any questions, need assistance or would like to make us aware of issues you are facing to inform our work with policymakers.


Survey: Consumers seek more information from local healthcare providers during COVID-19 pandemic

This week, ReviveHealth released the second part of their valuable survey measuring how much consumers want to hear from hospitals and what they want to have communicated to them by their providers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. You can explore their findings on a market-level using their interactive tool. These surveys provide an opportunity for health systems to create new relationships with their patients.


See our March 26 Member Update for links to further resources ReviveHealth is providing to the healthcare community to address COVID-19-related communications challenges. Contact: Anna Sapak

Upcoming events

HANYS is postponing many of our scheduled events for the foreseeable future so our members can focus on the immediate need of providing care. For the most up-to-date information, check our events listing.


If you are currently registered for a HANYS event, a message from learning@hanys.org with details specific to your registration has been sent to you. Please direct any questions about events to learning@hanys.org.