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May 1, 2020 News Headlines

Update on COVID-19 response

HANYS continues to support our members’ efforts in response to COVID-19. New York’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline; as such, we appreciate the governor’s decision to allow outpatient elective procedures and non-urgent surgeries to begin to resume. We remain incredibly grateful for the continued dedication of New York’s healthcare workers.                                        

State response  

On April 26, DOH released guidelines for testing prioritization in accordance with Gov. Cuomo’s April 17 Executive Order 202.19 to establish a single, statewide coordinated approach to testing. The guidelines prioritize high-risk symptomatic individuals, those with exposure to a person with COVID-19, healthcare workers, first responders or others serving in congregate care settings and essential employees working directly with the public.

On April 29, DOH released a directive detailing the criteria for resuming elective outpatient surgeries and non-urgent procedures in general hospitals. This directive implements provisions of Executive Order 202.25 and details the methodology for determining what counties and hospitals are eligible to restart these services and the waiver request process for hospitals deemed ineligible by the methodology. The governor also released a list of 35 counties approved to resume elective outpatient treatments. HANYS had called for and strongly supports the governor’s decision to allow elective surgeries to resume in areas of the state with low COVID-19 impact. We felt it's critical that hospitals have a way to appeal exemptions and show how they are prepared to safely resume these procedures, and we are pleased DOH has provided this opportunity. 

HANYS’ spreadsheet summarizing the governor’s executive orders has been updated to reflect the latest directives.

Federal response

On April 24, HHS began a second round of CARES Act funding distributions and opened the General Distribution Portal where providers can enter their revenue information. This will be used to calculate and distribute those providers’ share of the $20 billion. See our April 27 Member Update for further details.

On April 30, HANYS sent a letter to the New York congressional delegation urging Congress to address key hospital and health system issues as part of the next federal COVID-19 response package. Thanks to the leadership of the New York congressional delegation, Congress earlier this month passed an interim package to fund the Paycheck Protection Program and infuse an additional $75 billion into the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund. Negotiations on the next federal COVID-19 response package (“COVID 4.0”) are underway and are expected to focus on relief for state and local governments.

Additionally, as advocated by HANYS, CMS has put forth an interim final rule with comment period that includes additional flexibilities for teaching hospitals, teaching inpatient psychiatric facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and provider-based hospital outpatient departments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.


State revenue projections plummet, with potential for deep healthcare reductions

The New York State Division of the Budget’s state fiscal year 2020-2021 Enacted Budget Financial Plan projects state revenue during the fiscal year will be $13.3 billion lower than the governor estimated in February. This unprecedented decline in general fund receipts is almost singularly the result of the economically devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor intends to exercise authority provided in the current state budget to make mid-year cuts totaling $10.1 billion. This includes an $8.2 billion reduction in aid-to-localities funding, which could include massive Medicaid cuts — a 20% to 30% funding reduction. The state has not yet released details regarding the programs that will be subject to the $8.2 billion in cuts.

These reductions could be mitigated through the receipt of unrestricted federal aid for New York. HANYS is working with the governor’s office and our congressional delegation to advocate for a comprehensive funding package that recognizes the significant economic toll the pandemic has leveled against New York state. Contact: Amy Nickson


Celebrate New York’s nurses during National Nurses Week May 6 through 12

National Nurses Week 2020 will take place May 6 through 12. HANYS offers our deepest gratitude to New York state nurses for their continued, unwavering dedication in the face of an unprecedented pandemic. We are also greatly appreciative of the nurses who have traveled from across the United States to support our members’ COVID-19 response efforts.

 

Every year, Nurses Week is a time to recognize the contributions and positive impact of America’s 4 million registered nurses while appreciating the remarkable resilience it takes to cope with the stress and complexity their job brings. We encourage all – individuals, employers, community leaders and others – to take this opportunity to celebrate the work of New York’s nurse professionals. Share your celebrations on social media using #NursesWeek.


Upcoming events

HANYS has postponed 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.