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May 29, 2020 News Headlines

Update on COVID-19 response

HANYS continues to work with our members and engage state and federal policymakers as we enter a new phase of the COVID-19 response and recovery.

State updates 

The Senate and Assembly returned to session Wednesday to vote on a package of COVID-19-related legislation that now awaits delivery to the governor for his consideration. See our story below for more details on this package of bills.  

New York’s two-week hospital visitation pilot, created in partnership with HANYS and GNYHA, kicked off this week. Updates on the results of the pilot will be shared in the coming weeks.

HANYS continues to update our spreadsheet summarizing the governor's executive orders.

Federal updates

On May 26, the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) by a 417-1 vote. If enacted, this legislation would help more small businesses access loans provided by the Paycheck Protection Program established under the CARES Act. The bipartisan bill would extend the period businesses must use the loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks and allow funds to be used through Dec. 31. It would also change the parameters for potential loan forgiveness, allowing borrowers to use up to 40% on non-payroll expenses instead of the current 25% and providing alternative scenarios under which borrowers may be eligible for forgiveness. The Paycheck Flexibility Act would also allow PPP loan borrowers who seek loan forgiveness to qualify for deferred payment of certain payroll taxes.

We encourage you to weigh in with your delegation members about the ongoing challenges you face as we continue to grapple with 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.

Legislature convenes to pass COVID-19 legislation

This past week, both houses of the Legislature convened semi-remotely to vote on a package of COVID-19-related legislation. The package includes 32 bills that passed both houses and are now awaiting delivery to the governor for his consideration, including the following bills of interest to HANYS and our members:

Audio and video-only telehealth – authorizes audio-only telephone communications as an acceptable telehealth modality and allows audio-only services to be reimbursed under the Medicaid program to the extent allowed pursuant to Department of Health regulations and contingent upon federal financial participation. The bill also adds video-only services to the list of acceptable modalities the Commissioner of Health may authorize for the delivery of certain telehealth services. A.10404-A (Rosenthal)/S.8416 (Metzger).

Medical supply price gouging – expands the scope of New York’s price gouging statute to include essential medical supplies and services. Currently, only consumer goods are subject to New York’s price gouging law. A.10270 (Rozic)/S.8189 (Hoylman).

Healthcare employee retaliation – protects healthcare employees against employer retaliation if they report violations of “improper quality of workplace safety.” The bill also adds "news media outlets" and "social media forums" to the list of entities an employee may report violations of patient care or workplace safety to without threat of employer retaliation for the reporting. A.10326-A (Reyes)/S.8397-A (Savino).

Residential healthcare facility pandemic emergency plan – requires RHCFs to prepare an annual pandemic emergency plan. The bill includes baseline requirements to be included in the pandemic emergency plan, including a communication plan that provides frequent updates to the families of residents, a plan to maintain access to at least a two-month supply of personal protective equipment and a plan for preserving a resident's place in a RHCF should the resident be hospitalized. A.10394-A (Lentol)/S.8289-B (Salazar).

NYC contract tracer diversity requirement – requires New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation to hire contact tracers who are representative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities in which they will serve. A.10447-A (Joyner)/S.8362-A (Serrano).

DOH COVID-19 disparities study – requires the Department of Health to conduct a study on the differential health impacts of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities in New York state. A.10517 (Aubry)/S.8245-A (Parker).

Pharmacist administration of COVID-19 immunizations – adds COVID-19 to the list of diseases for which a licensed physician or nurse practitioner may prescribe a patient-specific order or non-patient-specific regimen to a licensed pharmacist for administering immunizations. A.10508-A (Paulin)/S.8182-A (Hoylman).

HANYS will continue to provide updates on bills of interest that have passed both houses. Bills that pass both houses of the Legislature must go to the governor for his approval or veto. Contact: Scott Janke

HANYS taps into Rx.Health to create virtual care hub and support New York hospital and health system members’ recovery and reopening efforts

HANYS has partnered with Rx.Health to support remote patient care and back-to-work efforts for its member hospitals and health systems. The initiative provides virtual care, digital screeners and remote monitoring services for patients and a comprehensive workforce assessment, deployment and wellness program. Find more information about this partnership in our recent announcement.

Upcoming events

HANYS continues to closely monitor the governor’s reopening guidelines and assess how we can continue to best and safely offer our robust educational programming in this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check out our current offerings in our events listing, including our wide array of COVID-19-related webinars aimed at helping our members recover from this unprecedented experience.