NYS Council Request for Telehealth Executive Order Extension

June 4, 2020

In addition to our ongoing federal and state advocacy efforts on this topic, the NYS Council sent the following communication to some of our key contacts in the Governor’s Office earlier today.

The current Executive Order that continued the current telehealth flexibilities we currently enjoy will expire at 11:59 on June 6.  The Governor’s Office is well aware of the deadline and understands the importance of the issue. 

We also know from recent history that the Executive does not issue a continuance of an Executive Order until such time as it expires.  

Keep your eyes peeled for an update from us on Saturday.  We are cautiously optimistic that there will be an extension.  

Good afternoon:

First, on behalf of the Board of Directors and members of the New York State Council I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued state service.  We truly appreciate your tireless efforts on behalf of all New Yorkers, and particularly those living with a mental health and/or substance use disorder/addiction issue.

I am writing on behalf of our 100 member organizations and the tens of thousands of care recipients they serve each day, urging you to extend the Executive Order authorizing Tele health (202.1 extended by 202.28) that has thus far permitted our organizations to ensure continued access to and continuity of care for those we serve during the COVID-19 crisis.  The flexibility the state granted has been life saving for so many New Yorkers who are isolated but who need ongoing care.  Our member agencies are able to reach into the settings where our clients are sheltering, thus ensuring they do not need to take extraordinary steps to travel to a clinic or alternative setting to obtain care unless it is absolutely necessary. It is important to remember that most of these individuals have one or more chronic conditions that make them highly vulnerable to a bad outcome should they contract the virus.  Tele health has helped to bridge the gap, foster communication and (in most cases) increased critical metrics including ‘no show’ rates and patient satisfaction.  

We think there is a path forward to the permanent expansion of tele health services that can save the state considerable resources and we will share this information with you shortly. 

But in the meantime we respectfully request that you extend the tele health EO that requires an extension beyond June 6 in order that we may continue to address the needs of our clients during the ongoing crisis.

 Again, our thanks for your tireless efforts.