June 23, 2021
Today the Governor held a briefing to update New Yorkers on the COVID crisis and announced that the COVID-19 emergency is over. The formal State of Emergency declaration is set to expire tomorrow and will not be renewed.
We just received word from the Governor’s Office that ALL Executive Orders will expire tomorrow (along with the State of Emergency) and that the Governor’s Office is working through what needs to be done regulatorily with the end of the emergency. This includes the current Executive Order (202.110) that continues the telehealth and background check flexibilities that was slated to expire on July 5. Other measures that were put in place via emergency (federal) waivers such as billing duration changes, etc. appear to be contingent on the federal Public Health Declaration which is expected to continue through the end of 2021.
As we have stated before, the audio-only and audio/video modalities are a permanent part of the state’s Medicaid Telehealth Program, and the rates are in place until such time as the state seeks to change them. To do so, the state would need to file a SPA amendment with CMS and receive approval to change them. There would also be a public comment period before this could occur. It is unclear whether the state has decided to try and change the rates.
In the meantime, both OASAS and OMH have signaled that they have draft regulations at the ready that they will be promulgating shortly that are largely consistent with the telehealth and other flexibilities we have been operating under during COVID. Commissioner Sullivan said as much during her testimony earlier this week on the topic of OASAS and OMH integrated care issues.
We will have more to share with all members during our regularly scheduled NYS Council Member Support and Public Policy discussion tomorrow morning. You should receive information via our Constant Contact list shortly with call information for this weekly call. If you do NOT receive a Constant Contact reminder from us this afternoon and you have already checked your SPAM folder for it to no avail, please let us know and we will add you to the list. To be added contact Cindy Levernois at: firstname.lastname@example.org