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COVID-19 Special Edition Newsletter:
May 18, 2020


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Care Design NY is committed to keeping the provider community informed. Care Design NY created a COVID-19 Provider Resource website page on the Care Design NY website as well as a COVID-19 Special Edition Newsletter.  

The newsletters will be emailed weekly and also archived on the COVID-19 Provider page for your continued reference. The COVID-19 Provider Resource Page will be updated daily with announcements and critical information. 

NOTE: Information related to COVID -19 is rapidly changing. This newsletter is up to date as of today, 5/18/2020. For additional information, please visit the provider resource page.

Provider Point of View:
Supporting Front Line Workers During COVID-19 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State has placed an emphasis on mental hygiene by creating and partnering with community resources. These partnerships and resources  include  Headspace, an online resource for emotional well-being, and an  Emotional Support Helpline: 1-844-863-9314 staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling. The State is also partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide a 24/7 emotional support service for frontline health care workers. Workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access these emotional support services.

Care Design NY’s Provider Relations Specialist, Gordon Collier, facilitated an interview with a mental health practitioner on the frontline. Laquanya Haggray, LMHC, CASAC is the founder and therapist of Ready Counseling Services in Albany NY. She is a Licensed Mental Health Clinician specializing in creating healing spaces for people who have experienced trauma as well as a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor addressing addiction. 

CLICK HERE for the in-depth interview on her point of view of the importance of mental health practitioners during this unprecedented time.  

OPWDD Extends Public Comment Period for 
Revised Draft SIP-PL Qualification Document
The Department of Health (DOH) and The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is extending the timeframe for public comment on the revised draft SIP-PL Qualification Document containing the requirements for the creation of specialized Managed Care Plans. The public comment period has been extended by an additional 45 days to June 25, 2020. Please send your comments about the revised draft document to  

Representative Payee Responsibilities -
CARES Act Economic Impact Payments

As individuals begin receiving economic impact payments, Care Design NY has received many questions from Representative Payees for Social Security benefits such as SSDI and SSI regarding how this money should be handled. CLICK HERE for guidance related to representative payee responsibilities, taken directly from the Social Security Administration’s website


New York On Pause Expires
Re-imagining the Healthcare System 
New York State on Pause expired on May 15th, at which point identified regions in the state can begin opening up in phases when seven benchmarks are achieved.  CLICK HERE for more information on the phased opening, benchmarks and regions. Governor Cuomo issued a guidance document for reopening New York State which includes the requirement to re-imagine many systems that were in place before COVID-19. This includes the healthcare system. On page 45 of the reopening guide (CLICK HERE), an overview is given on the considerations needed for the state’s healthcare system to work within this ‘new normal.’ These considerations, which will be fleshed out with the help from Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health and former State Director of Health, Education and Human Services, include: 
  • Expansion of telemedicine and remote-care healthcare options 
  • Strategically balancing medical resource stockpile across the state 
  • Expanding frontline healthcare worker employment opportunities 

Free Webinar:  Successfully Integrate Telehealth into Your Clinical Workflow On May 21st at 1pm, Open Minds is offering a free webinar on how to create a long-term virtual care strategy in your agency. The webinar is sponsored by Welligent, a cloud-based electronic health record. CLICK HERE for more information and registration.  

Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
and Substance Use Disorders Training 
On April 28th and 29th, Rensselaer County, in collaboration with Care Design NY, hosted a 2-day training on the treatment of individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Disorders (SUD). The 10-hour training was presented via web-conference to over 100 participants by Julia Brower, the founder of Dragonfly Consulting and Training, specializing in SUD treatment for people with cognitive impairment. The training was made possible through funding from the Rensselaer County Health Department,  in collaboration with Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health from NYSDOH.   For future training inquiries or suggestions, please contact  

COVID-19 Provider Resources

Managed Care Community of Practice (MC-COP) COVID-19 Resources & Guidance 
MC-COP continues to compile a list of COVID-19 resources and guidance.  CLICK HERE for the information, along with recordings of past webinars on COVID-19. MC-COP will keep this site updated as new information is shared.  

Interagency Council of Developmental Disability Agencies (IAC) 
IAC offers many live training events for providers on COVID-19 related subject matter. CLICK HERE for webinar recordings of past live events.

Care Design NY COVID-19 Emergency Resource Search Tool: 
For resources and other supports related to the COVID-19 crisis, CLICK HERE to visit the Care Design NY COVID-19 “Search of Service” (SOS)  tool. This database is updated daily with numerous resources to support people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  CLICK HERE for additional information on COVID-19 SOS and a Q&A document.

Administration for Community Living (ACL):
The Administration for Community Living’s website provides regularly updated information and resources related to COVID-19 for Older Adults and People with Disabilities.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Regulatory Waivers and Communications:
Many State and Federal agencies continue to distribute memos or waivers related to service provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Care Design NY will update this section weekly with new information received. Please be sure to visit the Provider Resource Page on the Care Design NY website for additional information. 


Update your organization's contact information!

Care Design NY wants to ensure contact information is up to date for all agency partners. If your agency has experienced changes in departmental or executive oversight, please let us know by filling out the agency demographic form.  


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