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COVID-19 Special Edition Newsletter:
May 4, 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 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, 5/4/2020. For additional information, please visit the provider resource page.

The Coalition for Behavioral Health:
COVID-19 Staffing Portal  

On Tuesday, April 21st, The Coalition for Behavioral Health, with funding from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), launched a new initiative to assist with residential staffing challenges. The Coalition is operating a portal that brings staffing companies together with agencies’ residential staffing needs to facilitate the hiring of relief staff. 

The goals of the portal are to expedite providers’ access to needed relief-staff and track trends and potential issues related to staffing at the earliest possible juncture without burdening providers with surveys. Pamela Mattel, well known in the behavioral health field, is leading the project for The Coalition.  

The portal is open to any NYC non-profit provider with services licensed or funded by one of the following: 
  • New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH) 
  • New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS) 
  • New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD)  
  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).  
Eligible programs should email to enroll in the portal.  For more information, please visit: 


Regulatory Waivers and Communications
Many State and Federal agencies continue to distribute memos and/or waivers related to service provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Care Design NY will update this section weekly with new information.  Please be sure to visit our Provider Resource Page on the Care Design NY website for additional information:
  • CLICK HERE for the most up-to-date OPWDD guidance related to COVID-19. 
  • CLICK HERE to stay up-to-date with New York State Department of Health’s Coronavirus information page. 
  • CLICK HERE for the DOH Updated Interim Guidance: Protocol for COVID-19 Testing Applicable to All Health Care Providers and Local Health Departments  


Extended Home Visits & The Use of Benefits

Care Design NY has received many questions and concerns around how residential providers should be helping to support individuals who are on extended home visits due to this public health emergency.  While these are unusual times and many things are changing in unprecedented ways, the usual benefits-related rules regarding usage of and the individuals’ access to their benefits have not changed.  If you have questions about these state and federal requirements, please contact Kristina Cunningham, Director of Benefits & Entitlements, at

CLICK HERE for the guidance issued previously.


CCO Guidance on Life Plan Addendums
OPWDD published the Interim Guidance Regarding Care Planning Activities on April 17, 2020. This document indicates Life Plan service and support changes prompted by the COVID-19 state of emergency, including changes to the amount, duration, and scope of any service, must be updated in the Life Plan as soon as possible, but not later than sixty (60) days after the initiation of the service or change. 

All seven CCOs are working collaboratively and in partnership with OPWDD on clarification on the requirements of when Life Plan addendums are required as a result of COVID-19 that include the amount, duration, and scope of service.

CLICK HERE for further information. 


Parent to Parent of NYS - Online Parent Group Meeting

Parent to Parent of NYS is hosting online parent group meetings to assist parents through these challenging times. This group is for parents of children with developmental disabilities and/or special health care needs. The purpose of this group is to help create a non-judgmental and encouraging environment that connects parents with other parents who can share their tips and advice on various topics and situations. 

CLICK HERE for upcoming dates and registration information.


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.


Update your organizations 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.  


Questions/Concerns? Contact us!


For questions or concerns please contact Care Design NY’s Network Development and Provider Relations team at:

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