Print Icon

COVID-19 Special Edition Newsletter:
April 20, 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 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, 4/20/2020. For additional information, please visit the provider resource page.

Department of Health Updates Guidance on Hospital Visitation 

On April 10, 2020, the NYS Department of Health amended hospital visitation guidance to ensure visitation is allowed for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). 

The guidance, “Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Hospital Operators Regarding Visitation,” which can be found here, indicates that hospitals are required to permit a patient support person at the patient bedside for:  
“Patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary) including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia.”

 Individuals with I/DD often experience challenges in navigating the complexities of the healthcare system; the current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in further risks to the health, safety, and wellbeing of this population. During this time of crisis, persons assisting individuals with I/DD during an inpatient or Emergency Department encounter can aid hospital staff in support and obtaining critical information to allow for ease and continuity of care. Care Design NY appreciates your acknowledgement of the NYS Department of Health guidance and looks forward to working collaboratively with hospitals and healthcare providers to mutually support our members. 

For questions or more information, please contact


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 received.  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 Department of Health (DOH) interim guidance for Resident and Family Communications in Adult Care Facilities (ACFs) and Nursing Homes (NHs). This guidance, which can be found here,  also applies to all OPWDD operated certified and funded residences.  
  • CLICK HERE for OPWDD's interim guidance related to background checks. 
  • CLICK HERE for the advisory OPWDD issued on April 10, 2020: Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Certified Residential Facilities.   


The Unique Impact of COVID-19 for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities 

People with I/DD have a unique set of needs related to their healthcare and other support requirements. During a pandemic, these needs do not go away, however access to services can be limited or non-existent.  

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the challenges providers are facing in their efforts to support people with I/DD during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Another article by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) includes a Q&A about the bias people with disabilities face in receiving needed healthcare services and how this bias is magnified in the current environment.  Care Design NY continues to work with our partner agencies to advocate at the State and Federal levels for the ongoing needs of the people we support. 

Care Design NY is working in collaboration with self-advocacy groups, provider associations, partner agencies and the other care coordination organizations/health homes (CCO/HHs) to ensure access to services to meet the needs of the population served.  

For more information or questions on advocacy efforts, please contact   


COVID-19 Provider Resources 

Managed Care Community of Practice (MC-COP) COVID-19 Resources & Guidance 
MC-COP compiled a list of resources and guidance, released to date and sorted by agency. CLICK HERE for the guide along with recordings of past webinars on COVID-19.  MC-COP will keep this site updated as the situation evolves and new information is added.  Most recently, MC-COP held a webinar on the retainer program for day services.  CLICK HERE for the slide deck presented in the webinar.  

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 including “COVID-19 and People with IDD – Taking Action to Mitigate Risk” and “Employment Law & COVID-19.”  On a recent webinar hosted by IAC, a resource for individuals created by Green Mountain Self-Advocates was shared. CLICK HERE for the booklet containing the COVID-19 information by and for people with disabilities.  

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.


Questions/Concerns related to COVID-19? Contact us!


Do you have questions or concerns related to COVID-19? Please contact Care Design NY’s Network Development and Provider Relations team at:

Follow Care Design NY
If you would no longer like to receive this newsletter, simply unsubscribe.

Care Design NY | 8 Southwoods Blvd., Suite 110, Albany NY 12211