Residential Facilities Required To Create Pandemic Emergency Plans

June 23, 2020


New York State recently enacted legislation amending Public Health Law Section 2803 to require that each residential health care facility submit a pandemic emergency plan to the Department of Health no later than September 15, 2020, and annually thereafter. Each facility must also make its pandemic emergency plan available to the public immediately upon request and by posting to the facility’s website.
The pandemic emergency plan must contain the following elements:
  • A communication plan – including protocols for updating family members, guardians and residents regarding infections within the facility and a process to provide residents with free, daily access to remote communication methods with family members and guardians;
  • Protection plans against infection for staff, residents and families – including a plan for hospitalized residents to be readmitted to the facility after treatment and for the facility to maintain or contract to have at least a two-month supply of personal protective equipment; and
  • A plan for preserving a resident’s place in the facility if the resident is hospitalized.
The Department of Health is directed to review facilities’ compliance with their pandemic emergency plans. Facilities notified of non-compliance may submit a corrective action plan within 30 days. However, facilities that fail to prepare a pandemic emergency plan or fail to comply with their plan may be subject to civil monetary penalties.

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