Emergency Regulation from NYSDOH Increases Testing for COVID-19 and Influenza

As announced on August 31, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) now requires hospitals and nursing homes to test for both COVID-19 and influenza when a patient or resident “has a known exposure or symptoms consistent with either disease.” In addition, this testing must be completed postmortem when a patient or resident is “suspected of having died of such disease.”

According to the emergency regulation, postmortem testing is required “within 48 hours after death, if that individual had not previously received a COVID-19 and influenza test in the 14 days prior to death.” Funeral directors and medical examiners must also comply with the new rule if the deceased individual is “suspected of having died from either disease but were not in the care of a hospital or nursing home.”

The mandate, which is available in full here, calls for “COVID-19 and Influenza Confirmatory Testing” in amendments and additions to Executive Order No. 202.59, Title 10 (Health) of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.

NYSDOH says that the emergency regulation will “ensure integrity in data reporting” related to both the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response and its preparation for flu season.

MLMIC continues to keep its policyholders informed of all COVID-19-related developments on the dedicated resource page on our website and via our 24/7 hotline. Our experts are available to help address the challenges that may arise as you continue to care for patients throughout the pandemic.