NYSDOH Reverses Itself Again on Private Practices Qualifying for the HWB Program

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has once again reversed its position on whether private dental practices that serve at least 20% Medicaid patients qualify for the Healthcare Workforce Bonus (HWB) Program.  NYSDOH issued the revised Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below that now allow a private practice to qualify if it meets the 20% Medicaid patient criterion.  This may have been the result of complaints filed by NYSDA that NYSDOH was not reading the authorizing statute correctly by excluding private practices.  At this point it is hard to know what NYSDOH was thinking with its confused and shifting interpretations.

Q.  Please clarify the criteria necessary for an employer to be subject to the Healthcare Workforce Bonus (HWB) Program?

A.  The HWB statute provides two separate definitions of qualified employers, both of which are subject to the requirements of the HWB program.

Under paragraph (2)(b), an employer is subject to the HWB program if they meet all of the four following criteria:

  1. They are a Medicaid enrolled provider;
  2. They bill for Medicaid services (either through FFS, managed care, or a 1915(c) waiver);
  3. Employ at least one eligible employee;
  4. A. Are included in the list of provider and facility types in the statute, OR
    B. Are subject to a certificate of need (CON) process, OR
    C. The provider serves at least 20% Medicaid enrollees.

The Department of Health is not prescribing a specific methodology to determine the 20% Medicaid threshold criteria.  Employers must determine whether their organization complies with this requirement as part of the employer attestation required for HWB claim submission.

Q.  Are Providers whose practices that see at least twenty (20) percent Medicaid population qualified providers for the HWB?

A.  Yes.  Providers are Qualified Employers so long as the employer meets the 20% Medicaid threshold.

A new slide deck from the Healthcare Worker Bonus (HWB) Program Town Hall Series is now available on the New York State HWB Home Page.  Additionally, see the Frequently Asked Questions page where many new FAQs have been added.  Qualified employers are encouraged to routinely review these resources for the latest information, which will be updated on a regular basis.  NYSDOH is committed to updating the information it has provided as new questions come in and are answered.  To this end, NYSDOH has established an e-mail address (NYSWorkersBonus@health.ny.gov) dedicated to the HWB program.  Direct your inquiry to this inbox to make sure your questions are received and processed.  The Department has also established the HWB Call Center dedicated to answering questions about the online claims portal and assisting qualified employers with submitting their claims.  The HWB Call Center can be reached at 1 (866) 682-0077.