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NYSDOH Launches Health Care & Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program And Portal – Healthcare

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On August 3, 2022, the New York State Department of Health
(“DOH”) published an MRT Listserv notice announcing the
launch of the Health Care & Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus (HWB)
Program and Submission Portal.

The Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus allocates $1.3
billion for recruitment and retention bonuses as part of a push to
increase the state’s healthcare workforce by 20% over the next
five years.

The listserv provides links to:

The listserv also notes that providers with additional questions
may contact the Health Care Worker Bonus Call
at (866) 682-0077 or via email at [email protected].

Considerations for those receiving HWB Funds

  1. Be prepared for a New York State or federal audit in a year or

There is too much money going out of the Federal and State
budgets to support COVID response/reward efforts to think that no
one will audit or review the payments.

  • The HWB audits/reviews are likely to be conducted by New York
    State regulators, most likely the Office of the Medicaid Inspector
    General (“OMIG”) and the NYS Attorney General’s
    Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”), but other agencies
    may also be involved (e.g., DOH, Office of Mental Health, Office
    for People With Developmental Disabilities, etc.).

  • The Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) at the
    federal Department of Health and Human Services includes audits of
    the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) in its Work Plan.
    CDC is the federal agency through which much of the federal COVID
    support was directed.

  1. Audits will likely include the following, but this is not an
    exhaustive list:

  • Was the employer eligible to receive HBW payments?

  • When was the money received by the employer?

  • Were all the eligible employees included in the payments?

  • Did the employer make payments to employees within the time
    period required by HWB program?

  • Were payments made to persons who were ineligible?

  • Did the employer retain any of the funds for its own non-HWB
    program uses?

  • Was reporting to the State done on time and include all
    required data?

  • Was the data reported accurate?

  • Are employee attestation forms collected and maintained?

  • Are required records being maintained?

  1. Providers may want to consider having a self-audit done as part
    of its annual compliance program review or as part of its annual
    financial statement audits.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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