On July 30, 2020, the Committee on Codes, Regulations and Legislation of the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) and the full council met. The PHHPC heard a report from Dr. Howard Zucker, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), that focused on a review and an update regarding New York State’s ongoing efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Zucker invited the PHHPC to share any suggestions for continuing to fight the spread of COVID-19 based upon its many years of experience.
Dr. Angel Gutierrez, chair, provided a report on the Committee on Codes, Regulations and Legislation. Specifically, the following three regulatory proposals were discussed and received votes in favor of adoption:
- Amendments to various sections of regulation pertaining to the reduction of annual tuberculosis testing of healthcare workers in order to eliminate serial testing and focus on evaluating individual risk and encouraging treatment for persons with untreated latent tuberculosis infection, which reflects current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
- Amendment to 10 NYCRR 709.14 – Cardiac Services, which updates the current certificate of need regulation for adult cardiac surgery to be consistent with the recommendations for the regulatory modernization initiative.
- Amendments to various sections of 10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1 in order to incorporate maximum contaminate levels for three additional contaminates.
Dr. Buford announced that on August 12 there will be a series of joint meetings of the Public Health Committee and the Health Planning Committee. Specifically, there will be two panels pertaining to primary care, one on community health centers, and another on public health with geographic diversity and diversity of experience. The goal of these meetings is to collaborate, gather information and raise awareness of issues in the public arena that may lead to potential interventions, actions and improvements in health systems down the road. The sessions will be guided by the following three developed questions: (1) What are the needs and demands that have been experienced in primary care and the local health departments during the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) What are the lessons learned for preparing for a potential new epidemic or resurgence of an epidemic? (3) What might be applied from those learnings in terms of building capacity and/or allowing the primary care and public health systems to respond most efficiently in creating an integrated system? Throughout the discussions, the committees will also be focusing on the needs of vulnerable populations. There will be a second session during the month of August, which will be announced at a later date.
The meeting concluded with a report from Peter Robinson, chair, on the Committee on Establishment and Project Review. All agenda items were approved.
The meeting materials and webcast can be accessed at the NYS DOH website.
The next meetings of the PHHPC will be held September 24 and October 8.