Tracking COVID-19 Expenses for Future New York IDD & BH Reimbursement

Thoughtware Alert Published: Mar 26, 2020
Stethoscope on a chart

In New York, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S., funding agencies overseeing intellectual or developmental disabilities and behavioral health (IDD & BH) services have focused their efforts primarily on assisting providers with the short-term issue of continuing operations during these extraordinary times—read more in this BKD Thoughtware® article. In addition, these state agencies are exploring ways to provide additional resources to providers that have or will incur additional expenses to address COVID-19. On top of this, federal stimulus packages may offer opportunities for additional funding for increased or new expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of these costs include:

  • Personal protective equipment 
  • Medical supplies 
  • Employee overtime and hazard pay 
  • Employee meals
  • Increased unemployment costs
  • Increased workers’ compensation claims
  • Increased or additional staff added to programs including direct support professionals, social workers, housekeeping and nursing
  • Additional housekeeping and cleaning supplies 
  • Increased laundry costs
  • New technology for remote agency operations and telehealth
  • Transportation costs

State funding agencies may be able to access increased funding by using the 1135 Waiver Authority similar to New York’s 2010 response to additional expenses and program closures incurred as a result of Superstorm Sandy.  
If additional resources are made available, agencies must be able to account for and document those expenses. To accomplish this, providers should consider taking the following actions to separately monitor and track the additional expenses related to COVID-19:

  1. General ledger – Use description features and label entries as “COVID-19” or set up separate coding for these expenses in each program being operated.  
  2. Payroll – Establish new payroll codes to keep track of incremental or new employee time relating to COVID-19. Protocols need to be established to inform staff of the new coding to be used and what time should be accounted for under these codes.  
  3. Invoices – Invoices should be labeled “COVID-19” and coded to the new COVID-19 GL codes that have been established. Agency staff responsible for coding invoices should be instructed on what should be accounted for under the COVID-19 GL codes.  
  4. Site or program-specific reporting and cost allocations – Ensure that expenditures are being charged correctly to the program(s) benefiting. Increased or new funding for COVID-19 relief may be program-specific, so these expenditures need to be tracked based on the reporting requirements for the programs being operated.  

For more information, reach out to your BKD Trusted Advisor or use the Contact Us form below.

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