November 5, 2012
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo and State Health Department Request Federal Waiver to Help Expedite Care and Relief to New Yorkers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

TOP Governor Cuomo and State Health Department...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Health Department has submitted a Section 1135 waiver request to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that, if granted, will assist New York health care providers in their efforts to meet the immediate needs of those affected by Hurricane Sandy.


The waiver would relax certain administrative and record keeping rules, including documentation, patient relocation, and billing requirements, in order to expedite the delivery of health care to New Yorkers in need following Hurricane Sandy.


"Millions of New Yorkers and thousands of patients across the states health care system were directly affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, and we must act quickly to ensure that quality and dependable care is available to all of those in need," Governor Cuomo said. "The federal government has been a tremendously helpful partner throughout the storm recovery process, and this waiver would be a great asset in our efforts to ensure that health care services are immediately available as we respond to Hurricane Sandy."


On October 31, 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius determined that a public health emergency exists, and has existed since October 27, 2012, in New York State. The Section 1135 waiver would relax certain administrative rules and record keeping requirements, in order to:

  • Allow for billing and claiming of services in instances where providers are unable to submit the standard documentation
  • Relax requirements to better facilitate the relocation of patients from damaged and unsafe facilities to more secure settings
  • Suspend requirements that potentially limit services and impede the ability of providers to accept new patients
  • Facilitate expedited approvals for the relocation of provider operations