Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check back for regular updates. Last updated 04/01/2020. New updates in RED

 

Positive (Confirmed) Cases in Illinois: 5,994

Counties Impacted: Adams, Bond, Bureau, Champaign, Carroll, Christian, Clark, Clinton, Cook, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, McLean, McHenry, Menard, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Randolph, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, St. Clair, Stephenson, Tazewell, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago, and Woodford

IDPH 03/31/2020 Public Health Officials Announce 937 New Cases of Coronavirus Disease

Submit photos of your health center's testing sites to IPHCA! These will help elevate our message as CHCs and their staff are working tirelessly to ensure that almost 30 million patients across the country receive care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Send your photos to Rachael Pearce, rpearce@iphca.org.

Upcoming Events
NACHC Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: Latest Update
Date: April 2, 2020
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. (Central)
A registration link will be available soon on the NACHC website.

Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Situational Awareness Call
Date: April 3, 2020
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. (Central)
Register

Share Your Support of Illinois Community Health Centers - Download IPHCA's Facebook Banner Today!

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4.   The frame will appear for you to select and apply to your photo.

  

Personal Protective Equipment

FEMA Supply Chain Task Force Leads Four-Pronged Approach to Securing Needed Supplies and Equipment in COVID-19 Fight

CMS Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Outpatient Settings: FAQs and Considerations

IDPH COVID-19 Guidance Resource 

 

CDC – Healthcare Personnel – Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19

 

ECRI – Alternate Supplier List PPE

 

ECRI – PPE Supply Equivalents 

 

IDPH Recommends Strategies for PPE Use 03/16/2020 

 

CDC Healthcare Supply of PPE

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator

 

IDPH Recommended Guidance for Extended Use of N-95 Masks, Regular Masks, and PAPRs

 

Checklist for Healthcare Facilities: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators During COVID-19 Response

 

CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE

 

COVID-19 Hotline Contacts by Region
The Illinois Poison Control Center, the statewide COVID-19 hotline for patients and members of the community, is experiencing high call volumes and long-wait times. Several jurisdictions have established COVID-19 hotlines to address questions in their localities. Please forward the attached hotline numbers to contacts in your region and encourage partners to share this with the public. It is important that callers reach out to hotlines in their jurisdiction or utilize 211, if available, in order to redistribute call volumes. The attached list will be updated as more jurisdictions establish hotlines to address questions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank you for your partnership in circulating this information. 

 

For those experiencing supply shortages, please follow the below process and use this form to submit to IPHCA’s Paula Campbell. If your local health department (LHD) has asked you to fill out a similar form, then simply send that form to Paula Campbell. It’s important that IPHCA has detailed information so we can better assist you. 

1.       If you participate in a Regional Health Care Coalition, try making a request through your respective coalition. RHCC leads contact information and counties can be found here.

2.       If not available at the coalition level, make a request through your LHD.

3.       If the LHD doesn’t have availability, your request will be submitted in IDPH’s Inventory Management System by LHD.

4.       Please also submit the supply shortage form to Paula Campbell (pcampbell@iphca.org) so IPHCA can alert IDPH leadership. If your LHD has asked you to fill out a similar form, then simply send that form to Paula Campbell

Respirators
On Tuesday, March 10, the CDC released updated guidance on the use of facemasks by health care workers in situations involving COVID-19. The guidance states that facemasks are an acceptable, temporary alternative for most medical services until the demand for N95 respirators lessens. Respirators should be prioritized for procedures that are likely to generate respiratory aerosols, which pose the highest risk of exposure to health care providers. Eye protection, medical gowns, and gloves continue to be recommended.

 

CDC Health Care Supply PPE

 

 

Policies

Updated HRSA FAQ
Please find the latest guidance from HRSA on frequently asked questions here. New topics include:

  • PIN number needed to access the COVID-19 supplemental funding (H8C) in the Payment Management System;
  • Why look-alikes are currently not eligible for the COVID-19 supplemental funding (H8C);
  • Deadline extensions for diabetes action plan reporting;
  • Definition of a “temporary site” for the purposes of scope of project; and
  • Under what circumstances services can be provided at a new location without HRSA approval.

 

COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

 

SAMHSA MAT COVID-19 Resources

 

DEA Guidelines Use of Telemedicine While Providing MAT

 

Office-Based Opioid Treatment COVID Response 

 

Department of Labor COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies Employer Guidance

 

The National Law Review COVID-19 FAQs on Federal Labor and Employment Laws

 

UIC College of Dentistry Clinical Operations_03_13_2020

 

ISDS Issues Recommendations for Dental Offices Regarding COVID-19

 

ACCESS_Employee_Fit_Test_Protocols_03_11_2020

 

Crossing_COVID-19_Plan_03_13_2020

 

VNA_Respiratory_Management_Plan_03_14_2020

 

VNA_Respiratory_Protection_Plan_03_14_2020

 

Sample COVID-19/Coronavirus Preparedness Considerations foOutpatient/Ambulatory Care Settings

 

Sample Protocol for Responding to COVID-19

Crossing Healthcare Temporary Telecommuting Agreement

Crossing Healthcare Temporary Telecommuting Policy


Insight for Employers: Employer FAQs for COVID-19
Hinshaw & Culbertson prepared an FAQ designed to address some common questions employers have on responding to employment-related issues due to the coronavirus.

 

NHSC Update
Health centers with clinical providers with service obligations to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loan repayment or scholarship programs should work through the NHSC participant portal to put in requests for permission for a reduction in required weekly hours and also for permission for additional days off beyond what is allowed per the NHSC contract. NHSC Participant Portal»

 

Steps for Drive-Through Testing
NACHC's interpretation of FTCA, Scope of Service PIN, and Emergency Service PAL says drive through testing is possible. Three tasks are needed:

1.       Ensuring that the site meets certain requirements; per PAL 2014-05 and PIN 2008-01– rules vary based on location of services within, adjacent to or outside your service area.

2.       Providing the appropriate information to BPHC (listed in NACHC FAQ document); and

3.       Meeting the deadline for submitting this information to BPHC - within 15 days of initiating emergency operations. If you anticipate more than 90 days of operations, a scope in service change is required before the 90 days are up. HRSA suggests submitting a scope change “well in advance of the 90 days." 

 

Please review NACHC's FAQ for full details and decision points.

 

Full steps based on the following references are available in NACHC's FAQ; TEMPORARY SITES, SCOPE, AND FTCA (added 03/16/2020) Section

§  FTCA ManualSection F, “FTCA Coverage When Responding to Emergency Events

§  PAL 2014-05“Updated Process for Requesting a Change in Scope to Add Temporary Sites in Response to Emergency Events”

§  PIN 2008-01, “Defining Scope of Project and Policy for Requesting Changes"

 

Now Available: Sample Drive-Through Testing Procedures (NACHC)
Sample Drive-Through Procedures NACHC Resource Packet
Sample Drive-Through Budget Worksheet

 

Providers Working from Home - HRSA/BPHC Guidance
HRSA/BPHC provided guidance (March 17) on COVID-19 FAQ -Services indicating that during this emergency, from the HRSA program perspective, either the patient and/or the provider may be located in their home providing or receiving services.

 

“From a Health Center Program scope of project policy perspective, yes, as long as: 1) The service being provided via telehealth is within the health center’s approved scope of project (recorded on Form 5A); 2) the clinician delivering the service is a health center provider; and 3) the individual receiving the service is a health center patient.”

 

Additionally, HRSA strongly encourages health centers that provide, or are planning to provide, health services via telehealth to consult with professional organizations, regulatory bodies, and private counsel to help assess, develop, and maintain written telehealth policies that are compliant with Health Center Program requirements; federal, state, and local requirements; and applicable standards of practice. Likewise, HRSA encourages health centers to consider the range of issues that would support successful implementation of telehealth. Please review the PAL 2020-01: Telehealth and Health Center Scope of Project for more information. 

 

For information about FTCA questions, please contact Health Center Program Support.

NACHC’s March 16, 2020 FAQs also suggests “Regarding care for patients in their homes, health centers are currently permitted to include such services in scope. Specifically, “home visits” may be listed as an “Other Activity/ Location” on Form 5C.”

 

Additionally, the FTLF 3-20-2-20 webinar suggested that an authorized representative of the FQHC (C-suite personnel) provide an email or memo to employees regarding their permission to work at home during this emergency as an extension of duties on behalf of the health center.  This should correspond to an “other duties as assigned” type statement in existing employee contracts so contracts do not need to be amended.

 

HFS has not explicitly limited the location of the distant site provider for telehealth services.  During this emergency as long as the distant site provider is an employee of the health center, operating within the scope-of-practice provisions of their license and scope of the FQHC services, they may be located at home. 

 

“The distant site provider is any enrolled provider, operating within their scope of practice, and with the appropriate license or certification.” – Emergency telehealth amendment.

 

Telehealth & Billing

HFS has updated their telemedicine information to verify the billing process and rates for the Virtual Check-in and E-Visits, and telehealth as well as Dental Visits. Detail codes are provided along with instructions on when to bill POS 02 and modifier GT. Claim instructions are outlined in the Provider Notice. A billing detail list is available here. An accompanying FAQ is also available. HFS also confirmed that "Medical/dental/behavioral health encounters with new or existing patients using audio only telephonic equipment will be reimbursed at the medical/dental/behavioral health encounter rate so long as the encounter is of an amount and nature that would be sufficient to meet the key components of a face-to-face encounter."

The virtual check-in codes have been changed from the original March 20 Provider Notice to now parallel the Medicare process using codes G2010 and G2012 instead of the initially announced CPT codes.


HFS Emergency Telehealth Policy
HFS released an emergency telehealth policy March 20, 2020 in effect during the COVID-19 response to more broadly define encounter reimbursed telehealth, patient home locations and providers. This includes adding remote connection billable services, Virtual Check-in and E-visits. Virtual Check-Ins and E-visits will be paid at a FFS rate to CHCs. HFS anticipates additional billing provider notices as the rate is established for the new services. See the Provider Notice for details.

Governor Announces Telehealth Executive Order
On March 19, Governor Pritzker signed an executive order expanding the use of telehealth under Illinois’ Medicaid program. His order defines telehealth as inclusive of health care, including mental health and substance use disorder treatment, delivered to a patient, regardless of their location, through electronic or telephonic methods, including by phone (cellular and landline), videoconferencing, and video technology (such as FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype).

 

The newly defined telehealth services are required to be covered under both Medicaid and commercial insurance regulated by the State of Illinois. Insurers are prohibited from imposing treatment limitations that are more stringent than requirements applicable to services delivered in-person. Insurers may not impose cost-sharing for in-network providers. Telehealth services may be provided by any authorized in-network clinician as defined in the order, which includes but is not limited to, physicians, PAs, APRNs, psychologists, pharmacists, and mental health and substance use disorder providers. See Sec. 5 of the EO for full list. Read this updated telehealth overview for more detailed information. 

DOI Released Memo Concerning Telehealth and State-Regulated Commercial Insurance
As a follow up to the Governor’s Executive Order 9, on March 25 DOI released a memo with telehealth guidance. Memo primarily provides clarification on the coverage of telehealth under various types of commercial insurance plans. 

General guidance from DOI Memo on EO9: “The order requires issuers to pay costs of services that are already covered when they happen to be delivered via telehealth by a certain range of providers, but it does not require issuers to add qualitatively new benefits to their policies.” 

 

State Executive Order, Medicaid Waiver, and Provider Notice Details on Sweeping Telehealth Changes
Illinois took two critical steps on March 19, 2020, to broadly expand the use of telehealth during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Together, these two actions have the effect of broadening the use of telehealth to cover patients in just about all locations, greatly expanding the billable types of providers, adding Virtual Check-ins and E-visits, and eliminating prior authorization requirements. HFS published details on billing telehealth, Check-in and E-visit services in the 
March 19 Provider Notice

 

MEDICAID
FQHC Telehealth Encounter replacing a face to face visit – Encounter reimbursement
To be eligible for reimbursement, the telehealth service must be delivered using:

1.   An “interactive telecommunication system” or “telecommunication system” as described in 89 Ill. Admin. Code Section 140.403(a); or

2.   a communication system where information exchanged between the physician or other qualified health care practitioner and the patient during the course of the synchronous telehealth service is of an amount and nature that would be sufficient to meet the key components and requirements of the same service when rendered via face-to-face interaction.

 

HFS also added two new telehealth services that do not qualify for telehealth as defined above. These additional charges are reimbursed at the fee for service level; Virtual Check-in and E-Visits. Please see the HFS Provider Notice for billing details on the new codes.

 

MEDICARE
FQHCs remain unable to bill distant site telehealth services other than Virtual Communication, but NACHC is working with Congress on this issue. Virtual Communication details are included in the IPHCA Telehealth Communications – Page 5 Medicare Section.

 

See the IPHCA Telehealth Communications for Medicaid Provider Notice Details, Governor's Executive Orders, and the Telehealth Emergency Amendment; as well as, Medicare Virtual Communication Billing.

 

IDPH Versus Commercial COVID-19 Lab Testing

Commercial labs (HCPCs U00002) turnaround time is expected to be 1-4 days, but may be longer according to the March 10, 2020 IDPH Health Alert (attached). Commercial labs available are listed here.

 

IDPH labs (HCPCs U00001) turn around time is promised in 3 days, but are averaging 2 days right now. IDPH labs should be used for higher priority patients and are pre-authorized through the local health department based on a list of situations included in the IDPH Health Alert.

 

Medicare reimbursement as of March 12, 2020 for the lab tests is available here. Medicaid released the reimbursement provider notice on March 13, 2020.

 

Expense Tracking
With the signing of the U.S. $8.3 billion aid package signed on March 6, 2020, health centers should track and monitor personnel time, materials and supplies specific to the COVID-19 response. Some examples include patient triage and communications personnel, COVID-19 lab tests for the uninsured, increased personal protective equipment (PPE), HVAC negative pressure materials, and filters.

 

Government/Funding

FEDERAL
CMS Eases Regulations to Prepare for Surge
On March 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to better equip the healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Expand capacity by triaging patients to a variety of community-based locales.
  • Permit non-hospital buildings and spaces to be used for patient care and quarantine sites, provided that the location is approved by the State and ensures the safety and comfort of patients and staff.
  • Allow hospitals, laboratories, and other entities to perform tests for COVID-19 on people at home and in other community-based settings outside of a hospital.
  • Allow ambulances to transport patients to a wider range of locations when other transportation is not medically appropriate. These destinations include CHCs furnishing dialysis services when an ESRD facility is not available.
  • Relief from paperwork and audit requirements.
  • Allow for more than 80 additional services to be furnished via telehealth.

New CMS Telehealth Interim Final Rule
CMS issued new guidance on waivers and flexibilities over the past few days including an interim final rule. Once we have an analysis or more information from NACHC, we will provide. 

CMS Accelerated and Advanced Medicare Payments
As a part of the wave of new provisions issued by CMS, we want to call to your attention guidance on Medicare accelerated and advanced payments. IPHCA is compiling funding opportunities and resources to share in a single document as a reference for members. We will include information on accessing accelerated and advanced Medicare payments. In the interim, here is a direct link to what CMS has provided.

FUNDING
CARES Act (Stimulus #3) En Route to President’s Desk
CARES Act (Stimulus #3) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Details on most pertinent sections of spending plan outlined here by National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Stimulus #2)

The U.S. Senate passed and the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – “phase two” of the coronavirus spending bills negotiated by Congress and the White House. The legislation that passed earmarked $100M for CHCs.

 

Bill also ensures free coronavirus testing is free to everyone, as well as technical changes to Medicare to allow for greater telehealth capabilities and $500M for telehealth expansion. It also includes funding for food programs for children and older adults, up to 14 days of paid leave for employees infected with COVID-19, and $500M in unemployment assistance, among other things. Lastly, the bill provides states with temporary enhanced federal matching funds for their Medicaid programs. For Illinois, there is expected to be a 6.2% FMAP increase totaling $790M if annualized.

 

MEDICAID

Medicaid Disenrollment Suspended
As a part of the conditions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act allowing states to receive increased FMAP, states must suspend disenrollment from Medicaid during the duration of the crisis. This is something IPHCA and many of you had advocated for so we are happy to see this. We are in communication with HFS about details. More details are available here.

REPORTING/COMPLIANCE

Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
BPHC hosts a coronavirus response FAQ that is regularly updated. Key updates as of March 27, 2020:

  • All OSVs are cancelled through at least the next 6 weeks – end of April.
  • BPHC is unlikely to offer a “blanket waiver” for submission deadlines related to UDS, FTCA, HCCNs, etc., but is willing to work with individual CHCs to extend their deadline if necessary.
  • All CHCs are expected to report to BPHC twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) on COVID-19-related developments and activities. This will be done online, and HRSA/BPHC is working to make the process as streamlined as possible. BPHC plans to share this tool with the field Thursday (3/19) and to require the first data submission on Friday (3/20).

CMS Extends Deadline for Medicare Quality Reporting
CMS announced relief to providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs including clinicians in the Quality Payment Program. The agency is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs.

 

HHS Issues Guidance on Telehealth Following Its Notification of Enforcement Discretion
HHS’ Office of Civil Rights announced that they will exercise discretion in the enforcement of privacy protections in order to enable broader use of telehealth during the current crisis. Effective immediately, the agency will not impose penalties for HIPAA violations against healthcare providers in connection with good faith efforts to deliver care using communication technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

 

Additionally, they produced guidance to assist providers navigating emergency telehealth provisions.

 

HRSA Community Health Center Survey Announcement
HHS Secretary Azar 
announced that the Health Resources and Services Administration will be reaching out to health centers via a twice-weekly survey on their involvement with COVID-19. The first survey will be sent by HRSA today and it will include instructions. Moving forward, the surveys will be sent every Monday and Thursday. Please let your Project Officer or Health Center Program Support know if you do not receive the survey. More information will also be made available in the HRSA COVID-19 FAQ.

 

HRSA FAQs

HRSA FAQs are regularly updated. These are important, informative updates that we encourage all of our members to review. Recent additions include funding relative to health centers (expecting March awards for the $100 million allocated to CHCs), emergency preparedness, and service delivery.

 

President Extends Social Distancing Guidelines until April 30
On March 29, President Trump announced that social distancing guidelines will remain in effect through at least the end of April. This is a departure from recent comments about reopening parts of the economy, and a sign that there is still much more to be done to curb the disease spread.  

NACHC Sample FAQs for Shelter-in-Place

President Issues Crowd Size Guidance

The President and the CDC issued guidance that recommends limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people on March 16.

 

Public Charge

Recent rules relative to public charge are being relaxed in an effort to ensure everyone has access to health care resources that will prevent further disease spread. Click here to read a recent FAQ developed by NACHC.

SICK LEAVE & FAMILY LEAVE

US DOL Emergency Leave Programs – FAQ

US Department of Labor (US DOL) issued an FAQ for the Emergency Sick Leave and Emergency Family Leave programs established by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.


SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

CARES Act (Stimulus #3) Authorizes SBA Emergency Loans; CHCs Are Eligible

Nonprofits, including CHCs, are eligible for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). For more details, please see this NACHC summary of the most relevant sections of the CARES Act to CHCs.


HOMELESS POPULATION
CDC Guidance on Responding to COVID-19 among Individuals Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness
CDC guidance on serving the unsheltered homeless including those living in encampments is available here.

TELEHEALTH
Medicare Fix for CHCs
House passed the Senate CARES Act (Stimulus #3) on March 27, including provisions allowing CHCs to serve as a telehealth distance site under the Medicare program.

Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers
Information on offering and accessing emergency child care is being housed on the Governor’s Office for Early Childhood Development (GOECD) website. Resources include provider directory and information on licensing and other regulatory issues.

 

COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING

Attorney General Guidance on HIPAA

The Office of the Attorney General summarized guidance from HHS for state’s attorneys regarding HIPAA and exceptions for first responders stating that, “first responders can be notified about confirmed COVID-19 cases in a particular area when responding to a call for service.” More information is available here[AK10] .

STATE
Governor Extends Stay Home Order until April 30
During this time, schools will remain closed and non-essential businesses will remain closed.

FUNDING

Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department of (DCEO)

Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois Department of (HFS)

See Medicaid waivers section below.

Human Services, Illinois Department of (DHS)


Hold Harmless Commitment

Secretary Hou issued a letter [AK12] to providers indicating that in the event FFS billing declines or grant-funded program need to cease as a result of COVID-19, funding will continue to flow and providers will be held harmless.

Illinois Expands Nutrition Assistance and Housing Aid

Illinois is applying for federal approval to expand nutritional assistance aid through waivers for the SNAP and WIC programs. Additionally, Illinois schools continue to serve meals to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch; and some schools are offering meals to all students.


DHS Funding for Emergency Lodging for Homeless
DHS makes $6M available throughout the state for emergency lodging for people experiencing homelessness. These emergency funds will be made available through local Continuums of Care (CoC), local or regional planning bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that coordinate housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals.

 

IDHS is working to quickly implement this emergency lodging program. CoCs will work with local service providers to fund solutions tailored to the unique needs of their communities. Options may include hotels, motels, and other safe and appropriate accommodations. 

 

To ensure continuity of services for persons experiencing homelessness, IDHS is also increasing existing FY20 funding for Emergency and Transitional Housing, Supportive Housing, and Homeless Prevention by 5% to increase capacity during this crisis. This 5% increase is in addition to the $6M committed for emergency lodging. 

 

IDHS will release these funds as quickly as possible. Additional communications to providers and CoCs is forthcoming.

 

DHS Reduces Number of Family and Community Resource Centers Open During Crisis; Supplements with Virtual Services

DHS is reducing the number of open, public-facing Family and Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) to 14 -- starting Monday, March 30. You can find a map with open locations on their website.

 

In their notice, DHS stated, “This was a difficult decision, but we have put together virtual capacity to ensure that people can access critical nutrition and medical benefits online or by phone. For cases of emergency, these limited office locations will still be open. Benefits [Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Medicare savings, community supports] are available online at ABE.illinois.gov or by phone at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP.

 

Since March 19, these offices have been open at about 50% staffing levels, with many employees moving to a virtual service model. We hope to move all of the local offices to a virtual environment while fully meeting the needs of Illinois residents.

 

Finally – if you are interested, we would love for you to help us amplify important information and messages for the public and your organizations. You can find IDHS-related information in response to COVID-19 on the IDHS Coronavirus Website.


Also, if you or anyone you know is aware of PPE resources that can be donated in support of our most critical public health needs at this time, please email PPE.donations@Illinois.gov.”


Labor, Illinois Department of (IDOL)


Illinois WARN Act

The Illinois WARN Act requires employers with 75 or more full-time employees to give workers and state and local government officials 60 days advance notice of a site closing or mass layoff.

 

IPHCA remains committed to securing the state and federal resources necessary to enable CHCs to continue to serve. In the case that relief does not come quickly enough or is insufficient to sustain operations, furloughs and closures may be unavoidable. Exemptions can be requested through the Department of Labor and will be granted on a case by case basis.


Public Health, Illinois Department of (IDPH)

For CHCs receiving IDPH programmatic grants, the Governor’s Office and Comptroller began releasing $3.4M in grant funds on March 27, 2020.

 

MEDICAID
Medicaid Disenrollment Suspended
As a part of the conditions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act allowing states to receive increased FMAP, states must suspend disenrollment from Medicaid during the duration of the crisis. This is something IPHCA and many of you had advocated for so we are happy to see this. Last week the Governor’s Office indicated it will be suspending disenrollment. More details are available here.

1115 Waiver

Illinois applied for federal approval of an 1115 Medicaid Waiver (proposal, fact sheet) aimed at mitigating the impact and spread of COVID-10, streamlining Medicaid application process, and preserve access to coverage and thus care.


1135 Waiver

President declared national emergency, enabling states to submit 1135 Medicaid waivers to better enable them to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Illinois’ approved 1135 Medicaid waiver suspends prior authorization requirements, relaxes provider enrollment requirements, and permits additional flexibility for service delivery alternative site among other provisions. More details provided at links below.

 

HFS Announces YouthCare Delayed

On March 16, HFS announced a delay of at least 30 days for the transition to YouthCare for DCFS youth in care.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Governor Announces PPE Shipments
On March 30, Governor Pritzker announced that the State has executed several contracts to obtain PPE for distribution to county health departments, hospitals, regional health care coalitions, and other front line partners. The State is expected significant shipments of supplies to arrive by the end of the week and will work as expeditiously as possible to get needed items out to highly impacted regions including Cook County and the collar counties.

Governor also reported that, to date, Illinois has sent supplies to 96 county health departments, 150 hospitals, and 10 regional healthcare coalitions in the areas of Champaign, Chicago, Edwardsville, Marion, Peoria, and Springfield.


Governor Launches Public-Private Collaboration to Increase PPE Supply; Urges President to Use Defense Production Act
Governor Pritzker announced a public-private partnership with the Illinois Manufacturers Association and Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) to ramp up in-state production of PPE. He also outlined previous requests to the federal government for PPE and what Illinois has received which is, unfortunately, only a fraction of what is needed. As a result, he urged the President to invoke the Defense Production Act to ensure the health care industry has necessary supplies for combatting the pandemic.

PHARMACY
HFS Pharmacy COVID-19 Updates
HFS released a Provider Notice detailing the pharmacy measures in place due to the COVID-19 waiver including relaxation of refill too soon, allowing 90 day insulin refills, relaxing the three brand limit and OPR Medicaid provider editing. See the Provider Notice for details.

LICENSURE AND WORKFORCE

IDFPR Releases Forms to Enable License Reinstatement; Out-of-State Temporary Practice
Applications for license reinstatement and out-of-state temporary practice are available on the IDFPR’s website.

Governor Implores Former Health Care Workers to Re-Join the Ranks

Governor Pritzker invited former health care workers, whether recently retired or those who have changed careers, to rejoin the workforce during this time of crisis. Licensing fees will be waived, license renewals will be expedited, and the process for honoring out-of-state licenses will be streamlined.

 

IDFPR Extends Deadlines for License Renewal, Continuing Education
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced they are extending the professional licenses renewal and continuing education deadlines. They will also allow online/virtual continuing education course credits in addition to currently permitted in-person courses.

 

Expiration date for professional licenses up for renewal: March 1 - July 31, 2020 > Sept. 30, 2020.

 

Renewal deadline for continuing education requirements: March 1 - July 31, 2020 > Sept. 30, 2020.

 

A complete list of professions whose renewal deadline is extended to September 30, 2020 may be found here.

VOLUNTEERS AND DONATIONS
Governor Pritzker Encourages Illinoisans to Come Together during Turbulent Time

Specifically, he encouraged businesses to donate PPE and residents to consider donating blood and registering to volunteer – for those who are in a position to do so.

 

Many areas are experiencing severe blood shortages due to the cancellation of blood drives. Blood banks are ramping up precautions by increasing the frequency of cleaning surfaces and keeping an appropriate distance between donors. More information on:

Governor Launches Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to Assist Communities
In partnership with the United Way of Illinois and Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, Governor Pritzker has launched the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF). At launch, the fund had raised $23M to distribute to support nonprofit organizations serving those whose lives have been upended by this pandemic.

 

ICRF will focus on filling Illinois residents’ most basic needs, including:

• Emergency food and basic supplies
• Interim housing and shelter
• Primary health care services
• Utility and financial assistance
• Supports for children and other vulnerable populations
• Nonprofit safety and operations assistance

 

Patient Education

Shriver Center COVID-19 Resources for Individuals and Families

Quick Guide Offers Consumer-Friendly COVID-19 Information for Homeless Shelters and Service Providers

Who Should I Call About COVID-19? IDPH Flyer

Immigrant Healthcare Resources and Rights in Response to Coronavirus - Available in English and Spanish

IDPH COVID-19 Social Distancing graphic to be used for patient and community education.

IDPH Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

CDC What You Need to Know.

CDC multiple languages (Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Russian, Swahili, Dari, Arabic, Farsi)  What to do if you are sickWhat you need to knowStop spread of germs posterSymptoms and more.

Coping with Stress and Fear from COVID-19 poster

CDC Animals and Coronavirus Disease 2019

CDC Household Checklist

 

Other Resources

Upcoming Events
Weitzman ECHO Series on COVID-19
Join our interactive learning series led by multiple experts and PCPs to discuss emergency preparedness, operations, and clinical care. These sessions are designed for PCPs & care teams.

This series starts live on March 18th with subsequent sessions live on Wednesdays. Recordings and slides will be made available after the live session.

Date: April 1, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. (Central)
Register

BKD COVID-19 Weekly Webinar Series – SBA Loans, Payroll Tax Credits & General Business Planning Considerations
Date: April 2, 2020
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central)
Register

COCA Call: Clinical Management of Critically Ill Adults with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Date: April 2, 2020
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (Central)
If joining through Zoom, please click the link below to join the webinar: 
https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1613334029

Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 254 5252 or +1 646 828 7666 
Webinar ID: 161 333 4029

Due to the high demand we anticipate for this COCA Call, we encourage participants to consider viewing it on Facebook Live.

There will only be a few slides for this COCA Call. The slide set is available under the "Call Materials" tab on the COCA Call webpage. Slides will not advance during the presentation portion of this webinar.

If you are unable to attend the live COCA Call, the recording will be available for viewing on the COCA Call webpage a few hours after the live event ends. It will be available for viewing on COCA’s Facebook page immediately after the live event ends at 2:00 p.m. (Central).

COVID-19 Strategies for OB/Neonatal Units
Date: April 3, 2020
Time: 12:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: Webinar
Register

The Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative (ILPQC) in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will be hosting a COVID-19 Strategies for OB/Neonatal Units Webinar on Friday April 3, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Leaders from OB and Neonatal units from around Illinois will be sharing strategies and discussing approaches for key issues that OB/Neonatal providers and staff are currently facing. Can't make it live? A recording of the webinar and FAQs will be available following the webinar here

ECHO Chicago: COVID-19 in Pediatric Populations
Date: April 7, 2020
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Central)
Join us for a didactic & an extensive Q&A led by ECHO-Chicago Director and Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Daniel Johnson

Registration is REQUIRED. Please register here. (Space is limited)

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out at echo@bsd.uchicago.edu.

ILPQC Launches COVID-19 OB/Neonatal Resources Webpage
ILPQC has launched a COVID-19 OB/Neonatal resources webpage available here. ILPQC will continue to regularly update this page with national guidelines, publications and example strategies/protocols and resources from obstetric and neonatal units and outpatient OB care. 

IDPH Perinatal Advisory Committee (PAC) supports the recently published recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine regarding obstetrical care and appropriate distribution of PPE resources in order to full protect obstetrical providers, pregnant women, and their partners. While these recommendations may not apply to each and every clinical setting, PAC supports careful consideration of these concerns.

SMFM COVID-19 considerations

AJOG COVID-19 in pregnancy, early lessons. 

IDPH Recommended Guidance of Care for Pregnant Women and Newborns During the COVID-19 Pandemic

CDC Resource Updates:

·     Healthcare Professionals: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (revised March 30, 2020)

·     Stress and Coping (new on March 30, 2020)

·     People with Asthma and COVID-19 (revised March 30, 2020)

·     Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Caronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Revised March 30, 2020)

·     CDC Print Resources

·     CDC Frequently Asked Questions

 

IDHS COVID-19 Coping Resources Memo

 

IDHS COVID-19 Managing Stress and Anxiety

 

CDPH March 27 Situational Awareness Call Slides Now Available
View Slides

 

Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

 

IDPH 03/25 Situational Update Call - Slides Now Available

 

HHS HIV/AIDS Guidelines Panels Release Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV

The Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV is now available on the AIDS info website.

 

Health Center COVID-19 Networking Group
NACHC has launched a Community Health Center Networking Group via the online platform Noddlepod which:

·         Consolidates the broad range of information on COVID-19 from many different sources (e.g., BPHC, CMS, NACHC, ECRI) in a single location where you can quickly find information on a specific topic.

·         Enables members to share information and questions quickly.

·         To access this Noddlepod site, e-mail shansen@nachc.org.

 

IDPH Management of Acute Respiratory Symptoms During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Quick Tips on How to Register for SIREN

 

NACHC FAQ
The 
NACHC FAQ includes updates on resources, clinical protocols, and steps for temporary sites in emergency situations. Please review these temporary sites in emergency situation provisions to see if your health center is impacted since BPHC must be notified within 15 days of beginning emergency operations.

 

National Health Care for the Homeless Council: COVID-19 & the HCH Community - Needed Policy Responses for a High-Risk Group 

IDPH Lab Submission Update:
Effective 3/13/20, IDPH will only test NP swabs for initial patient screening. Please view the IDPH Notice
OHP Labs COVID-19 IDPH Sample for complete details. READ CAREFULLY.

 

BE AWARE: False COVID Message via Internet Blogsite

 

Behavioral Health/Substance Use

§  SAMHSA T/TA Resources Related to COVID-19 

§  SAMHSA COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance   

§  Important Updates for IDHS/SUPR Organizations 

§  COVID-19 IDHS SUPR OTPs FAQ 

§  Adjusting Drug Testing Protocols 

§  ASAM Appropriate Use of Drug Testing in Clinical Addiction Medicine 

§  Promoting Support Group Attendance 

§  TAP 34: Disaster Planning Handbook for Behavioral Health Treatment Programs 

§  Considerations for the Care and Treatment of Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the COVID-19 Epidemic: March 20, 2020 

§  Considerations for Crisis Centers and Clinicians in Managing the Treatment of Alcohol or Benzodiazepine Withdrawal during the COVID-19 Epidemic: March 19, 2020 

§  Considerations for Outpatient Mental and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings 

 

FAQs for Opioid Use Disorder Prescribing and Dispensing in the COVID-19 Emergency

In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, SAMHSA is providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the provision of methadone and buprenorphine for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder for new and existing patients.

 

For the Latest COVID-19 Information Use these Resource links

CDC Prepare to Care for COVID-19: Get Your Practice Ready
CDC Strategies for Optimizing Supply of N95 Respirators
CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE
CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Face Masks
CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Eye Protection
CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Isolation Gowns
CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
CDC FAQ for Healthcare Professionals
CDC Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
CDC – NIOSH – How to Properly Put on and Take off Disposable Respirator (English and Spanish)
CDC – Sequence for Putting on PPE
IDPH - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
IDPH - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE
CDC Homepage for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
CDC Travel Guidance
CDC Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
CDC Guidance for Laboratories
CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity Facebook page
Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication Training
Health Alert Network
National Health Law COVID-19 Resource Page 

Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19

 

Public Communications

CDC What the Public Should Do

CDC What you need to know about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC What to Do if You are Sick (Updated 03/25)

CDC FAQ for Travelers

WHO Advice for Public

CDC Check and Record Everyday Booklet

Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI)

Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19

Cleaning and Disinfecting Regulations

Governor Issues Disaster Proclamation

Gov. Pritzker's Coronavirus Press Conference March 13, 2020

Updated CDC Print Resources

Virus Could Close Illinois Community Health Centers - This AP article highlights COVID-19's impact on Illinois community health centers.

 

Health Resources and Services Administration

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Resources for Health Centers webpage

 

IPHCA Springfield Office
500 S. Ninth St., Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 541-7300


IPHCA Chicago Office

542 S. Dearborn St., Suite 300, Chicago, IL  60605
(312) 692-3000