Latest IDPH Updates:
IPHCA COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Resource Guide - Updated April 14, 2020:
IPHCA has compiled information from federal and state resources, and from our national affiliate NACHC, on various funding and resource opportunities that have been made available as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is intended to be a living document – updates will be made as more resources become available and/or more information comes to light. We will share those updates with you as they are made. Access the Resource Guide here.
Upcoming IPHCA Calls/Webinars
IPHCA COVID-19 Situational Briefing Call
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
Teleconference Number: 1 (929) 205-6099
Passcode: 758 284 782
IDPH Testing Guide
IDPH State Lab Update 4.20.20 • Testing Capabilities
Note: Large supply orders are in route to state lab. Lab supplies are limited for the next week or two. Limit testing to around 100 per day until notified by IPHCA or state lab.
Currently testing anyone who is symptomatic.
First responders and health care workers do not need to be symptomatic, just exposed, to receive a test.
To request COVID-19 testing supplies from state lab please use this form**: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/23f8f4130df043568f2e92169b8cda40
Try to order a week of supplies at a time.
Don’t wait to order supplies, order before you run out.
Use this form**to complete with each COVID-19 testing sample: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/forms/covid19--testing-form.pdf
Current lab form captures only Medicaid information. State lab is not collecting other insurance information until new online form is in use (new online form should be ready in the next 2 weeks)
Samples must be received in 72 hours from time of collection.
MedSpeed Delivery is picking up all COVID-19 specimens.
Supply request and reports will be changing in a couple of weeks to an online portal.
Currently results are sent via fax. It’s important to only have one fax number on file and to always use the same fax number when submitting tests.
**These forms are subject to change. IPHCA will share updates as they become available.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
04/16/2020 IDPH Health Alert: Clarification on the Use of Imported KN95 Masks
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
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.
- 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.
- If not available at the coalition level, make a request through your LHD.
- If the LHD doesn’t have availability, your request will be submitted in IDPH’s Inventory Management System by LHD.
- Please also submit the supply shortage form to Paula Campbell (email@example.com) 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.
Medicare Telehealth Distant Site Reimbursement - CMS Guidance for FQHCS
On April 17, CMS announced its guidance for FQHCs and RHCs to receive Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, per the provision in the CARES Act. Retroactive to January 27, 2020 and continuing for the duration of the COVID emergency, FQHCs are able to provide and be reimbursed for Medicare services as a distant site provider via telehealth. FQHCs will be reimbursed $92 for these services. FQHC practitioners can provide these services from any location, including one’s home, as long as they are working for the FQHC and can provide any telehealth service that is approved as a distant site service under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. For more specifics on the “how to,” including a list of the eligible codes and the appropriate way to code these services, please see the MLN Matters article.
These services are in addition to the recent announcement that expanded the definition of virtual communication G0071 services code to include “e-visits“ (communications initiated through an online portal) which increases the reimbursement to $24.76.
Updates to the Health Center Clearinghouse include items like the HITEQ Telehealth policy, HITEQ Using Non-Traditional Technology for Telehealth and links to NACHC Financial Office Hours. See more.
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.
Telehealth Executive Order in Illinois – Avenues to Deliver Telehealth:
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.”
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.
FUNDING – HOUSING, FOOD, & SOCIAL SUPPORTS:
IPHCA Partners with City of Chicago to Provide Free Resources to Health Care Workers and First Responders:
IPHCA is partnering with the City of Chicago to provide free resources to health care workers and first responders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
These free resources and supports are intended to mitigate the level of stress and anxiety that Chicago health care workers, first responders, and their families may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the website to learn more.
Governor Issues Executive Order 20, Relaxing Requirements for Applications for Public Assistance:
EO20 eases signature and attestation requirements for the submission of applications for public assistance during the crisis.
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.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT:
Illinois Department of Labor (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.
Exemptions can be requested through the Department of Labor and will be granted on a case by case basis:
HFS Announces Advance Payments to CHCs:
HFS issued a provider notice announcing the option of short-term advance Medicaid payments for CHCs struggling with cash flow.
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. More details are available here.
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. Proposal was still pending as of April 17, 2020.
Illinois’ partially approved 1135 Medicaid waiver suspends prior authorization requirements, relaxes provider enrollment requirements, and permits additional flexibility for service delivery alternative site among other provisions.
HFS Issues Provider Notice Expanding Prior Authorization Suspension:
HFS’ notice informs providers of temporary changes in prior authorization requirements
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.
Health Resources and Services Administration HRSA COVID-19 Grant FAQs:
HRSA posted an FAQ summarizing their COVID-19 grant policies here.
HRSA FAQs are regularly updated. These are important, informative updates that we encourage all of our members to review.
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.
Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Resources for Health Centers:
NACHC Advocacy for 4th Coronavirus Stimulus Package:
NACHC has prepared a request that includes additional emergency funding for community health centers, a five year extension of our mandatory funding with increases, etc. NACHC has also updated its advocacy webpage dedicated to the coronavirus with information about their request and ways in which advocates can take action.
New Resources for Supporting Immigrant Communities during COVID-19:
Quick Reference Guide – general overview of federal public programs to support individuals and families during COVID-19 crisis, including public charge clarifications.
National Immigration Law Center (NILC) Policy Brief – info on COVID-19 relief package’s impact on low-income immigrants and recommendations for strengthening future relief bills.
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.
CDC: Latest Information for Healthcare Professionals:
CDC: What’s New:
CDC Print Resources:
Updated CDC Print Resources
Special Population Guidance:
Chicago Department of Public Health Guidance:
COVID-19: Guidance for Homeless Shelters
Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Behavioral Health/Substance Use:
SAMHSA COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance
COVID-19 IDHS SUPR OTPs FAQ
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.
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»