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Showing posts from March 15, 2020

Congress Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill

From Covering Kids & Families of Indiana

A second major COVID-19 relief package, entitled HR 6201 - The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, has passed Congress and been signed into law. This legislation takes a broad approach at healthcare access and testing, while also hoping to address some of the economic needs of Americans. A few key measures include:
No-Cost COVID-19 Testing Private health plans, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and all other public insurance plans must cover testing for COVID-19 and related hospital or physicians' office visits at no cost. Testing will also not require prior authorization.Members of the primary insurance industry trade association previously made commitments to do so, but federal lawmaking will ensure uniform coverage and implementation. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) had already announced a no-pay policy for all Indiana Health Coverage Programs.Lastly, the bill includes $1 billion in funds from the …

Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services offices to close to the public to protect the health and safety of clients and staff

From FSSA

Offices will be closed to the public at the end of business today. Services remain available for all Hoosiers by telephone and other virtual options. In the interest of taking every possible measure to protect Hoosier health and safety, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will close its Bureau of Developmental Disability Services and Vocational Rehabilitation Services offices to the public at the end of business today until further notice. The decision was made as FSSA and state health leaders consider the best options for promoting social distancing to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

While offices will be closed to the public, DDRS services will continue for any new or current clients. BDDS and VR service delivery will continue. All scheduled appointments will take place via telephone or other virtual options. Clients may also continue to call and send documents to BDDS and VR offices.

Office phone numbers and mailing addresses are located …

Division of Family Resources offices to close to the public indefinitely to protect the health and safety of clients and staff

An FSSA News Release

Offices will be closed to the public at the end of business today. Online and telephone services remain available for all Hoosiers. INDIANAPOLIS – In the interest of taking every possible measure to protect Hoosier health and safety, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will close its Division of Family Resources offices to the public at the end of business today until further notice. The decision was made as FSSA and state health leaders consider the best options for promoting social distancing to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Hoosiers are understandably anxious and nervous about COVID-19 and are making historic changes in their daily lives in order to protect themselves and their families,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA Secretary. “We need to support them by reducing required human interactions as much as possible. Our clients should know, first and foremost, that their benefits are safe. SNAP and TANF benefits wi…

Indiana Medicaid allows telemedicine and telephone options for most health care and mental health interactions

From FSSA

Policy intended to streamline access to health services, protect frontline health care workers and help ensure appropriate utilization of emergency services INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced today that, to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Indiana Medicaid will allow interactions between patients and doctors and other health care providers, as well as other Medicaid service deliveries, to occur either over the phone or through the use of telemedicine technologies whenever possible. Effective immediately, most health services – including covered mental health services and Medicaid home- and community-based services – will be reimbursed as if they took place in person. This policy will remain in place – and telemedicine/telephone interactions will be encouraged – for as long as Indiana remains under a declaration of a public health emergency by Governor Eric Holcomb.

“As we continue our work to protect the health …

AUCD Action Alert

COVID-19 - Legislative Advocacy
Background:Congress and the administration are responding the COVID-19 crisis in a variety of ways. It is important in the fast-moving decision process that the various relief and safety efforts meet the needs of people with disabilities. Congressional efforts:Bill StatusWhat is means for People with Disabilities Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020
Became Law on March 6, 2020

Mental Health and COVID-19 – Information and Resources from Mental Health America

As the number of cases of COVID-19 increase, so does the associated anxiety.
For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as important to address as are the physical health effects. And for the one in five who already have mental health conditions – or the one in two who are at risk of developing them – we need to take personal, professional, and policy measures now to address them.
For the past several weeks, MHA has been using its unique database to monitor daily this increase in anxiety. According to our screening data, we experienced a 19 percent increase in screening for clinical anxiety in the first weeks of February, and a 12 percent increase in the first two weeks of March.  
This suggests that our screeners are not just “worried well.” Instead they  represent thousands of people whose lives and sense of well-being are being severely impacted by concerns about the virus. 
As things unfold in the coming days and weeks, MHA will continue to monitor anxiety.…

Telemedicine Information from Medicaid.gov

Telemedicine
Related ResourcesMedicaid for Services Delivered Via Telehealth (PDF, 25.55 KB) For purposes of Medicaid, telemedicine seeks to improve a patient's health by permitting two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient, and the physician or practitioner at the distant site. This electronic communication means the use of interactive telecommunications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment. Telemedicine is viewed as a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional face-to-face way of providing medical care (e.g., face-to-face consultations or examinations between provider and patient) that states can choose to cover under Medicaid. This definition is modeled on Medicare's definition of telehealth services (42 CFR 410.78). Note that the federal Medicaid statute does not recognize telemedicine as a distinct service. Telemedicine TermsDistant or Hub site: Site at which the physician or other licensed practitioner deliverin…