COVID-19 Updates

Workforce Resources (Updated 4/2/2020)

Telehealth (Updated 5/6/2020)

Emergency Funding (Updated 3/27/2020)

Exchange/Open Enrollment (Updated 4/2/2020)

Immigrant and Refugee Resources (Updated 4/2/2020)

PPE Resources (Updated 4/3/2020)

Drive-Through Testing Procedures (Updated 3/19/2020)

Governor Inslee’s Proclamations (Updated 4/27/2020)

Resources (Updated 5/14/2020)

Media (Updated 6/11/2020)

 


 

Workforce Resources 

COVID-19 Workforce Resources PDF

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Telehealth

Telemedicine Overview PDF

HCA Guidance on Billing Telehealth Scenarios

FCC Telehealth Funding Program

The CARES Act provided $200 million to the FCC to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to current crisis. The funds provide immediate support to eligible health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by fully funding their telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services until the program’s funds have been expended or the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. The FCC has indicated it does not expect to make grants larger than $1 million.

 

The application opened last week and FCC is awarding these dollars on a rolling basis, so if you are interested in applying, it’s best to do so as soon as possible. The FCC has already announced two rounds of funding and both of them included grants to CHCs.

 

You can learn more and submit applications here. If you have a question about how to apply for the FCC’s $200 million COVID-19 program, please email Rashann Duvall or Hayley Steffen.

 

 

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Emergency Funding

  • Who manages the $100B in health care provider relief through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund?
    • This is the appropriations section of the bill related to the $100B fund – the best I can do on guidance about how the funding will be distributed
      • For an additional amount for “Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund”, $100,000,000,000, to remain available until expended, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for necessary expenses to reimburse, through grants or other mechanisms, eligible health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus, provided that:
        • That these funds may not be used to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse:
        • That recipients of payments under this paragraph shall submit reports and maintain documentation as the Secretary determines are needed to ensure compliance with conditions that are imposed by this paragraph for such payments, and such reports and documentation shall be in such form, with such content, and in such time as the Secretary may prescribe for such purpose:
        • That “eligible health care providers” means public entities, Medicare or Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers, and such for-profit entities and not-for-profit entities not otherwise described in this proviso as the Secretary may specify, within the United States (including territories), that provide diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID–19:
        • That the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, on a rolling basis, review applications and make payments under this paragraph in this Act:
        • That funds appropriated under this paragraph in this Act shall be available for building or construction of temporary structures, leasing of properties, medical supplies and equipment including personal protective equipment and testing supplies, increased workforce and trainings, emergency operation centers, retrofitting facilities, and surge capacity:
        • That, in this paragraph, the term “payment” means a pre-payment, prospective payment, or retrospective payment, as determined appropriate by the Secretary:
        • That payments under this paragraph shall be made in consideration of the most efficient payment systems practicable to provide emergency payment:
        • That to be eligible for a payment under this paragraph, an eligible health care provider shall submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services an application that includes a statement justifying the need of the provider for the payment and the eligible health care provider shall have a valid tax identification number:
        • That, not later than 3 years after final payments are made under this paragraph, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services shall transmit a final report on audit findings with respect to this program to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate:
        • That nothing in this section limits the authority of the Inspector General or the Comptroller General to conduct audits of interim payments at an earlier date:
        • That not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide a report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate on obligation of funds, including obligations to such eligible health care providers summarized by State of the payment receipt:
        • That such reports shall be updated and submitted to such Committees every 60 days until funds are expended:
        • That such amount is designated by the Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
      • An article on the Emergency Fund from ASTHO
      • In short, I think the answer is – it depends.  Ill try to get more clarity.
  • How is the funding distributed under the $500B Business Fund?  (This is section 4003 of the bill)
    • $454 billion, as well as any amounts available but not used for direct lending, for loans, loan guarantees, and investments in support of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities to eligible businesses, states, and municipalities.
    • All direct lending must meet the following criteria:
      • Alternative financing is not reasonably available to the business;
      • The loan is sufficiently secured or made at an interest rate that reflects the risk of the loan and, if possible, not less than an interest rate based on market conditions for comparable obligations before the coronavirus outbreak;
      • The duration of the loan shall be as short as possible and shall not exceed 5 years;
      • Borrowers and their affiliates cannot engage in stock buybacks, unless contractually obligated, or pay dividends until the loan is no longer outstanding or one year after the date of the loan;
      • Borrowers must, until September 30, 2020, maintain its employment levels as of March 24, 2020, to the extent practicable, and retain no less than 90 percent of its employees as of that date;
      • A borrower must certify that it is a U.S.-domiciled business and its employees are predominantly located in the U.S.;
      • The loan cannot be forgiven; and
      • In the case of borrowers critical to national security, their operations are jeopardized by losses related to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Any lending through a 13(3) facility established by the Federal Reserve under this Section must be broad-based, with verification that each participant is not insolvent and is unable to obtain adequate financing elsewhere. Loan forgiveness is not permissible in any such credit facility.
    • Treasury will endeavor to implement a special 13(3) facility through the Federal Reserve targeted specifically at nonprofit organizations and businesses between 500 and 10,000 employees, subject to additional loan criteria and obligations on the recipient, such as:
      • The funds received must be used to retain at least 90 percent of the recipient’s workforce, with full compensation and benefits, through September 30, 2020;
      • The recipient will not outsource or offshore jobs for the term of the loan plus an additional two years;
      • The recipient will not abrogate existing collective bargaining agreements for the term of the loan plus an additional two years; and(4)The recipient must remain neutral in any union organizing effort for the term of the loan
    • Section 4004:  Prohibits recipients of any direct lending authorized by this Title from increasing the compensation of any officer or employee whose total compensation exceeds $425,000, or from offering such employees severance pay or other benefits upon termination of employment which exceeds twice the maximum total annual compensation received by that employee, until one year after the loan is no longer outstanding. Officers or employees making over $3 Million last year would also be prohibited from earning more than $3 Million plus fifty percent of the amount their compensation last year exceeded $3 Million

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Exchange/Open Enrollment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WA State Benefit Exchange is offering a special open enrollment period for those who qualify and need insurance. This special enrollment period is open until May 8, 2020 (previously was April 8 but has been extended an additional month). Please contact their Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633) between 7:30am-5:30pm Monday-Friday, or see a local certified navigator or broker.

 

Language assistance is also available during this process at no additional cost. Reminder: Enrollment for Medicaid (aka WA Apple Health) can be done at any point in the year and does NOT require a special open enrollment period. For questions on this coverage please visit https://www.wahbexchange.org/.

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Immigrant and Refugee Resources

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that testing, prevention, or treatment for COVID-19, will NOT be used against immigrants in a public charge test. Click here for more information.

Resources for Washington’s Immigrant Communities During COVID-19 – Created by CHPW with place for CHC to add logo and co-brand as desired.

Immigrant-specific COVID-19 Assistance and FAQ Collected by El Comite, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Office of Immigrant Refugee Affairs

The Health Care Authority is actively pursuing Medicaid Waivers and other authorities to reduce barriers to coverage and care, and has expanded its emergency Medicaid program to cover COVID-19 related testing and care regardless of immigration status.

COVID-19 public health recommendations available in 15 languages Public Health, Seattle & King County

Healthcare access for Undocumented Folks in the Time of COVID-19 A state-specific health care resources for undocumented individuals by United We Dream

Update on Access to Health Care for Immigrants and Their Families National Immigration Law Center

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PPE Resources

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Drive-Through Testing Procedures

Sample procedures for health center drive-thru clinic PDF – NACHC, 3/19/2020
SPANISH VERSION – Sample procedures for health center drive-thru clinic PDF – NACHC, 3/19/2020

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Governor Inslee’s Proclamations

Inslee prohibits WA State from leaving their homes or participating in social, spiritual, recreational gatherings, 3/23/2020
All Proclamations

Governor Inslee details on healthcare worker licensing waiving certain statutes and rules due to COVID-19 pandemic and is, “… approved to be extended until the COVID-19 State of Emergency of May 4, 2020, whichever occurs first.”

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Resources

Washington State Coronavirus Response
Washington State HCA: COVID-19 Information
Chris Koppen – COVID-19 Presentation

COVID-19 Partner Toolkit from WA Health Benefit Exchange including one pagers, talking points, social media material, digital ads, PSAs, and more.

Grants, Loans, and other Cashflow Options for Health Centers, PCAs, and HCCNs during the COVID-19 Pandemic, by NACHC

Flexibilities in Who Can Order Home Health Services 

HRSA guidance and portal to reimbursement for Covid testing of uninsured patients. 

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Media

For community health clinics, one medical crisis could cause another, Crosscut, 6/11/2020

Opinion | David Olson: Compassion and respect for all, The Wenatchee World, 6/4/2020

On the Front Lines:  Community health centers play a vital role in the age of COVID-19, The Progressive, June/July 2020 Issue

Editorial: Next stimulus package needs to help community health centers, Yakima Herald, 5/22/2020

The Health Clinic Crisis on Main Street, Nautilus, 5/20/2020 

Community health centers face budget shortfalls because of COVID-19 pandemic, Yakima Herald, 5/16/2020 

Washington hospitals, community health centers face a new crisis: red ink, The Seattle Times, 5/4/2020

Lost jobs mean lost health care for 1,000s in Everett area, Herald Net, 5/4/2020

Community health centers at risk for widespread closures, layoffs, Puget Sound Business Journal, 5/1/2020

Unless additional help is given CVCH, Okanogan Family Health Centers facing financial devastation, The Wenatchee World, 4/29/2020

Opinion | Could COVID-19 be the death of Washington’s community health resources?, The Wenatchee World, 4/28/2020

The curious case of Latinos and Covid-19, KUOW, 4/27/2020

Volunteers help Union Gospel Mission find a solution for quarantining first confirmed coronavirus case, Yakima Herald, 4/26/2020

Financial impacts of COVID-19 may force over half of community health centers in WA to close, State of Reform, 4/23/2020

The state of our state’s coronavirus fight, The Seattle Times, 4/12/2020

As farm work carries on, some worry about becoming Washington state’s new coronavirus epicenter, The Seattle Times, 4/12/2020

This health center is losing $1M a month because dental services are shut downPuget Sound Business Journal, 4/7/2020

Just When They’re Needed Most, Clinics for the Poor Face Drastic Cutbacks, The New York Times, 4/4/2020

Washington state tribes, allies mobilize to gather medical protection needed in coronavirus fight, Seattle Times, 4/3/2020

Coronavirus spells financial trouble for health clinics serving low-income communities, Crosscut, 4/2/2020
For health care workers fighting COVID-19, crisis spurred innovation, PBS News Hour, 3/31/2020
Under Financial Strain, Community Health Centers Ramp Up For Coronavirus Response, NPR, 3/24/2020
Local View: Celebrate Affordable Care Act anniversary, The Columbian, 3/22/2020

‘We won’t turn people away’: Drive-thru COVID-19 screening in Spokane loosens criteria, The Spokesman-Review, 3/21/2020

Opinion| Elected officials in Chelan and Douglas counties: ‘Next week is especially crucial in stemming the spread of the coronavirus’, The Wenatchee World, 3/19/2020
Health care systems for vulnerable communities face unique challenges amid coronavirus outbreak, The Seattle Times, 3/18/2020
Community health centers are on the front lines amid COVID-19 outbreak, KUOW, 3/18/2020
Coronavirus adds to strain of Washington health care providers, KOMO News, 3/17/2020

 

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