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Important Message for Our Customers

As we all deal with the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of COVID-19 or Coronavirus and the effect it is having on our communities, transparent and timely communication is critical.

That’s why we wanted to let you know what we are doing to keep our employees and our customers safe and secure.

As of March 17, all Qualifacts employees are working remotely. Since we’ve always had a distributed workforce, in many ways this is an expansion of current protocols rather than entirely new ones. Additionally, our business-continuity plan is designed with this scenario in mind, and as such, all internal and customer-facing systems will remain fully operational and accessible. At the same time, we want to assure customers that we have industry-leading security measures in place around client data and that all systems utilized by Qualifacts team members, including those working remotely, are subject to well-defined security checks and safety protocols.

We are evaluating the need to keep our entire team working remotely on a weekly basis and when federal, state and local health officials agree that the danger is past, we will resume normal in-office operations. Until then, we are ready to conduct business as usual, even in these extremely challenging circumstances.

Our mission is to sustain and extend our customers’ ability to serve. To do so, we believe that knowledge is essential, especially in the fast-moving and fluid environment we find ourselves in now. The National Council for Behavioral Health has put together a comprehensive resources page, and we’d like to share that with you. Click here to visit.

We cannot thank our team members and valued customers enough for their patience, flexibility and positive outlook over the last couple of weeks. We are all working together to minimize disruption and reduce stress whenever and wherever possible, and are grateful for your support.

COVID-19 Resources for Behavioral Health

Qualifacts is sharing policy and guidance resources for the COVID-19 public health emergency that we are tracking, via Federal government resources and Qualifacts partners. Additional information is available from state agencies who are posting behavioral health updates and general COVID-19 resources.

 

Federal Government Legislation | CMS | CDC | SAMHSA

 

H.R.748 CARES Act | The nearly $2 trillion relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes direct financial assistance to Americans; aid to small businesses and employees; and additional support for healthcare professionals, patients, and hospitals.

 

H.R.6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act | “This bill responds to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak by providing paid sick leave, tax credits, and free COVID-19 testing; expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits; and increasing Medicaid funding.”

 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services | CMS 

 

Centers for Disease Control | CDC

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has collected COVID-19 preparedness and response resources, including information for providers, the community, and frequent news updates.

 

Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration | SAMHSA

The Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has posted COVID-19 guidance and resources to assist individuals, providers, communities, and states, including:

 

General Information and Updates

 

  • Coronavirus.gov is the source for the latest information about COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and answers to common questions.
  • USA.gov has the latest information about what the U.S. Government is doing in response to COVID-19.
  • CDC.gov/coronavirus has the latest public health and safety information from CDC and for the overarching medical and health provider community on COVID-19.
  • The state of Ohio held a webinar on April 1, 2020, Delivering Behavioral Health Services Via Telehealth, offering both Ohio specific information and general best practices for acclimating staff and clients to the tools, to help agencies continue to serve their clients.

 

Qualifacts Partners

The National Council for Behavioral Health 

The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. The advocacy organization has created COVID-19 resources for the public, in addition to those shared with members.

Keeping your doors open is essential during this time of need. To help limit disruption of services, while protecting your patients and staff from infection risk, consider the following guidelines”

Additional resources from The National Council for Behavioral Health

  • Town Hall – March 31, 2020 – Q&A Summary 
    • Telehealth | Are funds available to help BH providers purchase needed IT equipment to provide telehealth services? The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) intends to make about $200 million in funds available for health care providers to purchase needed equipment. Details are not yet available. FCC’s Keep Americans Connected webpage.
    • What new flexibilities do behavioral health providers have to offer telehealth via Medicare? CMS issued guidance on new flexibilities to increase access to care for vulnerable populations through the duration of the pandemic. New billing codes have been opened up for behavioral health services via telehealth, including psychological assessments and care planning. Physicians are now able to bill for an initial assessment via telehealth, which was not true before. Visit the CMS Coronavirus webpage.
    • What progress has been made on allowing behavioral health providers to offer services with audio- only technology, versus audio and video encounters under Medicare? BH providers CAN bill for initial assessments via audio- only telehealth, but psychotherapy services require audio and video components.  CMS’ Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet and Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 fact sheet.
    • What changes have been made regarding Medicare’s incident-to billing in this new virtual landscape? Incident-to billing requirements for supervision can now be satisfied if a physician provides supervision via audio and video technology.  CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 fact sheet.
    • What changes have been made for providers who prescribe medications via telehealth? DEA has relaxed the requirement that prescribers be registered in every single state where they provide services. 
    • What changes have been made regarding sharing patient’s SUD treatment information? 42 CFR Pt 2 restrictions have been eased. Sharing these records still requires a patient to sign a consent form. SAMHSA’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance.
    • CCBHCs | What provisions were included in the third COVID-19 response package regarding CCBHCs? The CCBHC demonstration has been extended for the original eight participating states through November 30, 2020 and expanded to two new states to be selected within the next six months.

Open Minds

Open Minds, whose mission is to improve complex health care systems through information, education, and strategic guidance, has posted COVID-19 resources for the public and for members.

 

DynaMed

The evidence-based practices partner that supports content for customer built Clinical Decision Support triggers, DynaMed has made available COVID-19 information to the general public. Information can be linked to the clinical workflow within CareLogic, for Qualifacts customers who configure those capabilities for public health, integrated care, and emergency expansion of client health histories.

COVID-19 information includes epidemiology, diagnosis, management, prognosis, infection control, guidelines and resources.

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