The COVID-19 outbreak is a difficult time for Maine and the country, and it can be especially frightening for people who are struggling with mental health or substance use challenges. As state and federal policy makers respond to this crisis, the Alliance will advocate for Mainers with behavioral health challenges, and the provider community that serves them in our behavioral health safety net, to ensure their needs are receiving the attention they deserve. The Alliance will be gathering links to resources, best practices, and guidance for service provision and adaptation as we move through this troubling time.
Update on MaineCare’s COVID-19 Policy Changes and Guidance: Please note that MaineCare’s temporary policy changes and guidance related to COVID-19 response are approved for the duration of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE), which is declared by Health and Human Services Secretary Azar. A PHE declaration lasts until the Secretary declares that the PHE no longer exists or upon the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date the Secretary declared a PHE exists, whichever occurs first. The Secretary may extend the PHE declaration for subsequent 90-day periods for as long as the PHE continues to exist, and may terminate the declaration whenever he determines that the PHE has ceased to exist. The federal public health emergency has been extended to be in effect through October 24, 2020, and could be renewed at that time.
The Alliance will be continuously updating this page as information becomes available.
RESOURCES FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROVIDERS
- updated memorandum from National Council’s outside legal counsel regarding the definition of an excepted “health care provider” under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
- Verbal Consent Update – Issued 7.14.2020
- Restarting Maine’s Economy: Guidance to Behavioral Health Providers – Updated 7.1.2020
- MHRT I – MHRT I-P Extension Memo (PDF) Updated 6.23.2020
- OBH/OCFS/OMS FAQs for BH providers – Updated 5.6.2020
- Office of MaineCare Services COVID-19 page. Contact COVID-19 email box for COVID questions.
- Guidance from OADS for Children’s PNMI Providers Regarding Testing in Congregate Care
- Office of Child and Family Services COVID-19 page.
- Office of Behavioral Health Services COVID-19 page. All OBH Town Hall meetings are recorded and found on this page.
- Office of Aging and Disability Services COVID-19 page.
- Maine Bureau of Insurance COVID-19 page.
- Maine Department of Labor Covid-19 page.
- Maine CDC COVID-19 page.
- Maine DHHS COVID-19 page.
- Mills Administration COVID-19 page
- National Council on Behavioral Health Member Resources page.
- Qualidigm has a collection of credible and useful resources from local and national agenices.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Orders are now going through the local County Emergency Management Agencies — Find your local County EMA office here. Or check out this list of Maine-based manufacturers selling PPE by clicking here.
Telehealth Guidance for Providers:
- Fad or future telehealth expansion eyed beyond pandemic
- MaineCare Telehealth and COVID-19 Guidance (PDF) – Updated April 16, 2020
- CMS Guidance on Telehealth (PDF)
- FCC Guidance on COVID-19 Application Process (PDF) – April 17, 2020
- MaineCare Telehealth New Codes and Information (PDF) – Updated April 16, 2020
- Northeast Telehealth Resource Center has extensive tools and resources for providers:
- NETRC COVID-19 page
- NETRC Telehealth Implementation Toolkit – Maine Edition
- Here is a guide to telehealth reimbursement coverage in Maine during COVID-19, updated 4.9.2020.
- Here is a comprehensive Telehealth Resource Webliography for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Q and A from Telehealth Town Hall, updated 4.2.2020.
- Federal Communications Comission guidance and resources to “Keep America Connected.”
Funding Resources for Providers:
- How to raise funds for your nonprofit during recessionary times MaineBiz
- Providing a Pandemic Safety Net, Nonprofits Need Their Own New York Times
- CMS FAQ on Audit and reporting requirements for Provider Relief Funds
- Provider Relief Fund Tip Sheet – Issued 7.16.2020
- Provider Relief Fund Fact Sheet – Issued 7.6.2020
- FAQs on Taxes on Provider Relief Funds – Issued by IRS
- USDA Rural Development: Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health
- Maine Philanthropy Center: COVID-19 Response Funds
- Maine Association of Nonprofits: Information on COVID-19 for Maine Nonprofits, Financial Relief for Nonprofit Businesses and Employers
- Maine Health Access Foundation: COVID-19 Rapid Response Program Grants up to $15,000 to be made under the COVID-19 Rapid Response Program will be for the express purpose of maintaining or expanding access to health care, behavioral health, or substance use disorder services for vulnerable populations in response to challenges and additional barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key MaineCare Updates (also check their COVID-19 page):
- COVID-19 Temporary Rate Increases for Congregate Care Outbreaks – Issued 7.10.2020
- COVID-19 Guidance for Healthcare Providers – Updated 5.12.2020
- COVID-19 Guidance for Health Care Providers Issued 4.30, 2020
- 1135 Waiver: Prior Authorization Flexibility (PDF) – Issued 5.6.2020
- Disaster Relief State Plan Amendment Overview – Issued 4.27.2020
- MaineCare Telehealth New Codes and Information (PDF) – Issued 4.16.2020
- MaineCare Telehealth and COVID-19 Guidance (PDF) – Issued 4.16.2020
- Slidedeck on Policy Responses to COVID-19 – Issued 4.7.2020
- Telehealth Best Practices for Providers – Issued 4.2.2020
- MaineCare guidance on signatures on assessments and treatment/service plans.
Federal Updates :
- GAO Update, the Government Accountability Office released an updated analysis, COVID-19: Brief Update on Initial Federal Response to the Pandemic (GAO-20-708). The report provides various metrics on health care, mortality rates, and the economy.
- National Council – Summary of $50B Provider Relief Fund
- New Toolkit to Help States Navigate COVID-19 Health Workforce Challenges. CMS News Release 4.22.2020
- Policy Responses to COVID-19 Office of MaineCare Services
- National Council for Behavioral Health: Best Practices in Telehealth for COVID-19.
- New 42 CFR Guidance from SAMHSA during COVID-19 Pandemic.
- CMS Guidance on Telehealth during COVID-19 Pandemic
- Expanded Medicare telehealth coverage announcement. Frequently Asked Questions.
- Emergency rule relaxing HIPAA guidelines for telehealth use during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here. You are covered under this if you fall under this description.
- National Telehealth Resource Center webinar – Telehealth and COVID-19
Links for HR/Business Issues:
- UST Tool Kit for Returning back to Work
- U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued updated guidance with answers to questions about how the FFCRA FMLA applies to parents whose children are engaged in remote learning this fall (see questions 98-100 in the DOL guidance). Notably for nonprofit employees with children in remote learning
- The IRS released guidance on the tax deferral on Friday, August 28th
- Guidance issued on payroll tax deferral from The Tax Advisor
- Here is a good article regarding the concerns and problems with New IRS guidance on Tax deferral.
- Free Training for Direct Care Workers on PPE This grant funded PPE training module was developed specifically for direct care workers. Find the Direct Care training in the yellow box.
- MANP: The Paycheck Protection Loan Forgiveness Explained – to the best of anyone’s ability…
- Federal and state resources for businesses and not-for-profits affected by COVID-19 (BerryDunn)
- Emergency sick leave and FMLA FAQ
- Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.
- Nonprofit Quarterly analysis of the how the new CARES Act impacts nonprofits. Loans available for nonprofits in the CARES Act.
- Small business support with SBA low interest loans. These are loans given to for profit and private non profit businesses or agencies.
- Maine Association of Nonprofits COVID-19 resource page for Maine nonprofits.
- ThinkHR’s on-demand webinar addresses their most common HR questions relating to COVID-19 and best practices.
- UST has assembled the Top COVID-19 Resources to help nonprofit employers.
- Tech Soup has assistance to equip your nonprofit with the technology resources for telehealth and remote workers.
- National Law Review details the sections of the CARES Act stimulus package.
- Maine Dept. of Labor: Unemployment info here
- Department of Labor COVID-19 resources page.
- Maine CEI COVID-19 Resources page.
- Unemployment Insurance & Covid-19″ Webinar held, 3/19/20, with Commissioner Laura Fortman about Maine’s response to the coronavirus as it pertains to unemployment insurance.
- Financial Relief for Behavioral Health Organizations Available In Response to the Pandemic
Links for Homeless Shelters:
- CDC specific guidance for Homeless Shelters.
- Portland Shelter Overview and Accessibility During COVID-19
Links Specific for Residential Facilities:
- Guidance for PNMI Providers regarding temporary rates – Issued 5.29.2020
- COVID-19 Long-Term Care Facility Guidance
- The National Council’s COVID-19 Guidance for Behavioral Health Residential Facilities offers general guidance for residential programs on how to respond if a client develops symptoms of COVID-19, handle clients returning from the hospital and prepare for the return of health care personnel to work.
- CDC Recommendations for Residential Facilities
- CDC Recommendations for Long Term Care and Nursing Homes
- Long-Term Recovery Solution in a Public Health Crisis – By Shadi Garman on March, 25 2020 Video Here
SUD Related Links:
- National Council Focus on Addiction COVID-19 web page.
- SAMHSA’s Guidance for OTPs
- NIDA: COVID-19 potential implications for individuals with SUDs
- Washington State Dept. of Health Emergency Response Info
- Caron’s Coronavirus-related Protocols for Treatment Centers
COVID-19 Legal & Policy Resources:
ChangeLab Solutions is partnering with public health law experts to help with the legal and policy questions that may arise due to this pandemic. Many questions and scenarios are swirling, and we want to be of assistance. To start, we have assembled an online resource page with some of the best legal and policy resources to help communities navigate the varied needs that will evolve over the coming weeks and months. If you have law and policy questions, contact them; they will help you find the answers.