Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support with the COVID-19

A new resource developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Group for Mental Health and Psychosocial Supports in Emergency Situations helps in providing guidance to individuals struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak. Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support with the COVID-19 focuses on topics such as: older adults coping with stress, supporting people working with the COVID-19 directly, activities for adults and children who are being quarantined and much more.

Assessing the Effectiveness of CHWs

Over the years, there have been many studies on the effectiveness of the community health worker (CHW) in improving health outcomes.  The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of Community Health Workers recently published a summary of the research from the past 50 years.  It focused on assessing effectiveness in improving health outcomes, reducing healthcare costs and bridging the gap in health disparities.

Read the summary.

IRRC to Consider New Regulation for Child Abuse Reporting for Dentists

On Thursday, March 19 the Independent Regulatory Review Committee (IRRC) will consider a final regulation, as required by the Child Protective Services Law, to implement the mandatory reporting requirements for practitioners regulated by the State Board of Dentistry. As “mandated reporters,” board regulated practitioners will be required to complete mandatory training in child abuse recognition and reporting.

Public Charge Rule FAQs Updated

The National Health Center Immigration Workgroup has updated its FAQs on the Public Charge rule effective March 1. The updated FAQs now include information about the rule’s Feb. 24, 2020 effective date and the factors beyond the use of public benefits that immigration officers will consider when deciding whether or not to approve an application for a Green Card. These resources and more are available on NACHC’s Caring for Immigrant Patients webpage.

DEA Telehealth Guidance Released

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued new guidance to allow DEA-registered telehealth practitioners to issue prescriptions for controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, for the duration of the public health emergency.  All of the following conditions must be met: (1) The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice (2) The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system and (3) The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State law.

Pennsylvania Releases Resources for Those in Substance Use Recovery

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has provided the following information for supporting vulnerable friends and families in substance use recovery:

ACOs Seek Flexibility from CMS to Mitigate Losses Due to Coronavirus

FierceHealthCare, Robert King, March

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are seeking flexibility from the Trump administration on mitigating any financial losses that could arise from treating the burgeoning coronavirus outbreak.

The concerns come as the coronavirus has spread to more than 1,200 people across the country and has healthcare facilities worried about being overwhelmed. ACOs are in a particularly difficult situation as they are on the hook for paying back Medicare if healthcare costs skyrocket.

ACOs participating in either the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) or the Next-Gen ACO program agree to take on some form of financial risk. If they meet spending targets, they get a share of the savings, but if that spending accelerates they must pay back the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a share of the losses.

Read more.