Coronavirus (COVID-19) Provider Updates and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Provider Updates and Resources

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Providers are at the front lines. To all of you, we want to thank you for your hard work and dedication to your patients during a time when anxieties are high and many are feeling uneasy.

ADAMH is monitoring the Governor’s actions and we have been in regular communication with OhioMHAS. On this page, you will find information that we have compiled from multiple. We will be updating and adding to this information as it becomes available.

Notice: Netcare Access

Netcare Access is committed to helping the Franklin County community during this period of uncertainty with COVID-19. Netcare Access is responding to the adult hospital systems by accepting patients from Franklin County Emergency Departments in order to preserve emergency department and hospital bed capacity. Currently, Netcare Access is not accepting walk-ins, law enforcement or other referrals.

Anyone in crisis is encouraged to call Netcare Crisis Line at 614.276.2273 (CARE) for further assistance and information

The above refers only to Crisis Services; all other Netcare Access services are fully operational at this time.

ADAMH Building

The ADAMH Office, located at 447 E. Broad St., is temporarily unavailable.

Based on guidance from Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, and our county leaders, we are asking all ADAMH staff to continue their work remotely as a healthcare safety precaution. We appreciate your understanding as we all work to navigate the current situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to share updates about the ADAMH System of Care on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Calls to the main ADAMH phone line at 614.224.1057 will go to a recorded voicemail message with options to leave a message. You can also use our Staff Directory to contact a staff member by email or phone. We will post updates at https://adamhfranklin.org/.

Our community’s health and safety comes first. We are working closely with our community providers to identify and support critical mental health and addiction services in Franklin County.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis, call Netcare at 614.276.CARE (2273) for adults or Nationwide Children’s Hospital at 614.722.1800 for youth (17 and under).


Providers are able to purchase PPE directly from vendors. Here are some options:

Artina. – ADAMH’s Artina representative is Jessica Harding. She can be reached at harding@atrina.com or by phone at 614.635.8865 ext. 1581. The following items are available through Artina (Please contact Jessica for additional information about the following items):

  • Face Shields: FDA approved, available for delivery in 3-5 weeks.
  • Disposal Masks: Considered medical masks but not medical grade respirator masks, these masks and have 3 layers, 10-15 day turn around.
  • Hand Sanitizer: 1 and .5 ounce bottles available, 62% alcohol, available for delivery in min-May.
  • Cotton Masks: New item designed more for consumers, non-medical grade.

JanWay – ADAMH’s JanWay representative is Jamie Foster. He can be reached at jamie@janway.com or by phone at 800.877.5242 ext. 112. The following items are available through JanWay (Please contact Jamie for additional information about the following items):

  • Covid-19 Essentials” and below are the specific links to mask options:

  • 45-90-1002 –  4 layer mask – new stock in early May – Projected delivery in mid-late May

     

  • 45-90-1003 –  3 layer mask – new stock in early May – Projected delivery in mid-late May

     

  • 45-90-1004 –  Face Shields, made to order, about 2 – 3 weeks, not sure if you’d need these – Projected delivery in mid-late May

     

  • 45-90-1006 – 50/50 material – reusable and washable mask – can be custom printed – 2 – 3 weeks current production – Projected delivery in mid-late May

     

  • HMOMG-NSDEQ – microfiber material – reusable and washable mask – can be custom printed – full color –  2 ½-3 weeks current production – Projected delivery in mid-late May

  • Link to some bandana options.

DG Wholesalers have a stock of Three- Ply Surgical Masks and KN95 Masks. You can contact them at dan.dgwholesalers@gmail.com or

614.706.2451 and ask for Daniel.

For both mask options, they are not expecting stock until later in April. 

  • JanWay is also offering a special bookmarkabout COVID-19 safety and health tips, than can be custom printed and passed out or used in mailers.  




Telehealth Support for Behavioral Health Providers

The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will provide $200 million in funding, appropriated by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 2 to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the Coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will 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. Interested health care providers must complete several steps to apply for funding through the COVID-19 Telehealth Program

Examples of services and devices that COVID-19 Telehealth Program applicants may seek funding for include:

  • Telecommunications services and broadband connectivity services: voice services, and internet connectivity services for health care providers or their patients.
  • Information services: remote patient monitoring platforms and services; patient reported outcome platforms; store and forward services, such as asynchronous transfer of patient images and data for interpretation by a physician; platforms and services to provide synchronous video consultation.
  • Internet connected devices/equipment: tablets, smart phones, or connected devices to receive connected care services at home (e.g., broadband enabled blood pressure.)

For more information please visit: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-394A1.pdf

$200 million FCC telecommunication program for COVID-19 response:

FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just approved an Order to create a $200 million telehealth program to support healthcare providers responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, using funds appropriated as part of the CARES Act. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will help healthcare providers purchase telecommunications, broadband connectivity, and devices necessary for providing telehealth services. Applications from healthcare providers will be accepted and processed on a rolling basis as soon as application forms are published in the Federal Register. Details on information that applications must include are on page 14 of the Order.

View the full order (application details on page 14). 

Both mental health and substance abuse are included in this program.

OhioGuidestone announced it is offering a newly developed tool, at no cost, to help all behavioral health providers care for their clients in response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, mitigating potential exposure to the disease without sacrificing critical access to care.

OhioGuidestone is proactively distributing the Therapeutic Phone Tool to all behavioral health providers throughout Ohio. Any provider interested in receiving a copy of the tool can do so by emailing the agency at ifci@OhioGuidestone.org.


Housing Questions: COVID19Housing@mha.ohio.gov

OTP Questions: OTP_COVID19@mha.ohio.gov

General BH questions: Covid19BH@mha.ohio.gov

Social media toolkit: http://mha.ohio.gov/coronavirus


Telecom Resources

OhioMHAS has compiled a reference sheet to assist the behavioral health community in removing barriers to individuals accessing telehealth services. This reference sheet includes information on accessing free wi-fi hotspot locations and temporary polices adopted by telecommunications companies and the Lifeline program to provide additional phone, Internet, or cell services during the COVID-19 pandemic at no extra cost. Click HERE to view these resources. 


Medication-Assisted Treatment Trainings for Recovery Housing Professionals – NOW VIRTUAL

As part of Ohio’s State Opioid Response (SOR) project, OhioMHAS will host a series of free, online trainings during the month of May for recovery housing operators on Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Click HERE for an overview of the training and to register online.


Guidance for Residents in Group Living Situations
Special Population Isolation Activities

  • COVID-19 and Opioid Treatment – OhioMHAS
  • OhioMHAS OTP Update
  • Telehealth Rulesand Options – Director Criss sent out a memo that directs agencies to proceed with telehealth now. In the memo she shares, “We expect that the ODM and OhioMHAS rules and the accompanying Executive Order will be issued imminently. We urge you to begin using telehealth to reach out to the adults and families in your care. Please take the actions that you need to take to save lives and serve the patients in your community – these actions are related to COVID-19 and to the often life-threatening mental illness and addictions. Document the decisions you are making with your own policies and protocol, and we will continue to work together to implement the practice and emergency rules once filed.” 

The Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and Medicaid (ODM), in partnership with the Governor’s Office, have executed emergency rules to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohioans and their providers. These rules will relax regulations so that more people can be served safely in their homes rather than needing to travel to addiction and mental health treatment centers. This is a regulatory change that we are collectively rolling out to help reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 for patients, their families, and our behavioral health workforce which is an important part of the emergent response and community support to COVID-19. Click HERE to view Executive Order 2020-05D, HERE to view OAC Rules for OhioMHAS, and HERE to view OAC Rules for ODM. Click HERE to view the MIT BITS.

For questions related to changes to OhioMHAS interactive videoconferencing policy as well as questions related to clinical and technical implementation of telehealth, please e-mail COVID19BHTelehealth@mha.ohio.gov. OhioMHAS will also be providing training and technical assistance on the clinical and technical implementation of telehealth.  Additional information will be forthcoming. In addition, resources related to telehealth may be found HERE.

Questions about Medicaid coverage, billing, and reimbursement under the new policy can be submitted to BH-Enroll@medicaid.ohio.gov. ODM and OhioMHAS staff will offer training and technical assistance related to the rules via webinar to any interested parties. Additional information on the webinar will be forthcoming.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) has released a guidance document with answers to frequently asked questions for opiate treatment programs (OTPs). 

The “Health Professionals and Providers” tab also includes tips for OhioMHAS Housing ProvidersCDC information for homeless sheltersguidance for recovery housing operators and residential care facilitiestelehealth guidance, and more. The page will be updated with new resources frequently. Please check back often.

  • OhioMHAS has been directed to coordinate a housing and homelessness strategyacross the administration.  They have a number of sister agencies who are engaged in it.  OhioMHAS is running point and is the primary collection point for work that’s been done and funding and policy issues. 
  • Also, they are setting up ahousing specific e-mail address which they will push out when ready and will cover not only homelessness but group homes, etc.  Roma is the best contact.
  • Project Dawn– working on ensuring naloxone access continues.  Also, the ability via mail to get it.  Recovery Ohio – Alisha Nelson said they have partnered with Harm Reduction Ohio.  You go through online training and get it mailed to you. Learn More.  Please click HERE to see a fact sheet update on Project DAWN/Community Naloxone distribution.
  • Highlights for behavioral health providers from Director Criss:
    • ODJFS has issued a Temporary Pandemic Child Care Licensing Procedurethat will support parents who are health, safety, and essential workers. The definition of these types of workers is still being defined, and we are making sure the behavioral health workforce is included.
    • Providers can start using telehealth immediately and not wait for federal approval. Efforts are being made to address technological limitations, like clients without phone minutes. 
    • OhioMHAS is working with the federal government to free up the ability to temporarily use already allocated grant funds for the pandemic. 
    • There is still a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and it’s recommended to reach out to local non-essential businesses that could have inventory to acquire.
    • OhioMHAS is looking at whether group ratio can be waived to accommodate workforce issues. Please notify OhioMHAS if your organization or agency is closing any services: covid19BH@mha.ohio.gov


OCR Issues Bulletin on Civil Rights Laws and HIPAA Flexibilities That Apply During the COVID-19 Emergency

March 28, 2020

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, and exercise of conscience and religion in HHS-funded programs, including in the provision of health care services during COVID-19.OCR is particularly focused on ensuring that covered entities do not unlawfully discriminate against people with disabilities when making decisions about their treatment during the COVID-19 health care emergency.

OCR enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act which prohibits discrimination in HHS funded health programs or activities. These laws, like other civil rights statutes OCR enforces, remain in effect. As such, persons with disabilities should not be denied medical care on the basis of stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative “worth” based on the presence or absence of disabilities or age. Decisions by covered entities concerning whether an individual is a candidate for treatment should be based on an individualized assessment of the patient and his or her circumstances, based on the best available objective medical evidence.

“Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism,” said Roger Severino, OCR Director. “HHS is committed to leaving no one behind during an emergency, and helping health care providers meet that goal.” “Persons with disabilities, with limited English skills, and older persons should not be put at the end of the line for health care during emergencies.” Severino added.

The Bulletin may be found here – OCR’s Notice of Enforcement Discretion allowing providers to serve patients where they are through commonly used apps like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom to provide telehealth remote communications.

* Guidance that empowers first responders and others who receive protected health information about individuals who have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19 to help keep both first responders and the public safe can be found here.

* Guidance on how health care providers can share information with the CDC, family members of patients, and others, to help address the COVID-19 emergency can be found https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-hipaa-and-first-responders-508.pdf

For more information on HIPAA and COVID-19, see OCR’s February 2020 Bulletin: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/february-2020-hipaa-and-novel-coronavirus.pdf


Trump Administration Releases COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit to Accelerate State Use of Telehealth in Medicaid and CHIP

View the toolkit here.

This toolkit is the latest in a series of tools and checklists that CMS has released to help provide states emergency flexibilities and resources that they need during the during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


On Monday, April 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued new recommendations specifically targeted to communities that are in Phase 1 of the Guidelines for President Trump’s Opening Up America Again with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. The recommendations update earlier guidance provided by CMS on limiting non-essential surgeries and medical procedures. The new CMS guidelines recommend a gradual transition and encourage health care providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials, and to review the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capacity when making the decision to re-start or increase in-person care.
The new recommendations can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-flexibility-reopen-essential-non-covid-services.pdf
The Guidelines for Opening Up America Again can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/#criteria


For Providers, ODM Is Offering Technical Assistance to Resolve Outstanding Accounts Receivables

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) is offering technical assistance to facilitate claims review between providers and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) for claims dating back as far as July 2018 to resolve outstanding claim denials. If a provider is interested in seeking technical assistance, instructions can be found here.

This targeted ODM technical assistance opportunity is available until June 30, 2020. For more information on Behavioral Health Medicaid Redesign, click here.


For a fact sheet detailing information on the waivers CMS has announced, go to: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/summary-covid-19-emergency-declaration-waivers.pdf

CMS Approves Approximately $34 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has delivered near $34 billion in the past week to the healthcare providers on the frontlines battling the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The funds have been provided through the expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to ensure providers and suppliers have the resources needed to combat the pandemic.

“Healthcare providers are making massive financial sacrifices to care for the influx of coronavirus patients,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Many are rightly complying with federal recommendations to delay non-essential elective surgeries to preserve capacity and personal protective equipment. They shouldn’t be penalized for doing the right thing. Amid a public health storm of unprecedented fury, these payments are helping providers and suppliers – so critical to defeating this terrible virus – stay afloat.”

The streamlined process implemented by CMS for COVID-19 has reduced processing times for a request of an accelerated or advance payment to between four to six days, down from the previous timeframe of three to four weeks.  In a little over a week, CMS has received over 25,000 requests from health care providers and suppliers for accelerated and advance payments and have already approved over 17,000 of those requests in the last week.  Prior to COVID-19, CMS had approved just over 100 total requests in the past five years, with most being tied to natural disasters such as hurricanes.

The payments are available to Part A providers, including hospitals, and Part B suppliers, including doctors, non-physician practitioners and durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers. While most of these providers and suppliers can receive three months of their Medicare reimbursements, certain providers can receive up to six months.

The CMS Accelerated and Advance Payment Program is funded from the Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B) trust funds, which are the same fund used to pay out Medicare claims each day. The advance and accelerated payments are a loan that providers must pay back. CMS will begin to apply claims payments to offset the accelerated/advance payments 120 days after disbursement. The majority of hospitals including inpatient acute care hospitals, children’s hospitals, certain cancer hospitals, and critical access hospitals will have up to one year from the date the accelerated payment was made to repay the balance. All other Part A providers and Part B suppliers will have up to 210 days to complete repayment of accelerated and advance payments, respectively.

It is important to note, this funding is separate from the $100 billion provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act appropriation is a payment that does not need to be repaid. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be providing additional information on how healthcare providers and suppliers can access CARES Act funds in the coming weeks.

The fact sheet on the accelerated/advance payment process and how to submit a request can be found here: Fact Sheet Providers can also contact their Medicare Administrative Contractor for any questions.

This action, and earlier CMS actions in response to COVID-19, are part of the ongoing White House Coronavirus Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.gov. For a complete and updated list of CMS actions, and other information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

To keep up with the important work CMS is doing in response to COVID-19, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.  Additionally, CMS has launched a dedicated, Medicaid.gov, COVID-19 resource page that will be continually updated with relevant info.

CMS announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. The action comes as part of the Trump Administration’s response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can find a copy of the press release here.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to clarify coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by catastrophic health plans.  The FAQs issued today align with guidance the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released last week, which provides flexibility to high deductible health plans to provide health benefits for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 without application of a deductible or cost-sharing.

These FAQs, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov for further information. 


Naloxone Mail Order Program

In light of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Columbus Public Health wants to continue reaching our community and those most vulnerable in our fight against the opioid epidemic.  As such, CPH has implemented a Naloxone Mail Order Program. Naloxone, or Narcan Nasal Spray, is a medication that can block the effects of opioids and reverse an overdose. Always call 9-1-1 when someone is experiencing an overdose.

What is this program: A program to receive naloxone and a fentanyl testing strip for free by mail along with educational materials.

Who is eligible: Franklin County residents may receive a kit while supplies last.

How does it work: Individuals will fill out the following form and watch an educational video to learn how to recognize and respond to an overdose. Once the form is received, a Columbus Public Health employee will review it and send mail by post Monday through Friday. If someone is not eligible to receive naloxone, they will be reached out to by a CPH employee.

Link: https://redcap.columbus.gov/surveys/index.php?s=WYWTREKWXY

Can partner agencies use this to link clients with Naloxone: Yes. If your agency is still interfacing with clients, you are encouraged to fill out the link with clients to ensure safe procurement of naloxone. You may also share this information with clients and partners.

If you have further questions, you may call 614-645-6839 or email Olivia Wodarcyk at OCWodarcyk@columbus.gov

Temporary Pandemic Child Care:

Beginning Thursday, March 26, only child care programs with a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license will be permitted to operate in Ohio, serving only essential workers defined by the state with priority for key health and safety occupations.

Action for Children’s website hosts information for families including an interactive map of the ODJFS-approved Temporary Pandemic Child Care programs in Franklin and the surrounding counties. Action for Children’s will update the map twice daily as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services approves new programs and some programs request removal. As of Tuesday evening, ODJFS has approved licenses for 172 Pandemic Child Care programs in Franklin County (220 in the Central Ohio region). Families can also submit a help request online or call our specialists at 614-224-0222, ext. 299, for help connecting with a provider.

Please refer families and employers that might need Temporary Pandemic Child Care to Action for Children’s Homepage: https://www.actionforchildren.org/.

Visit https://myfcph.org/covid-19/ and www.coronavirus.ohio.gov for more information.



Ohio Recovery Housing posted tools and resources for recovery housing operators related to COVID-19 on our webpage.  They are available to help and answer questions from all operators, regardless if they are certified, or receive funding from the board.  


Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse Considerations During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Americans are required to stay home to protect themselves and their communities. However, the home may not be safe for many families who experience domestic violence, which may include both intimate partners and children. Violence in the home has an overall cost to society, leading to potentially adverse physical and mental health outcomes. To help families and communities address intimate partner violence and child abuse health concerns, see SAMHSA’s Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse Considerations During COVID-19 resource document.

View the Document


UPDATED FAQs for Opioid Use Disorder Prescribing and Dispensing in the COVID-19 Emergency

In response to the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, SAMHSA is providing updates to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the provision of methadone and buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder for new and existing patients.

View Updated FAQs


In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, SAMHSA is providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the provision of methadone and buprenorphine for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder for new and existing patients.
Read more

  • COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance
  • OCR Announces Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency
    On 3/17/20, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

In support of this action, OCR is providing further guidance explaining how covered health care providers can use remote video communication products and offer telehealth to patients responsibly.
Learn More.



Ohio Department of Health

Columbus City Schools

Aperture Education

Summer Day Camp applications for 2020 & Youth Led- RFR 2020  are on hold until determination can be made regarding services in group settings.


Licensees have specifically asked the Board about providing services in person or via teletherapy in the face of the current health challenge. Individual practitioners, agencies, and practices that do not yet have policies that encourage clients to cancel when they unwell are recommended to establish such policies.  Whenever possible, clients should be provided with as much flexibility as possible to ensure they are making decisions in the interests of the public health. 

The Board’s rules regarding providing teletherapy are established in Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4757-5-13.  Licensees who are considering offering services via teletherapy should be mindful of the following:

  1. Independent licensees (LISW, LPCC, IMFT), and dependent licenses (LSW, LPC, MFT) working under supervision, can provide teletherapy provided they have training and experience in teletherapy. Examples of training include completion of continuing education, supervised experience, and peer consultation.
  2. Services must be provided to ensure the highest level of confidentiality. Video-conferencing software should be HIPAA compliant.
  3. Licensees should carefully consider whether teletherapy is an appropriate means of providing services to individual clients.
  4. Licensees must be mindful that ORC 4757 and OAC 4757 apply regardless of how services are provided.
  5. Licensees who voluntarily choose to suspend providing services must properly terminate with clients and provide referrals as required in the rules. If a licensee is suspending services in response to a public order to do so, the licensee or their employer is advised to provide information, for example on outgoing voicemail messages or websites, regarding resources in the event a client is in crisis.
  6. Insurers establish which services are eligible for reimbursement. Be sure to verify whether you can bill for teletherapy before providing services to a client. The Board has no authority to direct insurers to pay for teletherapy services.
  7. Agencies and practices may set their own rules regarding teletherapy. The Board can exercise no authority over these employment/business related decisions.
  8. While the Board staff want to be as helpful as possible, we are not able to provide specific guidance regarding implementing teletherapy. Please consult with peers and supervisors. Additionally, Board staff cannot recommend specific software, nor can the Board specific training programs.

As the State of Ohio’s response to COVID-19/Corona Virus evolves, the Board will share information with licenses.


  • FCEM&HS Launches Coronavirus Text Message Alerts – Residents can text “COVID19FC” to 888-777 to receive coronavirus information on their mobile device.
  • The Situation Awareness Section of the Franklin County Emergency Operations Center will be working to get a Situational Report out by 1600 each day.  If you or your agency has a Situational Report we ask that you send it before 1500 hours to the Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security Assessment Center (assessment@franklincountyohio.gov).
  • Additionally, if your agency has a Request for Information or receives a Request For Information (RFI) regarding the Convid-19 ongoing incident, please forward it to assessment@franklincountyohio.govso our Situational Awareness Unit can vet and disseminate appropriately. 
  • If you have any questions please reach out to the assessment center at assessment@franklincountyohio.gov.

The Ohio Council, after consultation with the Ohio Department of Medicaid and with support from the Ohio Association of Community Behavioral Health Authorities and NAMI-Ohio, reached out to all MCOs to request that they support BH providers during the COVID-19 declared state of emergency by suspending repayment of the BH cash advance.  We applaud United Healthcare for their leadership in announcing this decision that promoted our efforts to seek similar support from the other Medicaid MCOs.  Each MCO is approaching the suspension of payments slightly differently.  Most of the MCOs will be directly communicating with providers and we are sharing their individual responses below:

  • BUCKEYE

Buckeye will voluntarily suspend BH provider cash payments for 60 days to support our BH provider partners. We will review this policy in 60 days. We will post something on our website and send an e-mail blast communication.  If providers have questions, they may contact Laura Paynter at LPAYNTER@centene.com.

  • CARESOURCE

Caresource will contact providers with cash advance repayment plans in the next few days about delaying repayments for the next 60 days.  Any provider needing this may contact Jonas Thom to make this request.  Jonas may be reached at Jonas.Thom@caresource.com or (859) 512-8691.

  • MOLINA

Molina will suspend repayment agreements for the next 60 days in support of our BH provider partners.  We will be sending a mass communication ASAP to BH providers.  Questions may be directed to Deanna Putmam at Deanna.Putman@MolinaHealthCare.Com.

  • PARAMOUNT

If the provider requests a pause in repayment, it is granted. If they choose not to send in their monthly payment for either March/April or April/May (depending on whether they have already submitted their March payment) related to reduced revenue due to COVID 19, they may forego two monthly payments with no penalty or outreach from Paramount requesting explanation related to the missed payments.  We are trying to make this as simple as possible while supporting our provider network.  Additional questions may be sent to Linda Nordahl at Linda.NordahlLSWCCM@promedica.org.

  • UNITED HEALTHCARE (full message)

United HealthCare has been diligently working to develop mitigation strategies that address the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe. As the need for “social distance” and school closings will undoubtedly create financial hardships, we have been asked by a few providers to “pause” the advanced payment recoupment. Should your agency choose to do so, UHC will allow providers to pass a payment for March and April 2020. The two additional payments can be made up by extending the repayment term two months. This option applies only to providers with existing Advance Payment recoupment plans in place.

Additionally, and unrelated to recoupments, please be advised that UHC/Optum has a virtual visit platform that we invite all providers to use. More information can be found here: https://www.providerexpress.com/content/ope-provexpr/us/en/Important-upates.html.  If you have trouble accessing this site, please reach out to your provider advocate for assistance.

This website not only has information about virtual visits but also about the COVID-19 virus and our response as well. Additional questions regarding virtual visits or our response can be addressed to ohionetworkmanagement@optum.com

We all appreciate the work that you do and value you bring to our community. Our members are better as a result of the services you provide. It is our hope that you find the virtual visit platform a viable option now and well after this crisis is resolved.

Contact Tracey Izzard to pause payments at  tracey.izzard-everett@optum.com.


Emergency Response Fund – The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation has established an emergency respond fund to assist nonprofit organizations offset some costs related to the community-wide response to COVID-19.

For more information, go to https://columbusfoundation.org/coronavirus-emergency-response-fund.

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