COVID 19: New and Updated Information and Resources
All:
 
Another busy day!
There are several new items in this e-blast- noted by today's date behind them.
 
We are working on several important initiatives, that will probably be ready for announcement tomorrow.
We have sent a proposed Guideline to the Department that would satisfy the requirement in Executive Order 109.
This would be a two part approach. The first would essentially be a center procedure, ie- the Guideline itself. The second would be documentation for the referring doctor to acknowledge and sign- in consultation with a facility designee (administrator, medical director, whomever).
I am not sure if the Department will go so far as to adopt what we are proposing as something ‘standard’, but even if they do not NJAASC is going to recommend it to all ASCs.
As of now there is no guidance as to where this document would be sent- but I am sure that information will be forthcoming. Remember, the above requirement must be in place for any cases to be performed after 5 PM on Friday.
 
We are working with the Hospital Association to try to (together) come up with some centralized way to marry up staff from ASCs that want to assist with a hospital in need. Right now ‘contact your local hospital’ just does not work for me!
There needs to be a way- a repository if you will, where staff can submit their candidacy and a hospital can then view it and contact them.
We will keep you informed.
 
We are also working with legislators through our lobbyists and government affairs people (and those of other associations affected- like radiology) as regards the ambulatory assessment.
 
Finally we are looking to put on a webinar specific to Executive Order 109- hopefully Thursday, so keep looking for more information.
 
As to PPE reporting, I have a website, but I am waiting for a document to be able to submit the information. We will of course forward when OME gets it out.
 
So always keep monitoring your e-mails (sometimes this stuff goes to junk/spam) to stay on top of things.
 
So thank you for your attention and your patience, more tomorrow!
 
Jeff Shanton
President, NJAASC
201-795-0205 x241
c-201-637-9889
    

NJAASC has curated authoritative information and a list of resources for our Membership’s reference. We will continue to update this as more information becomes available.


DELAY IN ASC LEAPFROG REPORTING- 3/24/20
Leapfrog is grateful to hospitals and other medical facilities everywhere for the extraordinary response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, Leapfrog is giving facilities two additional months to complete the Survey and removing the CPOE Tool test requirement for adult hospitals for 2020. The revised deadline is August 31, 2020. The  Leapfrog Hospital Survey  and  Leapfrog ASC Survey  both open on April 1.

ASC STAFFING & HOSPITALS -3/23/20
Q: If any ASCs have staff that want to assist and work in the hospital, how should they go about it?

A: The ASCs need to work with their local hospital. The ASCs should know which is their local hospital.
 
Stefanie Mozgai, BA, RN, CPM
Assistant Commissioner
Department of Health
Health Facility Survey & Field Operations


CMS ANNOUNCES QUALITY REPORTING RELIEF-3/23/20

FAQ FROM DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH- 3/23/20

NJAASC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PERFORMING CASES IN ASCs


REPORTING GUIDANCE FOR ASCs REGARDING CHANGE OF SERVICE OR CLOSURE


FROM ICAR TEAM LEAD

Please see the below information for expansion of messaging that was previously sent out. Additionally, attached you will find NEW NJDOH Recommendations for Long-Term Care Facilities during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Given the congregate nature of long-term care facilities (LTCF) and residents served (e.g., older adults often with underlying chronic medical conditions), this population is at an increased risk of serious illness when infected with COVID-19. LTCF have experience managing respiratory infections and outbreaks among residents and healthcare personnel and should apply those outbreak management principles to COVID-19.
 
All LTCFs should remain vigilant with prompt detection, triage, and isolation of potentially infectious persons to prevent unnecessary exposures among residents, healthcare personnel, and visitors at the facility. Infection prevention measures include:
  • Implement active screening of residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms. Remember that older adults may manifest symptoms of infection differently and that other symptomology should also be. Vital signs should include heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, pain and pulse oximetry. These assessments should happen, at a minimum, daily. The facility staff should have a heightened awareness for any change in baseline in their residents.
  • Stop current communal dining and all group activities such as internal and external group activities.
  • Follow all current CMS guidance regarding the restriction of visitors and non-essential healthcare personnel, except in certain compassionate-care situations
  • Review the CMS Quality, Safety & Oversight (QSO) Group memo Ref: QSO-20-14-NH at https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-14-nh-revised.pdf for expanded recommendations.
 
Remember to:
  • Connect with your association and monitor NJDOH, CDC, and CMS announcements, at least daily.
  • Conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with CDC’s Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html.
  • Contact your local health department with any questions or concerns. Contact information is available via the local public health directory at http://www.localhealth.nj.gov/.
  • Report any new cases or persons suspected of COVID-19 occurring in or associated with your facility to your local health department.
 
In addition to actions described above and attached , facilities should consider the following immediate actions when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 to prevent further spread to their residents and staff:
  • Close the unit to new admissions except as needed to cohort ill individuals or staff.
  • Consider closure of the facility to new admissions.
  • Consider implementing universal use of facemask for HCP while in the facility
  • Encourage residents to remain in their room.  If multiple cases are present restrict residents (to the extent possible) to their rooms except for medically necessary purposes.
  • Mask all residents (who can tolerate masks) who are symptomatic when providing direct care; if masks are limited or not tolerated use of a tissue to cover the nose and mouth is appropriate.
  • Adhere to internal environmental cleaning protocols to ensure appropriate measures are being taken to clean and disinfect where appropriate including high-touch surfaces and all shared medical equipment (e.g., lifts, blood pressure cuffs, medication carts). Consider increasing the frequency of cleaning in the facility.
  • Quarantine and monitor exposed contacts including healthcare workers and roommates
 
For more information and ongoing updates please visit:
NJDOH: General COVID-19 Information :  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml
 
NJDOH: Key Messaging to Long-term Care Facilities (LTCF) for COVID-19:  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/NcOv_LINCS_LTCF_Key%20Messages_03032020.108103.pdf
 
CMS: Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes (REVISED):  https://www.cms.gov/files/document/3-13-2020-nursing-home-guidance-covid-19.pdf
 
 
 
Jessica Arias, BSN, RN, CIC
Infection Control Assessment Response (ICAR) Team Lead | Infection Preventionist
Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program | Communicable Disease Service
Division of Epidemiology, Environmental, and Occupational Health | New Jersey Department of Health
P.O. Box 369 Trenton, NJ 08625| Phone 609.826.5964 | Fax 609.292.5811
FROM NJDOH
DOH Stakeholder Guidance – Cmsr. Persichilli
a. Amplify DOH and CDC messaging 
b. Communicate regularly and effectively with employees, patients, families, and visitors/vendors 
c. Direct stakeholders to guidance and factual resources from DOH and CDC  

Q&A 
Resources 
• DOH COVID-19 Webpage: 
• NJ Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 
• CDC guidance for dialysis safety including infection prevention tools: https://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/index.html 
• Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 in Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities: 
• CDC Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: 
• Handwashing flyers are available in high resolution in English and Spanish 

COVID-19 Information for Healthcare Professionals
 
Purpose: Due to their often extensive and close contact with vulnerable individuals in healthcare settings, NJDOH recommends a conservative approach to HCP monitoring and restrictions from work to quickly identify early symptoms and prevent transmission from potentially contagious HCP to patients, HCP, and visitors. Healthcare facilities (HCFs) should have a low threshold for evaluating symptoms and testing symptomatic HCP, particularly those who fall into the high- and medium-risk categories described in this guidance. HCFs, in consultation with public health authorities, should use clinical judgment as well as the principles outlined in this guidance to assign risk and determine need for work restrictions. 
 
To help HCFs document and assess HCP risk and exposure, NJDOH has developed the below series of tools and checklists:
 
 
  • This document can be used to assess the type of potential exposure HCP may have experienced while caring for the COVID-19 patient and assign risk level (High, Medium, Low or No Risk). It also provides guidance on the management of exposed HCP.
 
 
  • This tool can be used to assess HCP exposure risk prior to the patient being identified as having COVID-19.
 
 
  • This tool can be used to monitor and assess the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for HCP caring for the COVID-19 patient after they have been identified in the facility. 
 
 
  • This tool can be used by a HCF or local health department (LHD) to assist HCP with daily symptom monitoring.
 
 
  • This tool can be used by a HCF or local health department (LHD) track HCP under active monitoring.



FROM HORIZON BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD

03/24/20
Access to health care has never been more important. That’s why Horizon BCBSNJ is making it easier for members to get care from their doctors and other health care professionals by relaxing our telemedicine policies to allow covered health services to be delivered over common video platforms like FaceTime, Skype or through a telephone call until June 30, 2020. 
 
When covered services are provided by telemedicine from an in-network health care professional, those visits will be free for members.  
 
This relaxed policy applies to all covered services including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19, routine care, therapy, mental health and substance use care. The COVID-19 public health emergency is rapidly evolving. Horizon is adapting just as quickly to continue making the health and well-being of our members our top priorities. 
 


FROM APIC
In response to COVID-19, APIC is providing  complimentary access  to our new  APIC Text Chapter Collection: Outbreak Preparedness and Response  now through Sept 30. Learn how to access this important resource  here .

Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents: 
 
Novel coronavirus is putting the whole world on alert


FROM PREMIER SAFETY INSTITUTE


FROM THE CDC


FROM JDJ CONSULTING
Drug Shortages and Backorders
Amid the health climate, JDJ Consulting has been watching the current drug shortages closely. What should you do if you're experiencing difficulties acquiring certain drugs?


What to do:
1. Monitor the FDA website for drug shortages. Here is the link to the FDA's Drug Shortage Database:

2. Use the Critical Drug Shortage Policy at your center to avoid throwing away expired medications that are unavailable to purchase. JDJ Consulting's SAMPLE Critical Drug Shortage Policy is available HERE .

* Fill out the form for each drug with an FDA Extended Date and keep on file. 
* No expired drugs can be in stock unless the medical staff approve.
* The FDA is not recommending the Extended Dates to be relabeled. When products become available, the facility should replace the extended date product.

PUBLIC ADVISORIES, UPDATES & FAQ FROM NJDOH

The Communicable Disease Service (CDS) is providing the following frequently asked questions specific to healthcare personnel and COVID-19 response. To assist healthcare facilities and public health officials with questions concerning exposed, symptomatic or confirmed cases who are also healthcare personnel. This document is meant to be a supplement to HCP exposure documents available on NJDOH website:


Please note this guidance may be updated as the information changes.





BUSINESS ISSUES
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT ALERT FROM BRACH EICHLER

ALERT: NEW STATE WEBSITE DEVOTED TO COVID-19 BUSINESS CONCERNS
https://conta.cc/2WjLA2G

FROM BRACH EICHLER: NOW THE FEDS TAKE THEIR SWING AT HELPING EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES

NEW JERSEY LEGISLATION REGARDING COVID

03/24/20
The Assembly has added A3901 to its board list for  tomorrow afternoon . The bill permits professional and occupational licensing boards to reactivate licensure of certain individuals during state of emergency or public health emergency.
 
A draft of the bill is not yet available Essentially it will permit, with the approval of the Attorney General, a professional or occupational licensing board to reactive the license, registration or certification of an individual who is retired or on inactive status provided the individual was in good standing and retired or went on inactive status within the last 3 years. 
The bill is also likely to contain language regarding the waiving of certain fees as well as prescribing the duration of the reactivated licenses.
 
The bill is intended to help on the medical/hospital front but it sounds like it is pretty broadly drafted.


03/20/20
A3095 which provides county clerks with additional time to prepare mail-in ballots for the 2020 primary. Any additional mail-in ballots that have been approved before the 45th day before the 2020 primary election are required to be forwarded or delivered at least 38 days, instead of 45 days, before the day of the election. County clerks still are required to comply with federal guidelines and have military and overseas ballots mailed by April 18, 2020. The additional week provided under the amended bill is temporary and will only apply to the 2020 primary election.

A3813 which would allow a school district, county vocational school district, or county special services school district to meet the requirement that schools be open for 180 days in a year with an excessive number of unexpected school closures due to an epidemic, or a weather or other emergency through the use of virtual or remote instruction. Specifically, in the event that a district is required to close its schools for more than three school days due to an epidemic, or a weather or other emergency condition, the commissioner will allow the district to apply to the 180-day requirement one or more days of virtual or remote instruction provided to students on the day or days the schools of the district were closed if the program meets such criteria as may be established by the commissioner. All schools in NJ have been closed since yesterday although many districts had closed prior to the Governor mandating the closure statewide.

A3840 provides direction to school districts for the provision of school meals to students if the districts are directed by either the New Jersey Department of Health or the health officer of the jurisdiction to institute a public health-related closure due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Under these circumstances, the district is required to implement a program during the period of the school closure to provide school meals to all district students who are eligible for the free and reduced price school lunch and school breakfast programs. The school district must collaborate with county and municipal government officials to identify one or more school meal distribution sites that are walkable and easily accessible to students in the district. The bill lists possible sites including, but not limited to: faith-based locations; community centers, such as YMCAs; and locations in the school district where summer meals are available. The bill provides, however, that if there is high density housing in a school district, the district must make every effort to identify a school meal distribution site in that housing area. In cases where a site is not within walking distance the meals must be delivered the student's residence or to the student's bus stop as long as a parent or guardian is present at the bus stop to receive the food.

A3841 extends the time to file a New Jersey gross income tax or corporation business tax return if the federal government extends the filing or payment due date for federal returns. The bill also speaks to taxpayers that are required to make quarterly estimated payments around APril 15th. The bill would automatically grant an extension for those taxpayers if the federal government grants an extension and would not impose penalties or interest if the taxpayer files a return by the end of the extension. The extended due date would be no later than June 30, 2020.

A3842 establishes the “Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program” in the Department of Education. for the purpose allocating grant moneys to school districts, charter schools, renaissance schools, and nonpublic schools to provide or expand access to technology and technological equipment, such as laptops, tablets, hot spot access devices, and other electronic mobile devices, for students who do not have the means to purchase such items or who do not have access to the Internet at home. No specific appropriation is attached to the bill

 A3843 requires health insurance carriers (health, hospital and medical service corporations, health maintenance organizations and insurance companies), as well as the State and School Employees’ Health Benefits Programs and the State Medicaid program, to provide coverage for expenses incurred in both the testing for coronavirus disease 2019, provided that a licensed medical practitioner has issued a medical order for that testing and the delivery of health care services through telemedicine or telehealth in accordance with the provisions of P.L.2017, c.117. The requirements of the bill remain in effect during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020. The bill requires the coverage to be provided to the same extent as for any other services under the health benefits plan, except that no cost-sharing may be imposed on the coverage provided pursuant to the bill. The bill takes effect immediately and applies to all health benefit plans currently in effect in the State, or that are delivered, issued, executed or renewed in this State, or approved for issuance or renewal in this State by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, on or after the effective date of the bill.

A3845 authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to provide grants during periods of emergency declared by the Governor, such as the declaration regarding the Coronavirus disease 2019, and for the duration of economic disruptions due to the emergency. The bill gives the authority the power to offer grants for the planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, equipping, and furnishing of a project, including, but not limited to, grants for working capital and meeting payroll requirements, upon such terms and conditions as the authority deems reasonable, during such period of time. The bill also extends the uses of the economic growth account in the Economic Recovery Fund to the planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, equipping, and furnishing by small and medium-size businesses and not-for-profit corporations of certain projects, including, but not limited to, grants for working capital and meeting payroll requirements, upon such terms and conditions as the authority deems reasonable, during such periods of time. The bill further provides that, for projects that were approved by the authority under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program, if the Governor declares an emergency, then the chief executive officer of the authority has the discretion to grant a business documentation submission extension for the duration of the emergency and the board of the authority, upon recommendation of the chief executive officer, may grant two additional six-month extensions; provided that (i) the extensions are due to the economic disruption cause by the emergency; (ii) the project is delayed due to unforeseeable acts related to the project beyond the eligible business's control and without its fault or negligence; (iii) the eligible business is using best efforts, with all due diligence, to proceed with the completion of the project and the submission of the certification; and (iv) the eligible business has made, and continues to make, all reasonable efforts to prevent, avoid, mitigate, and overcome the delay. No specific appropriation is attached to the bill.

A3846 creates the “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program” to allow individuals affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to recoup actual lost wages due to the absence from work under certain circumstances and to assist employers who pay wages to workers who are ordered under quarantine by a licensed healthcare practitioner as a result of coronavirus disease 2019. Specifically, the program will provide, to the extent funds are available, monetary relief to individuals for actual lost wages in an amount that is equivalent to the individual’s average weekly rate of compensation from the past calendar year, if the individuals do not have fully paid leave. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development will use moneys in the fund, in an amount not to exceed $10,000,000, to pay the lost wages of individuals due to: the individual’s absence from work due to the need to care for a family member; the individual’s absence from work due to the illness of the individual; the individual’s absence from work due to school or childcare facility being closed; and for such other purposes as determined by the commissioner.  No moneys shall be paid to an individual for any period or wages for which the individual receives benefits pursuant the "unemployment compensation law."  Moneys in the fund may be supplemented or replaced, or both, by any amounts received from the federal government for the same purposes as provided in the bill. Finally, the department will use moneys in the fund, not to exceed $10,000,000, to assist employers who pay wages to workers who are ordered under quarantine by a licensed healthcare practitioner as a result of coronavirus disease 2019.

A3848 prohibits an employer, during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020 concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, from terminating or refusing to reinstate an employee if the employee requests or takes time off from work based on a written or electronically transmitted recommendation from a medical professional licensed in New Jersey that the employee take time off work for a specified period of time because the employee has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease which may infect others at the employee’s workplace.

A3849 provides that during a state of emergency, public health emergency, or state of local disaster emergency, a custodian of a government record for a public agency will be required only to make a reasonable effort to respond to a request for a government record within seven business days, or as soon as possible thereafter, as the circumstances permit.

A3850 allows public bodies to conduct meetings by electronic means during periods of emergency. The provisions of the bill explicitly authorize a public body to conduct a meeting and public business, cause a meeting to be open to the public, vote, and receive public comment by means of communication or other electronic equipment during a state of emergency, public health emergency, or state of local disaster emergency. The bill also allows a public body to provide notice of meetings electronically through the internet during that time, but requires that public bodies who exercise this option limit, to the extent practicable, the public business conducted at that meeting to matters necessary for the continuing operation of government and that relate to the applicable emergency declaration. 

A3851 would expand the current authority of the Director of the Division of Local Government Services, in the Department of Community Affairs, to extend the statutory dates for the introduction and approval, and for the adoption, of county and municipal budgets when the Governor has declared a Public Health Emergency or State of Emergency. The bill permits the director to extend those dates unilaterally whenever a Public Health Emergency or a State of Emergency, or both, has been declared by the Governor and is in effect.

A3852 allows the conduct of State business and legislative sessions at locations other than Trenton during periods of emergency or other exigency. The bill also allows the Legislature to use any technology or electronic means to conduct its business, to carry out its purposes, or to comply with the requirements of certain provisions of the New Jersey Constitution during a period of emergency that is determined to exist by the Governor or the Legislature. This may be utilized for the conducting of hearings on the Governor's proposed budget in the coming weeks.   
 
 A3854 provides that, for the duration of the public health emergency declared in connection with the coronavirus disease 2019, all licensed health care facilities and clinical laboratories will be authorized to collect specimens for the purposes of testing for COVID-19. Nothing in the bill will abrogate the authority of the Commissioner of Health to require a health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility to respond to the public health emergency as authorized under the “Emergency Health Powers Act.” The bill also expressly authorizes the Commissioner of Health, during a public health emergency, to waive mandatory staffing ratio requirements for health care facilities, which is likely to be critical moving forward.

A3855 requires the Statewide 2-1-1 system and all executive branch departments to prominently display information concerning food access programs and resources through their main websites and social media throughout the duration of any declared public health emergency. The 2-1-1 system and the departments may further disseminate the information using any other means deemed appropriate to reach as many individuals and population groups in the State as possible.

A3856 makes a FY 2020 supplemental appropriation of $10 million for health care and residential facility sanitation due to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak. The funds are to be used to provide financial assistance to certain health care and residential facilities in meeting the sanitation demands imposed by the coronavirus disease 2019. These facilities are limited to: nursing homes; long-term care facilities; Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, facilities; federally qualified health centers; urgent care facilities; retirement centers; senior centers; intermediate care facilities; State developmental centers; group homes for individuals with medical needs; State psychiatric hospitals; post-acute rehabilitation centers; medical day care centers; residential schools for children with complex medical needs; group homes for individuals with mental health, substance use, or behavioral health conditions; and homeless shelters. The bill provides that the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting, in collaboration with Commissioners of Health, Human Services, Children and Families, and Community Affairs, shall determine the methodology for allocation of the funds across the applicable facilities no later than five days after the effective date of the bill. And the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting shall transfer such funds to the applicable departments and divisions for distribution to the facilities no later than 10 days after the effective date of the bill. 

A3857 supplements the FY 2020 appropriations act by appropriating $15 million for grants to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the Food Bank of South Jersey, and Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean to provide food assistance to households in need as follows: $10.8 million to the Community Food Bank of NJ, 2.4 million to the Food Bank of South Jersey and $1.8 million to Fulfill.

A3858 directs the Commissioner of Human Services, in collaboration with county welfare agencies, to issue supplemental cash assistance payments to eligible recipients of the Work First New Jersey program in addition to the standard benefits issued under the program during a public health emergency declared by the Governor, in which the commissioner determines that the standard benefits issued under the Work First New Jersey program are not sufficient to support the needs of recipients in the State. The payments shall be in an amount equal to a recipient’s monthly benefit amount for the most recent complete month. Following the initial determination to issue supplemental cash assistance payments, the commissioner is required to make all subsequent determinations on a monthly basis until the supplemental cash assistance payments cease. Furthermore, the bill directs the commissioner to distribute the supplemental cash assistance payments via the State’s electronic benefit transfer program.  

A3859 provides that, whenever a public health emergency or a state of emergency is declared by the Governor and is in effect, the Governor may issue an executive order to declare that a lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person would not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. This executive order would remain in effect for no longer than two months following the end of the public health emergency or state of emergency. The bill would permit eviction and foreclosure proceedings to be initiated or continued during the time of the executive order, but enforcement of all judgments for possession, warrants of removal, and writs of possession would be stayed, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. The bill would require sheriffs, court officers, and their agents to refrain from acting to remove individuals from residential properties through the eviction or foreclosure processes during the time of the executive order, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties, that removal is necessary in the interest of justice. Governor Murphy announced during his press briefing today that he would sign this bill immediately and will then issue an Executive Order.

A3860 provides that, for the duration of the public health emergency declared in response to the coronavirus disease 2019, any health care practitioner will be authorized to provide and bill for services using telemedicine and telehealth, regardless of whether rules and regulations concerning the practice of telemedicine and telehealth have been adopted. The services authorized under the bill will include the full range of services set forth in the definitions of telemedicine and telehealth in existing law. A practitioner who is not licensed or certified to practice in New Jersey may provide health care services under the bill using telemedicine and telehealth, provided that: (1) the practitioner is licensed or certified to practice in another state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia, and is in good standing in that jurisdiction; (2) the services provided by that practitioner are consistent with the practitioner’s authorized scope of practice in the jurisdiction that issued the practitioner’s license or certification; (3) unless the practitioner has a preexisting provider-patient relationship with the patient that is unrelated to COVID-19, the services provided are limited to services related to screening for, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19; and (4) in the event that the practitioner determines that a telemedicine or telehealth encounter with a patient located in New Jersey will not involve screening for, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19, and the practitioner does not have a preexisting provider-patient relationship with the patient that is unrelated to COVID-19, the practitioner advises the patient that the practitioner is not authorized to provide services to the patient, recommends that the patient initiate a new telemedicine or telehealth encounter with a health care practitioner licensed or certified to practice in New Jersey, and terminates the telemedicine or telehealth encounter. The bill requires that any amount charged for services provided under the bill be reasonable and consistent with the ordinary fees typically charged for that service. If a health care practitioner who is not licensed to practice in New Jersey is required to terminate a telemedicine or telehealth encounter because the encounter does not involve the provision of services related to screening, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19, the practitioner will be prohibited from billing for any services provided during the encounter.

A3861 permits corporations to hold shareholders' meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication to the extent the board authorizes and adopts guidelines and procedures governing such a meeting. The bill also provides that shareholders participating in a meeting by means of remote communication are deemed to be present in person and are entitled to vote at the meeting, regardless of whether the meeting is held at a designated place or solely by means of remote communication.

A3862 allows the director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, with the approval of the Attorney General, to expedite the professional and occupational licensing process for out-of-state individuals when the Governor has declared a state of emergency. The individual applying for a specific license, certificate of registration, or certification in New Jersey must have a corresponding license, certificate of registration or certification in good standing from another jurisdiction. The bill gives the director and applicable boards the ability to waive certain requirements normally required in the licensure process, such as a criminal history record background check of an individual and payment of certain fees for the license, certificate of registration or certification.

A3864 would allow notaries public to perform certain notarial acts remotely. A remotely located individual would be allowed to use communication technology to appear before a notarial officer remotely located individual is located. The bill sets forth the specific circumstances during which notarial acts may be preformed.

A3865 makes it an unlawful practice for a retail food store to accept the return, with limited exceptions, of any groceries and other foodstuffs purchased during, and for 30 days following, a state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19. However, a retail food store may accept the return of groceries and other foodstuffs if it determines, in its sole discretion, that the purchased items are unsafe for use or otherwise adulterated as a result of any manufacturing error or defect. Any groceries or other foodstuffs accepted for return by a retail food store are not to be offered for resale. 

ACR165 urges the Department of Human Services to apply for any federal waivers available to increase and extend access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and ease any administrative barriers to accessing benefits that arise from the nationwide outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019.

AJR158 urges the Federal Communications Commission to take temporary measures to secure broadband access for those affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

A3852 which allows the conduct of State business and legislative sessions at locations other than Trenton during periods of emergency or other exigency. The bill also allows the Legislature to use any technology or electronic means to conduct its business, to carry out its purposes, or to comply with the requirements of certain provisions of the New Jersey Constitution during a period of emergency that is determined to exist by the Governor or the Legislature. This may be utilized for the conducting of hearings on the Governor's proposed budget in the coming weeks.   

 A3859 which provides that, whenever a public health emergency or a state of emergency is declared by the Governor and is in effect, the Governor may issue an executive order to declare that a lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person would not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. This executive order would remain in effect for no longer than two months following the end of the public health emergency or state of emergency. The bill would permit eviction and foreclosure proceedings to be initiated or continued during the time of the executive order, but enforcement of all judgments for possession, warrants of removal, and writs of possession would be stayed, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. The bill would require sheriffs, court officers, and their agents to refrain from acting to remove individuals from residential properties through the eviction or foreclosure processes during the time of the executive order, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties, that removal is necessary in the interest of justice. Governor Murphy announced during his press briefing today that he would sign this bill immediately and will then issue an Executive Order.

 A3860 which provides that, for the duration of the public health emergency declared in response to the coronavirus disease 2019, any health care practitioner will be authorized to provide and bill for services using telemedicine and telehealth, regardless of whether rules and regulations concerning the practice of telemedicine and telehealth have been adopted. The services authorized under the bill will include the full range of services set forth in the definitions of telemedicine and telehealth in existing law. A practitioner who is not licensed or certified to practice in New Jersey may provide health care services under the bill using telemedicine and telehealth, provided that: (1) the practitioner is licensed or certified to practice in another state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia, and is in good standing in that jurisdiction; (2) the services provided by that practitioner are consistent with the practitioner’s authorized scope of practice in the jurisdiction that issued the practitioner’s license or certification; (3) unless the practitioner has a preexisting provider-patient relationship with the patient that is unrelated to COVID-19, the services provided are limited to services related to screening for, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19; and (4) in the event that the practitioner determines that a telemedicine or telehealth encounter with a patient located in New Jersey will not involve screening for, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19, and the practitioner does not have a preexisting provider-patient relationship with the patient that is unrelated to COVID-19, the practitioner advises the patient that the practitioner is not authorized to provide services to the patient, recommends that the patient initiate a new telemedicine or telehealth encounter with a health care practitioner licensed or certified to practice in New Jersey, and terminates the telemedicine or telehealth encounter. The bill requires that any amount charged for services provided under the bill be reasonable and consistent with the ordinary fees typically charged for that service. If a health care practitioner who is not licensed to practice in New Jersey is required to terminate a telemedicine or telehealth encounter because the encounter does not involve the provision of services related to screening, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19, the practitioner will be prohibited from billing for any services provided during the encounter.

A3862 which allows the director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, with the approval of the Attorney General, to expedite the professional and occupational licensing process for out-of-state individuals when the New Jersey Governor has declared a state of emergency. The individual applying for a specific license, certificate of registration, or certification in New Jersey must have a corresponding license, certificate of registration or certification in good standing from another jurisdiction. The bill gives the director and applicable boards the ability to waive certain requirements normally required in the licensure process, such as a criminal history record background check of an individual and payment of certain fees for the license, certificate of registration or certification.



NJHA NEWS CLIPS
  1. Coronavirus update: Hospital capacity concerns as cases rise to 267; Murphy closes malls; 1st day of full school shutdown. What you need to know (03/18/2020)
  2. Murphy requests Trump’s help building hospitals as COVID-19 cases mount
  3. Local hospitals move to protect patients against the spread of the coronavirus
  4. Murphy orders closure of malls, amusement parks effective Tuesday evening (updated)
  5. As the coronavirus spreads, Pa. and New Jersey race to add hospital beds, testing
  6. Drive-thru testing available at Hudson Regional Hospital
  7. Elective surgeries canceled at Meridian Health hospitals for 2 weeks
  8. 5 steps to help make room for patients in your hospital
  9. CMS expands Medicare telehealth services to fight COVID-19

CMS Adult Elective Surgery and Procedures Recommendations

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Questions? Contact Jeff Shanton at  jshanton@jssurgctr.com