NC DHHS Puts More Detail on Regulatory Flexibility: Telehealth is Key
For many years North Carolina has been slowly including telehealth in the service system. As NC DHHS leaders have said on several recent webinars, our State has made more movement to embed telehealth in the past two weeks than in the past 10 years. To this point, many of the recently announced temporary regulatory flexibilities are focused on telehealth. These flexibilities in Medicaid services have been possible through the federal approval of an
1135 Medicaid waiver that was received on March 23rd. Temporary waivers to in-person treatment will remain in place as long as the State of Emergency is in effect.
We are hearing so much information regarding COVID-19 from the Governor, NC DHHS, counties and schools.We haven't heard as much from the NC General Assembly. They are scheduled to return for the short session on April 28th. There has been some discussion around the State that they may call a special session to specifically address the State's response to COVID-19. So far, they have not indicated that there will be a special session.
On March 30th at 5 p.m. the entire State went under a Stay-At-Home order. The order itself lists a number of organizations and professionals that are exempt, based on responsibilities and need for services and products.Organizations that are exempt can continue to operate. Those include organizations that are specifically stated in the order and include:
Medicaid Expansion Recommended by Some for COVID-19 Response
Hospitals and other health care organizations are struggling to meet the needs of those afflicted with COVID-19. Most of them have put aside elective and routine services to focus their attention on fighting this pandemic. A March 30th ABC News articlestates, "As officials scramble to supply hospitals with much needed protective equipment for doctors and nurses fighting the novel coronavirus on the front lines, hospital leaders around the country warn that they are running low on another critical supply: money."
The i2i Center for Integrative Health is partnering with innovaTel to offer a webinar on how to effectively incorporate telehealth across behavioral health and healthcare in NC. With the COVID-19 emergency many have begun using telehealth to offer care. This webinar will weave in information about how COVID-19 is affecting telehealth across behavioral and healthcare.
NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina is now available for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 211 is a free statewide United Way-funded hotline that gives callers access to resources, such as food, financial assistance, and other basic needs. This confidential service is available in many languages. Dial 2-1-1 or TTY (888) 892-1162 for help.