Ongoing guidance for LA HAP clients/assisters during COVID-19 situation:
LA HAP is instituting several emergency measures in light of the
Public Health Emergency
declared by the Governor on 3/13/20. Please read this Bulletin carefully and circulate through your networks.
Early fill assistance extended through May 31st
The measure previously put into place allowing all LA HAP clients to access an
early fill of medication
without prior authorization has been
extended through May 31st.
Details on how to access are the same as those outlined in the "medication access" section of this Bulletin.
If you have clients who were previously receiving LA HAP assistance and now have Medicaid, please report Medicaid coverage to LA HAP as soon as possible.
You can do this via the
or you may
call any LA HAP staff member
. This greatly helps our program save on premium costs and streamline outreach efforts to non-recertifying clients, which is currently a top priority.
Insurance and LA HAP coverage options for recently unemployed clients
We had added to our
COVID-19 resource page
to include a
for clients who have recently lost their jobs/insurance. Note that if clients are offered COBRA, they have the option of continuing this coverage until their next LA HAP recertification period even if their income makes them otherwise eligible for Medicaid. Keep in mind that each client situation is different and COBRA may not be the best option for all, especially if a client is close to their recertification date.
Reaching LA HAP and HIP staff
Currently, the majority of LA HAP and HIP staff are working from home. HIP staff are still reachable at their main number (225-424-1799). LA HAP staff are accessible via new, temporary cell phone numbers.
- See LA HAP staff numbers here. Feel free to reach out to any staff member about any LA HAP issue.
- If you have a general question about LA HAP policy that does not involve the sharing of PHI, you may also send an email to email@example.com and your question will be answered within the same business day.
- Our SHHP receptionist at 504-568-7474 cannot transfer calls but is still able to relay messages to LA HAP staff.
If your facility has billing or eligibility specialists who frequently contact LA HAP for billing or eligibility status inquiries, please share this guidance with them.
Releases of Information for new, returning, or transitioned clients
If you are working with new clients or ones who have recently transitioned to your agency or returned after an absence and are not able to meet with them in person to complete a Release of Information Form, this process can temporarily be completed via phone. If a client wishes for a case management agency to gain access to their LA HAP record:
- The client should call and leave a voicemail with Alicia (504-568-5489) or Erin (504-568-3623)
- In the message, they should state the following:
- Their name
- Their date of birth OR Social Security Number
- The agency and primary case manager to whom they wish to grant access
LA HAP staff will then update the client record accordingly.
Until further notice, we are temporarily accepting the following modifications to LA HAP applications:
- If clients are not able to meet in person to sign their applications, the case manager may notate in the signature line on Page 8 when the client verbally certified that the information is correct and that they have read the Client Responsibilities and Release of Consent.
- Example: "Client verified information was correct via phone 3/17/20 at 9:30 am"
- If clients are not able to obtain income documentation from an employer, they may write, sign, and date a letter self-attesting to their income. If clients are not available to sign the letter themselves, the case manager may do so on their behalf using similar language to above. The letter must:
- specify gross income and frequency of payment, for example, "$21,000 per year" or "$600 every 2 weeks."
- specify why other documentation is not available, for example, "My office is closed and HR is unable to send letter; no electronic version exists"
- Documentation of LIS status/application for Medicare clients is no longer required.
Please note that these measures are only for clients who are (1) not able to meet with their case managers in person, AND (2) not capable of completing the application themselves, even with case manager phone assistance.
All LA HAP clients with a 3/31/20 Core Eligibility End Date (CEED) have had their LA HAP eligibility automatically updated to 4/30/20
Please note that you should still submit applications for these clients (when you are able) to ensure they receive their full 6-month eligibility after April, and should still submit applications for new clients or those with expired CEEDs. LA HAP staff will continue to be working, albeit perhaps with limited availability, and will prioritize these applications for review. Our fax lines remain open. Postal mail is not recommended during this time.
HIP is in the process of making April premium payments for all eligible clients.
If staff availability and office capacity continue to be issues into April, we will revisit this policy and discuss further extensions and/or other possible measures.
LA HAP has instituted two measures regarding medication access:
- In an effort to create more parity with our insured clients, all uninsured clients are now able to receive 90-day fills of medication (the previous limit was 30 days). This policy change was being developed before the COVID-19 emergency occurred and is permanent.
- LA HAP has worked with Ramsell to authorize a temporary early refill for all LA HAP clients from Sunday, March 15th through Thursday, April 30th. Any client statewide may request an early fill in advance of any protective measures they are undertaking during this emergency.
- All LA HAP network pharmacies have been informed of this policy. LA HAP clients may visit any pharmacy in the LA HAP network. Insured clients must also stay within their insurer's network. Uninsured clients must stay within the uninsured network (written in blue on the network list).
- If your client’s pharmacy is not operational:
- Clients who visit the same pharmacy chain but in a different location (such as Walgreens or Avita) should inform the pharmacist of their situation and provide the information of their regular pharmacy so the prescription can be appropriately transferred.
- Clients who normally patronize a local, non-chain pharmacy will likely need to contact their physician in order to initiate a fill of their prescription at a new pharmacy. Often, this transfer can be done over the phone.
- Avita New Orleans: 504-822-8013
- Avita Baton Rouge: 225-924-1930
- Reliant Healthcare: 318-322-8326
We know that as case managers and clinicians, many of you will be working extremely hard over the next few weeks in difficult circumstances ensuring access to care for your clients. We certainly wish you well during this time and please know that we are available (email is best) for any questions you may have, or support you may need. Stay well, community!