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ForwardHealth will allow telehealth services utilizing interactive synchronous (real-time) technology, including audio-only phone communication, for currently covered services that can be delivered with functional equivalency to the face-to-face service. This applies to all service areas and all enrolled professional and paraprofessional providers allowable within current ForwardHealth coverage policy.
Please refer to the Forward Health Update 2020-15 (link) for a comprehensive explanation of the update.
Governor Evers announced a new public-private partnership among Wisconsin industry leaders to increase Wisconsin's laboratory testing capacity for COVID-19. Prior to today's announcement, the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene and the Milwaukee Public Health Lab were leading the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network labs to bring additional COVID-19 testing online.
The new partnership now includes laboratory support from Exact Sciences, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Promega, and UW Health. These organizations, along with the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, will now share knowledge, resources, and technology to bolster Wisconsin’s testing capacity.
The Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network labs have been averaging completion of 1,500-2,000 COVID-19 tests per day. The expanded capacity from the state’s new public-private partnership is expected to double that capacity initially and continue to expand as additional platforms and supplies become available.
Residents who are seeking a COVID-19 test are still required to receive an order from a doctor. These labs are not testing sites.
The full press release is available online (link).
ForwardHealth has published Alert 009, titled "Temporary Changes for Durable Medical Equipment and Disposable Medical Supplies Face-to-Face Requirements," to the ForwardHealth COVID-19 Portal Page (link). Beginning March 12, 2020, ForwardHealth will not require a face-to-face visit with a physician or authorized non-physician practitioner for an initial prescription of any durable medical equipment or disposable medical supplies. A prescription will continue to be required for durable medical equipment and disposable medical supplies.
Colleagues, leaders, patients, and their families are invited to nominate a home care nurse for the “Wisconsin Home Care Nurse of the Year Award”. The award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual nurse and provides a way to celebrate the work of all home care nurses in Wisconsin.
This award will be presented during the Wisconsin Association of Home Health Care Spring Conference in June to one outstanding nurse who demonstrates excellence in home care nursing practice.
The annual award is designed to recognize the outstanding skills and contributions of individual Wisconsin home care nurses who are the heart of patient care. Recognizing an individual nurse allows WiAHC to honor nurses and their profession. Candidates for the award are individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the delivery of quality care.
The nominee must be a WiAHC member and currently employed within Wisconsin home care as a Registered Nurse for a minimum of one year.
Learn more and submit a nomination here.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is delaying the start of training and the soft launch date (formerly September 1, 2020) requirement to use EVV for personal care services. A new timeline will be announced when it is available.
Various dedicated EVV webpages, including a new Training Information page, are where you can view current EVV information. Providers are encouraged to join the email list in order to receive updates on EVV.
Governor Evers released a 65-page draft piece of legislation and a draft joint resolution on Saturday night aimed at addressing COVID-19. The Governor also released a chart outlining the proposal. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau also provided a Summary of provisions of Governor Evers’ proposed legislation and Joint Resolution indefinitely extending public health emergency to state legislators.
The bill includes several healthcare provisions, including language related to out-of-network bills that occur during the public health emergency. The language caps physician payment rates at 250% of the Medicare rate.
Health Care Workforce
The bill contains several provisions related to voting during public health emergencies. Specifically, for elections held during a declared public health emergency, it would:
Governor Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm today exercised their authority under Article V, Section 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution and Sections 323.12(4) and 252.02(6) of the Wisconsin Statutes to simplify healthcare license renewals during the COVID-19 public health emergency and to encourage recently retired professionals with expired licenses to re-enter practice. This full order is available online (link).
The order includes the following policy changes:
Interstate Reciprocity: allows any out-of-state health can provider licensed and in good standing to practice in Wisconsin without a Wisconsin credential. The order requires the out-of-state physician to apply for a temporary or permanent Wisconsin license within 10 days of first working at a Wisconsin health care facility; and the health care facility must notify DSPS within 5 days. The order temporarily suspends the visiting physician practice limitations in Med 3.04.
Temporary License: Any temporary licensed to an out-of-state provider during the emergency will be valid until 30 days after the conclusion of the emergency.
Telemedicine: Allows physicians licensed and in good standing in Wisconsin, another U.S. state or Canada to provide telemedicine services to Wisconsin residents.
Physician Assistants: Suspends several current rules regulating the practice of PAs in Wisconsin. This includes: the requirement of PAs to notify the MEB of changes to their supervising physician within 20 days (order changes it to 40 days); the requirement that PAs limit their scope of practice to that of their supervising physician (the order allows them to practice to the extent of their experience, education, training and abilities. It also allows them to delegate tasks to another health provider); the physician to PA ratio of 4:1 (the order allows a physician to oversee up to 8 on-duty PAs at a time, but there is no limit on how many PAs a physician may provide supervision to over time. It also allows a PA to be supervised by multiple physicians while on duty).
Nurse Training and Practice: The order suspends many rules related to nursing. This includes suspending a rule that prohibits simulations from being utilized for more than 50% of the time designated for meeting clinical learning requirements. It also suspends the requirement for nurses to submit an official transcript in order to get a temporary license and allows a temporary license to remain valid for up to 6 months. In addition, it suspends the rule requiring license renewal within 5 years.
Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers: Temporarily suspends the requirement that Nurse Prescribers must facilitate collaboration with other health care professionals, at least 1 of whom shall be a physician or dentist.
Recently Expired Credentials: Requires the state to reach out to individuals with recently lapsed credentials about renewal options. The order also suspends many of the late renewal fees and continuing education requirements for most health professions. The order temporarily suspends MED 14.06(2)(a) to allow a physician whose license lapsed less than 5 years ago to renew without fulfilling the continuing education requirements. It also suspends RAD 5.01 (1) and (2) to allow radiographers or LXMO permit holders who have let their license lapse renew without completing continuing education.
Fees: The order also gives DHS the ability to suspend fees or assessments related to health care provider credentialing.
The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect through the duration of the public health emergency.
The full version of the Governor’s press release is available online (link).
For urgent prior authorization requests for fee‐for‐service members, contact ForwardHealth Provider Services at 800‐947‐9627 for assistance with expediting the prior authorization process. An urgent, medically necessary situation is one where a delay in authorization would result in undue hardship for the member or unnecessary costs for Wisconsin Medicaid as determined by the Division of Medicaid Services. In general, urgent requests will receive a response within five business days. Additional information regarding urgent services is available (link).
Note: Prior authorization is not required for emergency services, defined as services that are necessary to prevent the death or serious impairment of the health of the individual. Reimbursement is not guaranteed for services that normally require prior authorization that are provided in emergency situations; those services still must meet all ForwardHealth coverage requirements, including medical necessity.
This Action Alert 08 and others are available on the ForwardHealth website (link).
In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, ForwardHealth is temporarily altering certain procedures in order to prevent further spread of the disease and effectively treat existing cases. These altered procedures will only be in effect during the public health emergency declared by Governor Tony Evers for the State of Wisconsin under Executive Order 72.
For urgent prior authorization requests for fee‐for‐service members, contact ForwardHealth Provider Services at 800‐947‐9627 for assistance with expediting the prior authorization process. An urgent, medically necessary situation is one where a delay in authorization would result in undue hardship for the member or unnecessary costs for Wisconsin Medicaid as determined by the Division of Medicaid Services. In general, urgent requests will receive a response within five business days. Additional information regarding urgent services is available.
Governor Evers directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to temporarily order the suspension of evictions and foreclosures amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. The full order is available online (link).
The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason unless failure to proceed with the eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person and mortgagees from commencing civil action to foreclose on real estate for 60 days. Wisconsinites who are able to continue to meet their financial obligations are urged to do so. This order does not in any way relieve a person's obligation to pay their rent or mortgages.
The full press release is available on the Governor’s website (link).
563 Carter Court, Suite BKimberly, WI 54136Phone: 920-560-5632 | Fax: firstname.lastname@example.org
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