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Provider Update: March 17, 2020

To: All ADvantage and SPPC Providers         

Subject:Addressing COVID-19

Date: March 16, 2020

In providing guidance to our partners in the community in a highly evolving situation, we are very sensitive to many factors. We all maintain an intense desire to keep our state's seniors, as well as our employees, safe and to restrict the overall spread of the virus.

As the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation continues to develop, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) has been working to put plans in place to ensure Oklahomans are protected. OKDHS is grateful to you for caring for Oklahoma's most vulnerable population and would like to share with you the following guidance regarding COVID-19.

The CDC is recommending older adults and those with compromised health conditions to avoid crowds and limit going out in public to decrease their chances of being exposed to COVID-19. 

The Medicaid Services Unit (MSU) is putting the following temporary processes in place and offering the follow guidance to assist during this time:

  • Community integration requirements for Assisted Living (AL) and Adult Day Health (ADH) are temporarily suspended to avoid unnecessary community exposure.
  • Requirements for obtaining signatures for home delivered meal providers are temporarily suspended. Meal providers may leave the delivery at a convenient location for the Member, and if contact is necessary, knock then step back at least six feet for safe communication with the member.
  • When feasible, initial IDTs and nursing assessments may be completed by phone.   Verbal consent for service providers and service planning may be obtained from Members and documented on forms requiring signatures. Case management (CM) services will receive a short-term authorization of 90 days to allow for obtaining signatures when the current health emergency has ended.
  • Routine monitoring visits by case managers may be done by phone for Members in safe, low risk situations. Using technology such as FaceTime or Skype may facilitate visualization of Members in higher risk situations. For Members who do not have a phone or need an on-site visit, contact should be made by knocking on the Member's door and stepping back 6-feet to allow for a safe conversation.
  • Routine nursing visits for supervision of the personal care attendant (PCA) may be completed by phone.
  • Nursing visits for filling medication planners, wound care, etc. must be completed in person.
  • Agencies providing in-home services should assess that staff entering homes are asymptomatic. Members should also be monitored for symptoms prior to entering into the home. Members who are symptomatic should be advised to call their physician's office for guidance.
  • Requests for non-traditional or higher quantity equipment/supply items needed to address issues related to COVID-19 should be submitted with justification to support the individual Member's needs.

Additionally, all MSU face to face meeting and trainings have been canceled through April.  Trainings that can be, will be rescheduled as webinars. 

Finally, the team at OKDHS wants to thank you for your public service. You are critical to the work that we do to ensure the safety of our state's seniors.

We are available to help answer any questions that you have. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation, and we anticipate that we will provide further official guidance over the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, free to 'Raise your Hand' on to provide ideas or needs for further assistance. You may also send any questions regarding the information above through the Harmony PQ chapter.

Thank you for your service to our community,

Justin Brown

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