Provider update: March 31, 2020
To: All ADvantage and SPPC Providers
Subject: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Covid-19 Pandemic
Updated: March 31, 2020
- Are Personal Care Assistants (PCA) and Personal Services Assistants (PSA) considered essential staff for ADvantage Program? PCA and PSAs are in the category of essential workers. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has provided information regarding essential businesses here: https://www.okcommerce.gov/covid19/ Whether or not a PCA/PSA is essential is dependent on the individual Member. With many caregivers who routinely work now staying at home, what was essential may no longer be the situation. Case Managers will need to address this with their assigned Members. During this emergency, we need to reduce the amount of people going into a Member's home as much as possible. If a Member has an essential need for shopping/errands, then that's what we should do. For Members dependent on a PCA for personal assistance in the home, the PCA should be as cautious as possible and maintain distancing as best they can given the task needed.
- Members are calling asking will they still have help. What do we tell them? Yes, services will continue, however they will be limited to those essential to maintain health and safety. We don't want to put people at risk by having others enter the home for non-essential activities.
- Members are requesting that the PCA/PSA do NOT come to their home during this time of Emergency. Does the CM need to make "unstaffed calls" to Members weekly? Members have the right to refuse services. Case Managers should conduct weekly calls to assess the health and safety of the Member during the time they are unstaffed. There will be no negative action for the agency if the Member is unstaffed by choice if it is documented in the Member's record, preferably in a case management note.
- Is there a specific protocol regarding screenings of those providing direct care during this time? Please follow guidance as outlined by the CDC and OSDH. Many agencies are taking temperatures of Members and staff before initiating any direct in-home services.
- Should case management continue to use EVV code 73 – in home monitoring visit, when completing Member visit by phone? What about the other EVV codes? Please continue to use the appropriate codes for the activity completed. Please refrain from using code 73 unless face-to-face contact was made with the Member.
- Are ASR monitoring visits allowed to be completed over the phone? Yes, all monitoring visits can be done by phone. No one should enter a Member's home unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances that warrant the exposure of the Member.
- How are required nurse visits for med planner refills, wound care, etc. to be handled? All visits should be completed by phone as able. Some nurses are doing video chat (facetime, smart phones, etc.) to assist with filling of med planners depending on the capability of persons in the home.
- Our town has issued a stay at home order for non-essential employees. Our county is under Governor Stitt's Safer at home order. Is there a letter that we can get saying ADvantage providers are essential employees? The Department of Homeland Security – Critical Infrastructure has released a memorandum titled Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Specific information for Healthcare/Public Health workers begins on page 5.
- Case Managers have reported that they know of Members with symptoms like Covid-19, but they have not been tested. How do we put those people on the report? As these individuals have not been tested and their specific illness confirmed, they would not be included on the report.
- We have Members that are pending test results and are also reporting to PCAs that they have been exposed to other family members that are either positive or have been exposed. Please follow guidance provided by Oklahoma Department of Health (https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/resources-recommendations) and the Centers for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html). There is also a Coronavirus Call Center at 877-215-8336.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any questions.
AGING SERVICES | MEDICAID SERVICES UNIT
ADvantage Administration | State Plan Personal Care
Office: 918-933-4900 | CareLine: 800-435-4711