State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS), in partnership with Manatt Health, Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR), State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), Bailit Health, and GMMB developed this resource page to serve as an accessible “one-stop” source of COVID-19 information for states. This resource is designed to support states seeking to make coverage and essential services available to all of their residents, especially high-risk and vulnerable people, during the COVID-19 pandemic. SHVS will update this page frequently with new resources as they become available.
|If you have materials you are willing to share with other states through this page, or if there are topics of particular concern that you would like addressed, please contact SHVS.|
CDC issued an advisory report on drug overdose deaths between April 2019 and May 2020 with the largest increase incurred between March and May 2020, suggesting an acceleration of overdose deaths during the pandemic. CDC emphasized the need for accessibility of essential services for people most at risk of overdose and expanded prevention and response activities. In the press release, CDC conveyed it is working with states, territories, tribes, cities, and counties across the country to continue drug overdose surveillance and prevention efforts.
HHS OIG issued a report summarizing its findings on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on opioid treatment programs (OTPs), derived from interviews with 142 programs through June 22. OTPs reported challenges related to:
(1) maintaining pre-pandemic service levels;
(2) managing impacts on facility operations;
(3) implementing and using telehealth;
(4) obtaining treatment medications, personal protective equipment, and cleaning supplies;
(5) maintaining patient participation in OTP activities;
(6) dealing with limitations posed by existing Federal guidance;
(7) providing take-home doses to patients; and
(8) implementing governmental guidance.
The report also itemizes the countermeasures that OTPs have taken since the COVID-19 pandemic, which include:
(1) encouraging or requiring various personal safety measures for patients and staff;
(2) implementing or expanding the use of telehealth to continue providing services;
(3) increasing the number of take-home doses to reduce the number of patients visiting facilities;
(4) making physical changes to facilities and increasing staffing flexibilities; and
(5) ensuring that patients received treatment medications.
The report is intended to support HHS’s goal of reducing opioid morbidity and mortality and to help SAMHSA by providing information on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on OTPs. However, HHS OIG acknowledged that the report reflects the challenges of OTPs as of June 2020 and may not reflect the current environment.
CMS and SAMHSA issued joint guidance for individual and group market health plan issuers, encouraging them to expand access to mental health and SUD services during the COVID-19 public health emergency and enumerating the actions that plans can take to do so.
SAMHSA announced a $40 million funding opportunity to leverage CARES Act funding for COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Programs available to various entities including but not limited to state/territorial governments, social service providers, emergency departments, public health agencies, emergency departments, and tribal organizations. . SAMHSA anticipates making 50 awards up to $800,000 each. Applications are due May 22, 2020.
Summary of tactics and flexibilities that states can use to provide opiod use disorder treatment to individuals in need.
CMS issued an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) that provides additional flexibilities for Medicare, Medicaid, Basic Health Program, and Exchange coverage programs as a result of COVID-19 and also implements regulations in response to recently enacted stimulus legislation. The IFC is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on May 8. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days following posting to the Federal Register.
The DEA is temporarily allowing Opioid Treatment Programs to regularly use the same off-site location to deliver take-home buprenorphine doses to their patients without registering that location with DEA, consistent with the policy announced on April 7 for methadone treatment.
This list details recipients of SAMHSA’s COVID-19 funding to date. SAMHSA has awarded $374 million in grants and supplements to address mental health and substance use disorders, support Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, and supplement funding for tribal behavioral health services.
The DEA has released guidance providing flexibility in the delivery of controlled substances to ensure necessary patient therapies remain accessible. DEA is temporarily allowing Opioid Treatment Programs to repeatedly use the same off-site location to deliver take-home methadone doses to their patients without separately registering that location with the DEA.
This letter from the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) deems treatment for SUD as a non-elective medical services that providers must continue to make available during the COVID-19 crisis, and encourages States and other entities to ensure these providers can access personal protective equipment.
Webinar recording and slide deck from webinar hosted on March 18, 2020.
SAMHSA released a list of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) awardees for grants to increase access to and improve the quality of community mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Funding includes $200 million in annually appropriated funding and $250 million in emergency COVID-19 funding.
Section 3221 of the CARES Act changes federal law regarding the confidentiality of substance use disorder (SUD) records, including surrounding sharing of written consent with HIPAA covered entities.
This FAQ answers common provider questions regarding the provision of methadone and buprenorphin, including through the use of telehealth, for the treatment of opioid disorder during the COVID-19 crisis.
North Carolina website cataloging guidance on telehealth expansion during COVID-19, including recent policies related to enhanced behavioral health services, optometry services, postpartum care visits, and even self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
Medicaid memo to providers summarizing changes to program requirements, including expansion of telehealth coverage, provider licensure, and prior authorization for services, during the COVID-19 crisis. Content on behavioral health was updated in a subsequent memo.
This guidance temporarily allows DEA-registered practitioners to distribute controlled substances with fewer limitations, to meet the increasing demand as a result of the public health emergency.
This guidance provides DEA-registered hospitals/clinics with the flexibility to use alternate satellite locations and allow these satellite locations to receive shipments of controlled substances expeditiously.
This memo clarifies a section of the earlier Medicaid provider memo on flexibilities offered to providers of behavioral health and addiction and recovery treatment.
Guidance from New York State Office of Mental Health on adult Continuing Day Treatment (CDT) program expectations, changes in documentation requirements during the disaster emergency period, and reduction or elimination of minimum billing requirements.
Guidance from New York State Office of Mental Health on Assertive Communty Treatment (ACT) program expectations, changes in documentation requirements during the disaster emergency period, and the reduction or elimination of minimum billing requirements.
This expert perspective, written by experts at Manatt Health, discusses strategies state Medicaid and CHIP agencies can pursue as part of their response to COVID-19.
FAQs include HRSA’s guidance for health centers related to COVID-19, which is updated on an ongoing basis. 4/7 updates to FAQs include guidance on infection control/prevention for health centers, health center obligations for paid sick leave/other benefits for staff, liability protections for volunteer providers, permissible adjustments to operating hours, telehealth, and scope of practice.
CMS released an interim final rule with comment period that proposes several changes to the Medicaid and Medicare programs. For the Medicaid program, the rule amends health home regulations by allowing other licensed practitioners to order home health services, without physician sign-off.
This guidance allows practitioners further flexibility in prescribing and dispensing buprenorphine to new and existing patients with opioid use disorder via telephone without examination in person or via telemedicine.
CMS released guidance for rural health care and Medicaid agencies on telehealth flexibilities provided by the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) Act.
This guidance allows OTPs to make “door stop” deliveries for medications for opioid use disorder in a lock-box for patients under quarantine.
This guidance allows prescribers and practitoners to issue time limited prescriptions of schedule II drugs via oral communication (e.g., telephone) under limited circumstances.
This guidance allows practitioners to dispense schedule II-IV drugs (including methadone, buprenorphine and opioids) not only in their home states but also in states with which their home stateshave reciprocity.
This guidance allows pharmacists to dispense early refills of prescriptions for schedule II-IV drugs (including methadone, buprenorphine and opioids) consistent with state law and regulation.
This guidance advises that Opioid Treatment Programs on providing medications to patients who are quarantined with COVID-19.
This guidance details infection control and social distancing recommendations for state psychiatric hospitals.
This guidance advises outpatient providers to utilize telehealth, whenever possible, reschedule non-urgent appointments, reach out to high risk patients for COVID-19, eliminate cancellation/no show fees.
This guidance clarifies that medical emergency exception to Part 2 applies during COVID-19.
This FAQ addresses general questions associated with award and management of SAMHSA discretionary grants that may arise in relation to COVID-19.
This order allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer methadone and buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
This memo provides interim guidance to assist Opioid Treatment Programs with providing medications to patients, aligning state policy with federal take home exceptions of 14 and 28 days.
This FAQ provides guidance to narcotic treatment programs, including information on services that may be provided by telehealth.
MA developed a managed care plan bulletin that outlines requirement’s for coverage and billing related to COVID-19.
This FAQ includes guidance for behavioral health providers, partners, and the greater community to develop coordinated prevention and response plans for COVID-19.