The commissioner has waived current statutory requirements for when certain mental health providers must be recertified.
At many mental health services across the state, staff are working remotely during the peacetime emergency due to concerns surrounding social distancing, making recertification challenging. Additionally, some providers are experiencing staffing shortages and have limited capacity to complete the recertification process while continuing to serve individuals.
Extending the timeline for recertification of providers of Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Service (ARMHS), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Intensive Treatment in Foster Care (ITFC) allows providers to continue to operate and meet the needs of the individuals they serve. Therefore,
According to Executive Order 20-48, critical businesses are required to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The MDH/CDC guidance is designed to prevent, mitigate, or respond to the transmission of COVID-19.
Executive Order 20-74, signed by Gov. Walz on June 5, 2020, requires all critical businesses to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (“Plan”) that describes how your business will implement specific health and safety practices in compliance with MDH and CDC guidelines.
You do not need to send the completed plan to your DHS policy program consultant for review or approval. However, your DHS program consultant will monitor that you:
The Department of Human Services is providing templates and guidance as resources for you to use in creating a plan, if you have not already done so. The use of these forms is optional. You may create your own form or use a plan you have already created, but it must cover the same topics contained in the template for your type of program. If you provide a combination of multiple services that are certified by DHS you can develop one plan but it must include all relevant topics.
You do not need to send the completed plan to DHS for review or approval. You will need to submit verification to DHS that you have completed a plan, posted it, and trained staff on it. This will be required for each certified program you operate. Look for an email the week of July 6 with instructions on how to submit this verification.
More information about this and other preparedness plan requirements, see the Licensing page.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on June 9, 2020, additional distributions from the $50 billion Provider Relief Fund. Approximately $15 billion will go to eligible Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and that have not already received funds from the Provider Relief Fund. This includes home and community-based service (HCBS) providers.
These payments will not be made automatically. Providers need to go to the federal portal to apply for this support. Eligible providers must have directly billed either their state Medicaid/CHIP programs (DHS) or Medicaid-managed care plans for health care-related services during the period of Jan. 1, 2018, to May 31, 2020. Nearly 1 million providers may be eligible across the country.
HHS also announced the distribution of $10 billion in Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals, those hospitals that serve our most vulnerable citizens. Recognizing the incredibly thin margins these organizations operate on, these payments will be made directly to hospitals this week via direct deposit.
Providers are encouraged to apply even if they are uncertain if they are eligible. More information about the requirements and distributions is available online at the HHS website, including these recently updated resources:
See the Behavioral Health Division COVID-19 FAQs for more information.
During the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency, the Behavioral Health Division is offering some grantees flexibilities that it wouldn't otherwise provide. There are two main categories of flexibilities that BHD is currently authorizing for some grantees:
*these are not exhaustive lists
DHS wants to ensure the 1.1 million Minnesotans covered by Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare do not lose access to care and services, including mental health and substance use disorder coverage, during the pandemic.
COVID-19 has been extremely disruptive to behavioral health services. Many services paid for by public health programs require in person face-to-face visits, a real challenge for the safety of people receiving services and health care providers with shelter-in-place orders and guidelines to practice social distancing.
DHS received federal approval to temporarily ease certain limits in existing law for receiving needed care and services through telephone and video visits that can instead be provided safely and effectively without an in person face-to-face visit by:
Using the authority granted under the Governor’s Emergency Executive Order 20-12, DHS submitted and has received a waiver request to the federal government to temporarily expand access to telemedicine services for Minnesotans enrolled in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.
This waiver temporarily expands the list of DHS-enrolled providers and their tribal equivalents who will be permitted to provide services through telephone and video visits to include:
Behavioral health resources specific to COVID-19 from the Minnesota Department of Health, including
SAMHSA is providing regular training and technical assistance on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19. View the resources.
Bulletin: Interim guidance for the prevention of COVID-19 in DHS-licensed settings with at-risk persons from the Office of Inspector General, Licensing Division
New telehealth-related products from the Great Lakes include the recorded webinars:
On Mar. 20, 2020, Governor Tim Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-12 permitting the department's commissioner to temporarily waive or modify state statute. In response to the state statutory waiver, the commissioner has approved a waiver to temporarily modify TCM claiming.
Effective Mar. 1, 2020, telephone and video-conferencing (for example FaceTime, Skype and other applications) contacts will meet the face-to-face requirement for all MA-eligible individuals receiving TCM services. MA claiming and reimbursement is permitted for covered TCM services provided through allowable modes. The following criteria apply:
This waiver remains in effect until June 30, 2021, contingent on continued federal approval.
For more information, see the provider bulletin.
Due to restrictions and recommendations for travel, remote work, gathering size and school closings, we are canceling, rescheduling or modifying some of our trainings. The following training sessions have currently been modified as follows:
We understand both your work and home priorities are shifting. The coming weeks will be very different from normal, and we want to ensure you are able to manage your time and critical work. We appreciate your patience.