Covid-19 Resource Page
VMS Resources for Members During COVID-19
VMS wants to serve as an information resource during this critical time, please look below for COVID-19 specific guidance for your practice. The VMS Rounds Newsletters also contain the most up-to-date information as we are publishing them twice weekly. Click here to read the latest issues.
- VDH - Current Covid Activity in Vermont
- American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter Calls on Schools To Prioritize In-Person Attendance for Some Students - July 27, 2020
- VDH COVID-19 Testing Plan: A Coordinated Public Health and Health Care Response - July 27, 2020
- Governor Scott Strengthens Mask Mandates to Require in All Public Places By August 1 - July 24, 2020
- VDH HAN - Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19 - July 24, 2020
- DFR Bulletin 214 - COVID Testing Coverage - July 21, 2020
- DFR Bulletin 215 - Resumption of Routine Provider Audits by Insurers - July 21, 2020
- Vermont Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant - Apply between July 17-August 15, 2020
Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program Online Application Portal Link The first AHS application period is now open for all Vermont health care provider applicants from July 17, 2020, through August 15, 2020.
For more information please click here.
Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program Guidance Documents:
- Program Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Application Readiness & Documentation Uploads Guide
- Expenditures Guide
- Peer Support & Program Pre-Approval Certification
- Revenue Changes Guide
- Financial Assistance To Date Guide
- Sign Up for the Listserv to stay up to date on important changes and announcements
- Online Question Submission Form
This week, AHS and DVHA hosted an informational webinar series on the Provider Stabilization Grant Program. Here is the schedule and recordings:
- Monday, July 20th, General Overview of the Program - Slides and Video Recording
- Tuesday, July 21st, Completing the Revenue Expenses (focus on providers that bill insurance for revenue)- Slides and Video Recording
- Wednesday, July 22nd, Completing the Revenue Expenses (focus on providers that mainly take out of pocket, grants, and other non-insurance revenue) - Slides and Video Recording
- Thursday, July 23rd, Claiming COVID19-related Expenses - Slides and Video Recording
- Troubleshooting Password Issues - Slides and Video Recording
The Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program application portal opened Tuesday, August 4th. Employers who are eligible applicants may submit applications for a lump sum grant award to distribute hazard pay to their eligible employees. The link to the application portal is here. As a reminder, funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis so employers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Hazard Pay Program Guidance and Application Instructions, including the required Summary Report of Eligible Employees are located here. If you have questions after reviewing the guidance documents, please use the online question submission form and AHS staff will respond as quickly as possible.
In recognition that many Vermont Medicaid clinicians may still be uncertain whether or not they are eligible for the federal financial relief allocated for Medicaid providers through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, DVHA wanted to let clinicians know of recent communication from HHS. HHS informed Vermont Medicaid that it had identified 1,902 Vermont Medicaid medical, dental and long-term support and service providers as potentially eligible for the Medicaid Provider Relief Fund. If you received a recent email from DVHA, you were identified as a Medicaid provider potentially eligible for the federal Medicaid Provider Relief Fund distribution. As of July 15th, only 34 of Vermont’s potentially eligible providers have applied for financial relief. Medicaid providers must submit and complete an application (see instructions here) to HHS’ provider portal by August 3, 2020 (the date has been extended). Providers with questions about eligibility, whether a payment has been issued, and/or where the payment was sent should call the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Help Desk at 1-866-569-3522 and press option 2 or visit the HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund website for more information.
National Government Services (NGS) is reminding Part B Medicare providers that repayment of Accelerated and Advanced Payments (AAP) began July 27th, 2020. Providers have a 90-day window to make their AAP repayment, with each provider having a unique repayment due date based on the date your AAP was issued. Click to read more on the NGS recoupment process.
- AMA Medicare's COVID-19 Advanced Payments - Updated May 14, 2020
- AMA: Financial Guidance for Physicians During COVID-19 - Updated July 9, 2020
- Small Business Administration Funding - Paycheck Protection Program
- PPP applications are again being accepted, with a new application deadline of August 8, 2020. The program has about $130 billion in funds remaining.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants - Provides an emergency loan up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 - reopened program July 2020.
- AMA: CARES Act Loans and other Financial Assistance - Updated May 6, 2020
- FCC Telehealth Funding Opportunities - On June 25, 2020, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program stopped accepting new applications.
- FCC Connected Care Pilot Program - 3-yr Pilot Program with applications opening soon - Updated July 23, 2020
- Changes to Family/Sick Leave - Paid Family Leave Guidelines - Effective 4.2.2020
- Vermont Web Form Available to Ensure Childcare for Essential Workers
- Back-to-Work Resources - Vermont Department of Labor COVID-19 Guidance for Employers
- Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Update on New Work Safe Additions to the Be Smart, Stay Safe Order - 7.10.2020
- Practice Resources - IRS COVID-19 Tax Relief Guidance
- QPP and VT All-Payer Model - QPP Covid-19 Guidance - OneCare COVID-19 Resources for Vermont Clinicians
- Principles and Guidance for Outpatient and Inpatient Care During COVID-19 - 4.30.2020 - VMS, VAHHS, Health First and Bi-State Primary Care
- Governor Scott Announces Some Elective Services May Resume - 5.5.2020
- Vermont Department of Health Phase 2 Guidance for Inpatient Surgeries and Procedures - 5.20.2020
- Vermont Department of Health Phase 2 Guidance for Outpatient Services: Clinic Visits, Diagnostic Imaging, and Limited Outpatient Surgeries and Procedures - 5.22.2020
VPQHC Telehealth Virtual Office Hours on Wednesdays from 12 pm - 1 pm and Thursdays from 8-9 am
This online boot camp is designed to complement the Vermont Telehealth Resources Guide. The strategy is simple - if you’re new to telehealth, then every morning for one workweek, set a timer for 30 minutes, and review one of the five sections below. By the end of the week, you’ll know the basics and be ready to explore the many great resources available to help Vermont health care providers implement a strong telehealth strategy.
On April 30, 2020, CMS lifted Medicare restrictions on the use of telehealth services during the COVID-19 emergency. Key changes effective March 1, and lasting throughout the national public health emergency include:
- Medicare will pay physicians for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person visits for all diagnoses, not just services related to COVID-19.
- Patients can receive telehealth services in all areas of the country and in all settings, including at their homes.
- Increased reimbursement rates for audio-only telemedicine. The change, which is retroactive to March 1, boosts payments for telephonic evaluation and management services (CPT codes 99441-99443) to match those of regular, in-office E/M visits (99212-99214). Payments will increase from about $14-$41 to about $46-$110.
- CMS expanded the list of services eligible to be reported via telehealth (link here)
- CMS will permit reporting of telehealth E/M office or other outpatient visits based on time or Medical Decision Making (MDM).
- The Qualified Healthcare Professionals that are eligible for telehealth has been expanded. Additional codes for these services were also added to the CMS telehealth list.
- CMS has clarified that telehealth services are permitted with both new and established patients.
- Physicians can reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits. In addition, all cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries is waived for COVID19 testing and visits related to the testing. Modifier CS – Cost sharing must be appended to these claims to ensure cost-sharing.
- Physicians licensed in one state can provide services to Medicare beneficiaries in another state. State licensure laws still apply.
Medicare Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Services Coding and Guidelines – comprehensive chart 5.4
CMS Physician Fee look-up tool - reimbursement rates by claim
Office of Civil Rights: Telehealth and HIPAA – allowing the use of non-HIPAA compliant audio/video platforms like FaceTime, ZOOM, Skype
- Telephone only Codes: covered (during an emergency only), limited to 98966-98968; 99441-99443
- Virtual Check-in Codes covered, G2012; G2010 (5-10 min.)
- Modifiers - Add 95 for all telehealth services and usual POS code; Add CS for 100% reimbursement of Covid-19 testing E&M visits or virtual visits (whether or not testing was performed)
- Patient Consent necessary - can be verbal
- Prior authorization - necessary only when necessary for in-person
- DVHA COVID-19
- DVHA Vermont Medicaid Payments for Telephonic Services During the Emergency to COVID-19 - Updated 4.9 Start with March 13, 2020, as the service date and March 23, 2020, as the claim's date
- Vermont Medicaid Payments for Telephonic Services Furnished During the Emergency Response to COVID-19: Reference Charts - 4.9
- FAQs for Medicaid Reimbursement for Telehealth for COVID-19 - 3.27
- Vermont DFR memo regarding COVID-19 and Telemedicine Services
- Vermont DFR Emergency Rule Re: Telehealth Coverage
- BCBSVT - New Telehealth Policies As of 4.2.20
- MVP COVID - Policy Changes - 3.30.20
- MVP NY/VT Suspends Prior Auth for Inpatient Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities - 3.24.20
- MVP NY/VT Emergency Telemedicine Coding Guidance
- CIGNA COVID-19 Billing Guidance
- CIGNA - COVID-19 Telehealth Coverage
- Excellus - BCBS - COVID-19
- United Healthcare COVID-19 Guidance
- United Healthcare - COVID-19 Telehealth and Telemedicine Reimbursement - Updated 3.23.20
BCBSVT has agreed to reverse a policy it had in place restricting reimbursement for virtual well-child care to children only over age 2 and will now cover virtual well-child care for all children regardless of age. This change will be retroactive and is due to advocacy led by the AAPVT Chapter in coordination with the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Medical Society. AAP reminds all pediatric clinicians about following
AAP guidelines for good visits during this time and in the future:
- Well-child care should occur in person whenever possible.
- Well-childcare should be provided consistent with the Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents (4thEdition) and the corresponding Bright Futures/AAP Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care (Periodicity Schedule).
- Well-child care should occur within the child’s medical home where continuity of care may be established and maintained.
- Where community circumstances require pediatricians to limit in-person well visits:
- Clinicians are encouraged to prioritize in-person newborn care and well visits and immunization of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) whenever possible.
- Well visits for children may be conducted through telehealth, recognizing that some elements of the well exam should be completed in the clinic once community circumstances allow. These elements include, at a minimum: the comprehensive physical exam; office testing, including laboratory testing; hearing, vision, and oral health screening; fluoride varnish; and immunizations.
- Northeast Telehealth Resource Center - Select COVID-19 Telehealth Resources firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 800-379-2021 or email@example.com
- NGS is available to answer Medicare Telehealth Billing Questions email KATHERINE.DUNPHY@anthem.com
- UVM Telehealth Tips for Providers
- Telemedicine Quick Set-up Guide in Response to COVID-19 National Emergency developed by Drs. Sylvia Romm, Adam Maghrabi, Tisha Rowe, Aditi Joshi
- Optimizing Privacy When Setting Up Facetime Services
- Governor Scott's State of Emergency Executive Orders
- Vermont Department of Health Coronovirus
- VDH COVID-19 for Health Professionals
- Latest VDH Health Alert Network Provider Advisories
- DVHA Coronavirus
- DMH Coronavirus
- Vermont Child Health Improvement Program COVID-19 - 3/20 VT Adult and Child Vaccine Program Guidance
- DFR Coronavirus
- DAIL Coronavirus
- Vermont Ethics Network Medical Ethics Resources for COVID-19
Tuesday, April 7th, 12:15-12:45pm
Please join VMS, for a weekly COVID-19 update from 12:15-12:45 pm hosted by Vermont Department of Health (VDH) Commissioner Mark Levine.
Join Skype Meeting
Join by phone: Dial-in number: +1 (802) 552-8456
Conference ID: 993815551
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The license renewal process for physicians for the next biennium (Dec. 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2020) will begin August 2020 and will close at the end of November 2020. As an acknowledgment of the cancellation of many CME programs and conferences and the many hours of professional development performed by licensees to learn about COVID-19, the Board of Medical Practice has reduced the CME requirement from 30 hours to 15 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, including 1-hour addressing palliative care, hospice care, OR pain management, and 2 hours addressing prescribing-controlled substances for physicians with DEA registrations. These three subject-specific activities count towards the 15-hour requirement (and cannot be waived by the Board as they are required by Vermont State statute). Licensees who have not completed the 15-hour CME requirement may file ‘make-up plans’ along with their license renewal application. For online, free, or low-cost CME options, click here.
For more information about license renewal, see the Board of Medical Practice webpage.
- HAN Guidance on to Reduce Facility-Based Transmission of COVID-19 in Congregate Care Settings
- Guidance for Children/Youth Residential Programs serving DCF, DAIL, and DMH Clients
- SAMSHA COVID-19 Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance
- Quick-Reference Temporary Telemedicine Coding for Behavioral Health Providers Blue Cross and Blue Shield of VT
- DEA Telehealth Guidance on Admitting and Treating New Patients with Opioid Use Disorder
Vermont’s designated and specialized service agencies are still here to help with mental health, substance use disorder, and developmental services needs via video and phone. Clinical assessment, individual therapy, and 24/7 mental health crisis response – among other services – are all just a phone call away and are generally covered by your insurance, Medicaid, or other public funding. Find your local agency. Intake phone numbers and crisis lines are here.