Effective immediately, and until further notice, CBH’s administrative offices will not receive visitors. Members seeking services please contact Member Services at 888-545-2600. Providers should contact their Provider Relations Representative.

To receive text alerts from the City of Philadelphia regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, text COVIDPHL to 888-777 or visit www.phila.gov/COVID-19.

 

General COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions:

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause fever and respiratory problems in humans and include strains like SARS and MERS. COVID-19 (commonly called “coronavirus”) is a novel strain of coronavirus that was first discovered in December 2019. The first cases were found in China and have since spread throughout the world. Because this strain is new, medical workers are still in the process of learning about it and developing new treatments.

The most common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, and/or trouble breathing. Some individuals do not display symptoms at all.

COVID-19 is spread through person-to-person contact (both from those who are visibly sick and those who are asymptomatic) and through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Older individuals or people with underlying health concerns are most susceptible to the virus.

Prevention and Isolation Frequently Asked Questions:

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19; however, according to the CDC, the following can help in preventing the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Health organizations in highly-impacted areas have recommended that people avoid gathering in large groups, especially if they are members of an at-risk population.

Not unless you work for an organization that has been identified by the City of Philadelphia or by the State of Pennsylvania as an essential business or service provider. You’re also not supposed to travel—including “on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile or public transit”—unless it’s to do one of those essential things.

Yes, but only if you can stay at least six feet away from any people you don’t live with. That applies to shared outdoor space, like at your apartment complex or in parks.

The City of Philadelphia has ordered that “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited,” and that any time you leave your house, even for essential reasons, you should be able to stay at least six feet away from others.

All retail locations, unless they are considered “essential,” will be closed. However, you can leave your home to buy groceries, medicine, and cleaning/sanitizing supplies. Please check to see if the store you want to visit is open in advance of leaving your home.

Social distancing is allowing more space than usual (six feet if possible) between people to slow the spread of a sickness. A quarantine is used to keep someone who is sick away from other people to keep others from getting sick. CBH is encouraging that our members and provider network follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines related to COVID-19 at this time.

A “stay at home” order can also be called a shelter-in-place order. The goal of a stay at home order is to keep as many people in their homes/shelters as possible to avoid getting sick. The order states we should only leave our homes/shelters for emergencies, medical care, or essentials such as groceries.

CBH Member Services Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes. Pennsylvania has relaxed program rules to allow healthcare providers to offer services using “telehealth.”

Telehealth is a way to provide health services from a distance using technology. Services may be provided over the phone or in two-way video calls (like Skype, FaceTime, etc.).

Interpretation services are also available over the phone during this emergency period.

Yes! This is being prioritized by most treatment providers. Instead of meeting with a psychiatrist in person, your psychiatrist can call you over the phone. Psychiatrists can continue to prescribe medication. Pharmacies will continue to be open.

Providers are able to offer medication-assisted treatment as a take-home medication for members who are stable. Please speak with your behavioral health provider regarding take-home medication if you are interested. Please contact CBH Member Services should you have concerns or need assistance advocating. Our Member Services Representatives can call provider agencies to assist in coordinating your care.

CBH is working hard to make sure that you can continue to receive behavioral health treatment in the safest manner possible. Although the CBH office is not physically open currently, we are still actively operating, and all CBH staff are currently working from different locations. CBH Member Services continues to be available to you 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We are in daily communication with our providers about how they are continuing to operate.

Please contact CBH Member Services and share your concerns. A Member Services Representative will assist you in determining if the agency where your therapist works is able to offer an in-person appointment or a visit using telehealth. If telehealth is available, the Member Services Representative will make sure that you are able to get in contact with the agency. If the agency your therapist works for is temporarily closed, the Member Services Representative will assist you in finding a different therapist or agency where you can temporarily receive services.

Please speak with your behavioral health provider regarding their current practices. Current program practices have changed to keep everyone safe, so group therapy should not be viewed as “required” in-person participation during this period of recommended social distancing and stay at home orders (see the “social distancing” and “stay at home order” sections). Providers may be able to offer group therapy via phone call or video conference calls.

Please contact CBH Member Services to file a complaint. Once the Member Services Representative files your complaint, you will be transferred to the CBH Quality Warm Line to confirm the details of your complaint. You will receive a call from a CBH Quality Representative to share the outcome of your complaint.

Please contact CBH Member Services to file a grievance. Once the Member Services Representative files your grievance, you will be transferred to the CBH Quality Warm Line to confirm the details of your grievance. You will receive a call from a CBH Quality Representative to share the outcome of your grievance.

You may be placed in quarantine if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the Coronavirus. However, you are still eligible to receive telehealth services. Please contact CBH Member Services if you have specific concerns surrounding your care.

Provider Frequently Asked Questions

CBH has developed a frequently asked questions document based on questions from network providers related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Operational Changes of Treatment Providers

CBH has begun maintaining a spreadsheet containing information on operational changes at network providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please remember to check here frequently, as this spreadsheet will be updated daily:

For any questions regarding these provider operations changes, or to update any of the listed information, please call 215-413-7660.

CBH Alternative Payment Arrangement

CBH would like to assure Providers that we are working in conjunction with the PA Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health & Substance Use Services (OMHSAS) to ensure that you remain financially sound during this challenging time associated with the COVID-19 emergency.

As such, we have developed, and had approved by OMHSAS, an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) for all community and ancillary providers. We have prioritized community-based services in this initial APA based on projected lower utilization of services, posing the most imminent financial risk.

CBH Provider Zoom Meeting Schedule

Beginning on March 30, all Community-Based Providers are required to attend the following meeting:

Community-Based Providers COVID-19 Discussion
Mondays at 1:00 p.m. (Recurring)
Zoom Meeting Sign-In: https://zoom.us/j/864135535
Meeting ID: 864 135 535

Beginning on April 1, all Bed-Based Providers are required to attend the following meeting:

Bed-Based Providers COVID-19 Discussion
Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. (Recurring)
Zoom Meeting Sign-In: https://zoom.us/j/122013738
Meeting ID: 122 013 738

Zoom One-Tap Mobile:
646-876-9923, 864135535# US (New York)
312-626-6799, 864135535# US (Chicago)

Zoom Dial By Your Location:
646-876-9923 US (New York)
312-626-6799 US (Chicago)
301-715-8592 US
346-248-7799 US (Houston)
669-900-6833 US (San Jose)
253-215-8782 US
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abMkJwNKkO

Please note that these meeting are for CBH providers only. Contact Provider Relations if you have any questions.

COVID-19 Resources:

The Department of Human Services (DHS) closed County Assistance Offices (CAOs) in coordination with Governor Wolf’s guidance regarding COVID-19. In-person visits will not be available, and access to phone lines may be limited. As DHS continues to focus on keeping Pennsylvanians safe and healthy, they are urging individuals to utilize DHS’ online resources.

COMPASS

COMPASS can be used to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information. Visit the COMPASS website to apply for:

Report Abuse or Neglect

People who are mandated reporters under the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) should report abuse online at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis, but ChildLine is also available to anyone wishing to report, 24/7, at 1-800-932-0313. Adult Protective Services (for ages 18 to 59 with physical or intellectual disabilities) reports can be made 24/7 to 1-800-490-8505.

Clearances and Licensing

Mandated reporters are encouraged to use the self-service portal on the Keep Kids Safe website. Additional forms and information can be found on the DHS Clearances and Licensing webpage.

Updates

The DHS coronavirus landing page will continue to be updated with information and documents.

Support and Referral Helpline

DHS launched a statewide Support & Referral Helpline staffed by skilled and compassionate staff who will be available 24/7 to assist Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency and refer them to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. The toll-free, round-the-clock support line is officially operational.

The number to call is 1-855-284-2494 (TTY 724-631-5600).

To create and staff the support line, DHS has partnered with the Center for Community Resources (CCR), an experienced regional crisis and call center provider based in Butler County and licensed to provide crisis services.

Below is information from the PA Department of Health containing the HAP Coordinator of the Regional HealthCare Coalition who can provide information regarding PPE:

East Central

(Berks, Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Wyoming Counties)
717-561-5250

North Central

(Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, Union Counties)
717-561-5250

Northeast

(Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne Counties)
717-561-5257

Northern Tier

(Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Mckean, Venango, Warren Counties)
717-561-5254

Keystone

(Adams, Bedford, Blair, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, Snyder, York Counties)
717-561-5255

Southeast

(Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia Counties)
717-561-5251

Southwest

(Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland Counties)
717-561-5252

 

CBH encourages providers to follow COVID-19 guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH). They are releasing regular information for healthcare providers regarding COVID-19. Below are a few resources for our Provider Network.

From Tamra Williams, PhD, Deputy Chief Clinical Officer of Children’s Services, some advice for talking to children about the coronavirus pandemic:

When talking with children about the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s important to remember that children take their cues from adults about how to react to stressful events. If parents or other adult caregivers seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Adults should offer reassuring and information that is age appropriate and should model positive preventive measures.

Some tips for talking with children from The National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of School Nurses, the CDC, and SAMHSA include the following.

Remaining calm and reassuring.

Monitor television viewing and social media.
Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety—avoid this.

Make yourself available.
Children may need extra attention and time to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.

Know the symptoms of COVID-19. Provide information that is honest, accurate, and age appropriate.

  • In the absence of factual information, children often imagine situations far worse than reality.
  • For young children, keep it brief and simple and balance COVID-19 facts with reassurance that they are safe and that adults are here to keep them healthy. Give simple examples of what they can do to stop germs and stay healthy, such as washing hands.
  • Older children will be more vocal in asking questions and may need help separating reality from rumor and fantasy.
  • The Pennsylvania Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training (ASERT) organization also has many excellent resources for talking about the coronavirus with those diagnosed with autism.

Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.

Model basic hygiene practices for protection.

Communicate with your school.
Let your school know if your child is sick and make sure to follow all instructions from your school.

Source Documents
Please also see the following useful resources:

Daily CBH Updates for Providers:

April 6, 2020

A Letter to Providers in the CBH Network

CBH would like to acknowledge the continued partnership of the Philadelphia behavioral health provider network and has released a letter to provide additional clarification on recently distributed information. View the full letter here.

CBH Pharmacy Guidance

CBH has provided pharmacy-related guidance on prescribing drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PA DHS Support and Referral Helpline

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) announced yesterday that the Department of Human Services (DHS) launched a statewide Support & Referral Helpline staffed by skilled and compassionate staff who will be available 24/7 to assist Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency and refer them to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. The toll-free, round-the-clock support line is officially operational.

The number to call is 1-855-284-2494 (TTY 724-631-5600).

To create and staff the support line, DHS has partnered with the Center for Community Resources (CCR), an experienced regional crisis and call center provider based in Butler County and licensed to provide crisis services.

CBH Provider Notices

Two Provider Notices were issued today:

OMHSAS Webinar: Practical Review of Alcohol Withdrawal Management During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has partnered with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) to provide a webinar training on ambulatory withdrawal management due to concerns of alcohol withdrawal with the state liquor store closures. The webinar is scheduled for Monday, April 13, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information on the webinar, click here. Register for the webinar here.

Provider Frequently Asked Questions

CBH has developed a frequently asked questions document based on questions from network providers related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

CBH Provider Meeting Minutes for the Week of 3/30/2020

Below are minutes for provider meetings from this week:

OMHSAS Visitation Guidance for RTF, LTSR, and CRR

Yesterday, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) released a memo regarding visitation guidelines under COVID-19 for residential treatment including Long-Term Structured Residences (LTSR), Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) Services, Residential Treatment Facilities for Adults (RTF-A), and Crisis Residences. View the full memo here.

For visitation guidelines for children and youth residential treatment, refer to the related March 26 OMHSAS memo here.

DEA Policy: Use of Telephone Evaluations to Initiate Buprenorphine Prescribing

Yesterday, in cooperation with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) released guidance stating that practitioners have further flexibility during the nationwide public health emergency to prescribe buprenorphine to new and existing patients with OUD via telephone by otherwise authorized practitioners without requiring such practitioners to first conduct an examination of the patient in person or via telemedicine.

View the full guidance document here.

CBH Provider Bulletin 20-08: COVID-19 Response: Alternative Payment Arrangement

CBH Released a Bulletin and supporting documents regarding the Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA):

CBH Notice: Federally Qualified Health Centers and Centers of Excellence

This CBH notice gives additional clarification from OMHSAS regarding CBH's Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA). Read the full notice here.

PA DHS Licensing Inspection Guidance Update

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has extended their original March 16-March 30 suspension of licensing inspections until Governor Wolf lifts the current Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for COVID-19 or until such other time set by DHS. However, licensing staff will continue to investigate incidents and complaints during this time period.

View the DHS update notice here.

OCR Bulletin: Civil Rights Laws and HIPAA Flexibilities That Apply During the COVID-19 Emergency

On Saturday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, and exercise of conscience and religion in HHS-funded programs, including in the provision of health care services during COVID-19.

Read the full bulletin here.

CBH Provider Bulletin 20-07: Third-Party Liability (TPL) and Place of Service for Services Delivered via Telehealth Platforms

CBH released a Bulletin regarding TPL and telehealth places of service. Refer to CBH Bulletin 20-07: Third-Party Liability (TPL) and Place of Service for Services Delivered via Telehealth Platforms (published March 30, 2020).

Federal Section 1135 Waiver Flexibilities for PA Medicare and Medicaid

On March 27, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved a number of requests for waivers or modifications, pursuant to section 1135 of the Social Security Act, to address the challenges posed by COVID-19. This approval addresses those requests related to Pennsylvania Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare, including:

  • Temporarily suspend Medicaid fee-for-service prior authorization requirements
  • Extend pre-existing authorizations for which a beneficiary has previously received prior authorization through the end of the public health emergency
  • Suspend Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASRR) Level I and Level II Assessments for 30 days
  • State Fair Hearing Requests and Appeal Timelines
  • Provider Enrollment
  • Provision of Services in Alternative Settings
  • Duration of Approved Waivers

Please see the full details of the waivers here.

DPH COVID-19 Patient Transport Guidance

On March 27, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (DPH) released guidance on transport of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 by family members or other non-professionals. View the full guidance document here.

DPH COVID-19 Congregate Settings Guidance

In the event of a large-scale infectious disease outbreak, congregate settings—places where a number of people reside, meet, or gather in close proximity for either a limited or extended period of time—must plan to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 and other respiratory disease, manage known or potential exposures, and prevent widespread transmission within the facility.

Congregate settings should contact the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Disease Control at 215-685-6742 (business hours) or 215-686-4514 (after hours) for outbreak notification, guidance, and assistance. Facilities should also report disease clusters in accordance with their own management requirements.

View the full March 20 guidance document here.

CBH Provider Meeting Minutes for the Week of 3/23/2020

Below are the minutes for provider meetings from last week:

CBH Notice: Suspension of Provider Rate Requests

This CBH Notice outlines the suspension of provider rate requests. Read the full notice here.

DPH Essential Business Guidance on COVID-19 Testing Results

The City of Philadelphia, Department of Public Health (DPH) has offered guidance for essential businesses and organizations on what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. View the full document here (originally published March 21, 2020).

BHTEN Supporting Children Webinar

The Behavioral Health Training and Education Network (BHTEN) is hosting the following webinar:

Supporting Children During COVID-19
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Children and families are experiencing significant disruptions to their daily lives and routines due to COVID-19. Children’s responses to stressful events are often different from adult responses and require thoughtful support from caregivers. This webinar will explore appropriate conversations with children and youth of all ages about COVID-19, how to recognize and help children manage their stress responses, methods for maintaining effective contact with your clients, and resources for keeping families busy and active at home.

Register for the webinar here.

CBH Provider Zoom Meeting Schedule

After this week, all Community-Based Providers are required to attend the following meeting:

Community-Based Providers COVID-19 Discussion
Mondays at 1:00 p.m. (Recurring)
Zoom Meeting (Please contact Provider Relations for call-in instructions)

After this week, all Bed-Based Providers are required to attend the following meeting:

Bed-Based Providers COVID-19 Discussion
Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. (Recurring)
Zoom Meeting (Please contact Provider Relations for call-in instructions)

OMHSAS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Yesterday, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) released a frequently asked questions memo to all Behavioral HealthChoices Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCOs), Fee-For-Service (FFS) Providers, and County Mental Health Authorities. View the full memo here.

CBH UPDATED Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA)

CBH has updated their previously issued guidance reflected in the March 19, 2020 Provider Advisory Committee FAQ document. View the updated document regarding the Alternative Payment Agreement here.

SAMHSA Telehealth Learning & Consultation (TLC) Tuesdays

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will be hosting a weekly online webinar series for providers who are unfamiliar with telehealth. Technology Transfer Center (TTC) network specialists will devote the first 20 minutes of each hour-long session to a specific topic, then address questions submitted by TTC Tuesday registrants. Recordings of the 20-minute presentations as well as additional resources will be posted online. Certificates of completion are available. Click here for information and to register.

Wolf Administration Submits Waiver for Greater Flexibility in Medicaid, CHIP Programs During COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts

Today, the Wolf Administration submitted a waiver to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to temporarily grant flexibility of requirements for providers of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to ensure availability and access to health care and public assistance programs for people who need them in light of COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Read the full press release here.

CBH Members Frequently Asked Questions

CBH Member Services has released a Frequently Asked Questions document. View the document here.

Provider Operations Changes Spreadsheet

CBH Provider Operations has begun maintaining a spreadsheet containing information on provider operations changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that this spreadsheet will be updated daily; for updates, visit the CBH Provider Operations Changes section of our COVID-19 information page.

Acute Inpatient COVID-19 March 20 Meeting Minutes

Click here to view the minutes of the March 20 Acute Inpatient COVID-19 meeting minutes.

CBH Provider Staff Roster Deadline Extension

CBH Compliance had previously requested that all in-network providers submit staff rosters via a February 18, 2020 Provider Notice. The notice required that staff rosters be submitted by March 27, 2020, but CBH has extended the deadline to May 1, 2020. For providers who need more preparation time beyond this date, please contact CBH.ComplianceContact@phila.gov. CBH Compliance will continue to review the deadline and make changes as warranted.

Provider Bulletin 20-06: Requests for Children’s Community-Based Services

CBH released a Bulletin regarding requests for children’s community-based services. Refer to CBH Bulletin 20-06: Requests for Children’s Community-Based Services (published March 24, 2020)

Guidance and Resources from the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of State (DOS) are reminding healthcare providers of guidance released and updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the DOH on numerous aspects related to the COVID-19 response. This guidance is for all healthcare providers including those practicing in outpatient and urgent care settings and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). Coordination and collaboration with all level of healthcare providers is essential for a measured response to COVID-19.

Updated Guidance from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)

Please see the below links and attachments from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) for more information and guidance as they navigate COVID-19.

PA DHS Licensing Message

To view the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) message to all of its licensed facilities, click here.

OMHSAS Status Update for Behavioral Health Telehealth

On March 15, OMHSAS provided guidance supporting broad use of telehealth to deliver behavioral health services in the community, including in homes. The guidance is based on the current allowable services in PA with additional flexibility that is aligned with CMS guidance. Since the expansion guidance was issued, OMHSAS has received over 1400 requests by providers who were provisionally approved to immediately initiate the expanded use of telehealth. Read the March 20 Status Update here.

CBH Notice: COVID-19 Response: Provider Payments—(Provider Advisory Committee FAQ Correction)

This CBH Notice replaces previously issued guidance reflected in the March 19, 2020,
Provider Advisory Committee FAQ Document. Read the March 21 Correction here.

SAMHSA COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance

In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing this guidance to ensure that substance use disorder treatment services are uninterrupted during this public health emergency. Read SAMHSA Guidance here.

HHS FAQs on Telehealth and HIPAA During COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights released FAQs on Telehealth and HIPAA during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Read the FAQs here.

HHS Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth

Read the HHS Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency here.

 

OMHSAS Message to Behavioral Health Stakeholders

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) provided the following message to behavioral health stakeholders today regarding Governor Wolfe’s non-essential business closure directive:

“Behavioral health services, both mental health and substance use services, are considered essential and life sustaining services. As such, those entities that support, authorize and/or provide behavioral health services are exempt from the Governor’s directive asking for the closure of all non-essential businesses. Behavioral health services and supports are critical to the health and wellness of our communities and providers are expected to continue offering those services through the COVID-19 crisis period.”

Provider Advisory Committee March 19, 2020 Meeting Minutes and FAQ

The Provider Advisory Committee (PAC) met on Thursday, March 19, 2020 to discuss the impact of the pandemic on provider operations. Please read the minutes here and the FAQ here.

Idemia Fingerprint Site Closures

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and State Police have been working closely with Idemia as events evolve in relation to COVID-19, and the Governor’s declared closures around the Commonwealth. Click here to view Idemia’s Digital Fingerprint Contract COVID-19 Update effective March 16, 2020. This document provides information relative to the fingerprint site closures, current actions being taken, and the PSP policy on remote access to background check information. You can also click here to view the list of closed sites as well as the two nearest open centers (where identified), and click here to view their March 13, 2020 letter identifying their outreach and crisis plans.

City of Philadelphia Emergency Order Temporarily Prohibiting Operation Of Non-Essential Businesses

On March 17, the office of the mayor and the Department of Public Health issued an emergency order for the closure of all non-essential businesses in Philadelphia through March 27, 2020. Click here to view the official order.

PA DDAP Use of Telehealth for Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Services

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has issued a bulletin regarding the use of telehealth for outpatient drug and alcohol services funded by the single county authority. Click here to view the bulletin, and click here to reference the corresponding Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) memo regarding telehealth guidelines related to COVID-19.

Further Coronavirus-Related Information for CBH Providers

CBH has released a Provider Notice about the essential nature of healthcare, the pandemic impact on operations, telehealth (updated), informing OMHSAS and CBH about provider operations during the pandemic, and procedures for in-person interpretation requests. Refer to the March 17, 2020 CBH Provider Notice: Provider Coronavirus Information Update.

U.S. Department of Justice COVID-19 Information Page

The DEA has activated a website containing helpful guidance relating to MAT, telemedicine, electronic prescribing, and the national drug supply. Click here to visit the page.

SAMHSA Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has distributed an information guide containing behavioral health tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak. Click here to read.

Coronavirus-Related Guidance for CBH Providers

CBH has released a Notice containing guidance about Medicaid Regulations, Telehealth Considerations, CBH Provider Policy and Operational Changes to Date, Compliance with Public Health Recommendations, Communication Regarding COVID-19, Communication and Advocacy Across the Commonwealth, Encounter Data, and Key Elements of a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). Refer to the March 16, 2020 CBH Provider Notice: Coronavirus-RelatedGuidancefor CBH providers.

PDPH Coronavirus Preparedness Event

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) hosted an event for coronavirus preparedness titled “COVID-19 Preparedness for Service Providers and Community-Based Organizations” on Monday, March 16, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Read more and register here.

OMHSAS Telehealth Bulletin

As of March 15, 2020, due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations in relation to quarantine and isolation, OMHSAS has announced a preference for the use of telehealth as a delivery method for medically necessary behavioral health services. Click here to read the full Bulletin.

OMHSAS Telehealth Attestation Form

OMHSAS has also issued updated guidelines for the use of telehealth technology in the delivery of behavioral health services. Click here to read the Bulletin. Providers that are seeking to provide behavioral health services using telehealth should complete this (.docx) “Telehealth Attestation Form” as explained in the Bulletin.

HHS Operational and Logistical Needs Survey

The Department of Health and Department of Human Services is using the following survey to predict operational and logistical needs for licensed facilities. Click hereto take the survey.

OMHSAS Operational Recommendations

In response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the delivery of services to individuals and families OMHSAS has developed operational recommendations for counties and providers of behavioral health services. Read the COVID-19 guidance from OMHSAS at the following link. Guidance from the Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (published March 14, 2020)

OMHSAS County Mitigation Plan

Governor Wolf announced mitigation strategies to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Montgomery and Delaware Counties effective Friday, March 13, 2020. The mitigation strategies will be effective for 14 days. Read the mitigation strategies at the following link.County Mitigation Plan: OMHSAS Essential Functions (published March 14, 2020)

Provider Bulletin 20-05: Delivery of BHRS Services During School Closures Due to COVID-19

CBH released a Bulletin specifying policy for delivering BHRS while schools are closed for COVID-19. Refer to Provider Bulletin 20-05: Delivery of BHRS Services During School Closures Due to COVID-19.

CBH Coronavirus Reporting Provider Notice

CBH is requiring that providers submit significant incident reports for lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19; refer to the March 12, 2020 Provider Notice: Reporting of Coronavirus.

CBH Physical Location Closure

CBH closed its physical office on March 13, 2020; refer to the March 12, 2020 Provider Notice: CBH Physical Location Closure—March 13, 2020.

CBH Coronavirus Provider Notice

Providers seeking information about CBH policy and the coronavirus should refer to the March 9, 2020 Provider Notice, “Coronavirus Information.”