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COVID-19 Update: Friday, June 26

The following is the latest information from Pennsylvania’s state government as of 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26.

Pennsylvania Update

The Wolf Administration

Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Levine signed amended green phase orders for 12 counties to move to the green phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. this morning, June 26.  The counties are Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Susquehanna.  Learn more from the Wolf administration’s news release on this change and see the governor’s amended order authorizing the change and the Secretary of Health’s amended executive order to the same effect.

Department of Human Services

As a result of increased federal matching funds from the COVID-19 response, DHS anticipates ending the fiscal year with excess state share funds from the collection of the quality care assessment and it is statutorily required to return all but $10 million of those funds to the participating hospitals by either reducing the assessment rate used in the following year or proportionately refunding the hospitals.  To reconcile these excess funds, DHS has published a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin explaining that it will assess hospitals in FY 2020-2021 at 3.05 percent of net inpatient revenue and 1.59 percent of net outpatient revenue instead of the planned rates of 3.23 percent and 1.73 percent, respectively.

Department of Human Services/Office of Long-Term Living

On April 30, DHS’s Office of Long-Term Living published the document “Temporary Changes to the Community HealthChoices 1915 (c) Waiver-Revised,” which provided flexibilities for service coordinators and providers as they worked with participants who may have been facing disruption in services due to COVID-19.  This week, OLTL published “Transition Plan to Phase Out Temporary Changes to the Community HealthChoices 1915(c) Waiver,” which addresses the phasing out of the earlier temporary changes when program participants can be safely served and providers and service coordinators are taking proper precautions.  The latter document includes a spreadsheet describing how DHS intends to phase out Community HealthChoices waiver provisions based on a county’s red, yellow, green, or resurgence phase of the reopening plan.  This guidance is intended to be implemented at the county level.

OLTL has posted notices about CARES Act funding for various types of programs and providers that it regulates.  Individual notices have been posted for:

The notices identify the types of providers eligible for funding and address what, if anything, eligible providers need to do to receive payments and how and when these payments will be made.

Department of Health

The Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are partnering with CVS Health to offer COVID-19 testing services to skilled nursing facilities statewide, free of charge.  Learn more in this Department of Health news release.

Department of Health – by the numbers

  • The last two days have seen the highest new case count in the past two weeks while new deaths remain slightly lower than for much of the past two weeks.
  • Nearly 6400 health care workers have contracted COVID-19.
  • 661 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 126 of them are on ventilators; both are the lowest totals this month.
  • The state has seen 27 confirmed cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Another 17 possible cases are currently being investigated.
  • 632 Pennsylvanians have tested positive on COVID-19 serology tests.

Federal Update

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ. The latest changes are marked “6/22/2020.”  Most refer to the planned Provider Relief Fund distribution of $15 billion to Medicaid and CHIP providers.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Food and Drug Administration

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The CDC has updated and expanded its list of who is at increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19.

Department of Labor

The Labor Department has posted an online tool to help workers determine whether they are eligible for paid sick leave due to COVID-19.

Government Accountability Office

The GAO has issued a new report, COVID-19: Opportunities to Improve Federal Response and Recovery Efforts, that describes the federal response to the pandemic, reaches conclusions about that response, and offers recommendations for improving the government response to such crises.

Resources to Consult

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Main COVID-19 Page

COVID-19 Provider Resources

Press Releases

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Main COVID-19 Page

PA Health Alert Network

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Main COVID-19 Page

FAQ

(To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at   info@pasafetynet.org.)

 

 

Filed in Coronavirus, COVID-19.

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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania