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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources & Information

Resources - these resources are being updated continuously. Please check them often.



Teletherapy

NASW Indiana hosted a free webinar on Telehealth Updates and Information in Indiana on April 3, 2020.

Telemental Health Informed Consent form from NASW

Regulatory provisions/licensing requirements: The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) the membership association for state social work licensing authorities has created a page where you can check on teletherapy in your state as well as license exemptions and temporary license requirements applicable during a declared state of emergency. 

IHCP Bulletin 202022: IHCP issues telemedicine billing guidance for providers during COVID-19 outbreak

Additional telehealth guidance issued on March 17:

  • CMS issued additional Medicaid guidance that is intended to assist states in understanding policy options for paying Medicaid providers that use telehealth technology to deliver services. Medicaid State Plan Fee-for-Service Payments for Services Delivered Via Telehealth Guidance
  • CMS has released a Virtual Toolkit to help everyone stay up-to-date on CMS materials available on COVID-19.
  • The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth services during the COVID-19 national emergency. The notice describes how OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion to not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

  • This guidance, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 visit this link. For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

  • Update from CMS 4/30/2020
    On 4/30/2020, CMS announced is expanding the list of providers that can conduct audio-only telephone services to include many behavioral health and patient education services. CMS also announced that they would increase payments for phone only visits to match payments for similar office/outpatient visits. You can find the full press release here.


Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board

4/28/20 Waiver of One Year Window for Examination: The Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board, is temporarily waiving the application of 839 IAC 1-3-5, 839 IAC 1-4-3.3, 839 IAC 1-5-2, and 839 IAC 1-5.5-5 insofar as they require applicants for licensure by examination to sit for the examination within one (1) year from the date of the initial board approval. This waiver is only effective during the public health emergency and will initially be limited to 90 days. Upon the end of the public health emergency, the rule will not be waived and become effective immediately. A copy of the order may be found here (word document).

  • This refers to : 839 IAC 1-3-5 Examination requirements
    Authority: IC 25-23.6-2-8 Affected: IC 25-23.6-5-1
    Sec. 5. (a) An applicant applying for licensure by examination as a clinical social worker or a social worker, approved by the board to sit for the examination, shall sit for that examination within one (1) year from the date of the initial board approval.

    If the exam applicant has not taken the examination within one (1) year from the date of the initial board approval, the initial board approval will be invalid and the applicant must file a new application.

For information on testing, please visit the ASWB website or the Pearson-VUE website.


Current updates from Indiana Governor Holcomb

View all of Governor Holcomb's Executive Orders online

EO 20-25 Covers the public health disaster emergency declaration which will now expire on 6/4/2020.  You can read the entire Executive Order here.

EO-20-26 Roadmap to Reopen to Indiana includes information on: 

  • The five stages of the reopening process and covers a number of other areas:
  • Has detailed guidance for businesses, social distancing and other areas.

Number 4 covers the requirements for All Businesses and Entities in Indiana: "Businesses continuing operations or being allowed to reopen must adhere to the following:

  1. Safeguards: On or before May 11, 2020, all Hoosier employers shall develop a plan to implement measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients, and members. The plan shall be provided to each employee or staff and posted publicly. The plan shall address, at a minimum, the following points:
    1. Instituting an employee health screening process;
    2. Employing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the workplace, including regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces;
    3. Enhancing the ability of employees, customers and clients to wash hands or take other personal hygiene measures such as use of hand sanitizer;
    4. Complying with social distancing requirements established by the CDC, including maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the general public when possible and/ or employing other separation measures such as wearing face coverings or using barriers; and
  2. IOSHA Standards: All employers, whether manufacturers, distributors, professional offices, retailers or others, must comply with safety and health standards established and enforced by IOSHA. Employers are subject to specific standards to prevent the exposure or spread of a disease. Additionally, the General Duty Clause requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm."

Read the entire EO 20-26 here.

EO 20-22
Continued Directive for Hoosiers to Stay at Home
Extension of Continuity of Operations of Government
Extension of Executive Orders Pertaining to Restaurants and Alcoholic Beverages

Extends the directives from Executive Order 20-18 through to 11:59 p.m. on May 1st.

EO 20-19
Designation of Certain Workers as Health Care Providers under FFCRA

Solely for purposes of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, any employee of any provider of support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, older adults, or individuals with mental health needs, including substance use, funded through any state or federal program, Medicaid Home and Community Based Services, and/or provided in an Intermediate Care Facilities (CRF/DD, CRMNF, or ICF/IDD as defined in 05 IAC 1-1-1) who is providing care and support essential to activities of daily living and independence to a vulnerable population of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, older adults, or individuals with mental health needs, including substance use, is considered a health care provider vital to Indiana’s response to COVID-19.

EO 20-18
Continued Directive for Hoosiers to Stay at Home
Extension of Continuity of Operations of Government
Extension of Executive Orders Pertaining to Restaurants and Alcoholic Beverages

Executive Order 20-18 takes effect on Monday, April 6 at 11:59pm. This extends the original Stay-at-Home Order for a two-week period that lasts until April 20th. It also adds further language to previous orders pertaining to operation of government and restaurants.

This Stay-at-Home Order applies to the entire state of Indiana. Those who are exempt from this are people traveling to work for an essential service or business or are doing an essential activity. Professional services should be conducted virtually or by telephone. However, people are able to leave their home to obtain human services. “Human service operations” are loosely defined in the order to avoid delay in services to the public.

20-09
Relating to the Continuity of Operation of Government

For any individual licensed by the state, the renewal deadline has been extended to May 22, 2020. All social work licenses, such as LBSW, LSW and LCSW, are included in this executive order.

20-05
Helping Hoosiers During the Public Health Emergency Declared for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak

FSSA will be waiving several eligibility requirements from their programs. For individuals on HIP and CHIP, they will no longer have to pay premiums. For those receiving TANF or applying to TANF, the upfront job search requirement will be waived. They will also lift many restrictions in Telehealth services that permit the use of Telehealth for Medicaid-covered services, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment.

This order also states that if a licensed professional - including social workers - holds an equivalent license in a different state, they are permitted to practice in Indiana.


Things to consider:

  1. While you may have a license to practice in Indiana, what do you do if your client lives in a surrounding state? Are you licensed in that state? Most jurisdictions require you to be licensed in the state where the client is physically located at the time of service.To find out about exceptions or reciprocity with other states, please contact their licensing board.
    • The Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage and Family Therapist Board posted a statement on March 13, 2020. Click here to view it.
    • Regulatory provisions/licensing requirements: The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) has created a page where you can check on teletherapy in your state as well as license exemptions and temporary license requirements applicable during a declared state of emergency.
  2. Does your liability/malpractice insurance cover teletherapy/telehealth? What are the requirements for coverage? Can you work from home or only from a designated office?
  3. Does your clients’ insurance plan cover teletherapy/telehealth? Make sure you check with your clients insurance company before starting teletherapy/telehealth.
  4. Do you have a HIPAA Compliant platform to use for providing teletherapy/telehealth?
  5. Does your informed consent cover teletherapy/telehealth?
  6. Make sure you are comfortable moving your practice online – do you know how to use the software? Is it easy for clients to access?
  7. Review the NASW’s Technology Standards and the NASW Code of Ethics for additional guidance and information.

Self-care

Be mindful of caring for yourself and your family, while seeking ways to support more marginalized and vulnerable folks in your communities. Stay safe and wash your hands. Thank you for all you do!

Check out the video of NASW Indiana's webinar "Mindful Moments: A Contemplative Approach to Self-Care" (aired 4/17/2020)

View the slides from the webinar

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Calendar

6/10/2020
Region 9 Monthly Lunch & Learn Webinar - June 2020

6/24/2020 » 6/27/2020
Virtual Social Work Licensure Exam Prep Course June 2020