CHFS Clarifies State Guidance on Essential Workers

On September 10, 2020, the Cabinet for Health and Family Service’s Department for Public Health issued guidance clarifying that in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of all industries in the state, only healthcare workers and first responders fall into the category of “critical” workers who may be exempt from specific quarantine requirements if exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This classification narrows the definition of what constitutes an “essential critical infrastructure worker” under the federal advisory list on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for workforces in Kentucky.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Updates Guidance on Long-Term Care Facility Admissions, Discharges, and Transfers

On August 28, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) issued updated guidance in a Provider Guidance Memo concerning the determination of the most appropriate setting for care of a resident of a long-term care facility (LTCF) who exhibits symptoms of, or tests positive for, COVID-19.  The updated guidance instructs providers and facilities on the factors for determining when a LTCF resident with confirmed or suspected infection should be admitted or transferred to a hospital and when a hospital patient should be admitted to a LTCF.  The guidance also advises on testing protocols following a resident’s recovery from COVID-19 and release from isolation.  This updated guidance is based on the most current, evidence-based recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, White House Coronavirus Task Force, and the CHFS Long-Term Care Advisory Task Force.

COVID-19 Test Guidance for Healthcare Providers

On August 5, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) issued guidance for healthcare providers, reminding them that they are required by law to report all positive laboratory COVID-19 results, including rapid tests, of Kentucky residents to the local or state health department within 24 hours.

For any positive results, providers must submit a CDC Person Under Investigation (PUI) Form (also called a “COVID-19 Case Report Form”) and Kentucky’s Reportable Disease Form, an EPID 200, to the state or local health department. An updated version of the PUI Form can be found on CDC’s website, and an updated version of the EPID 200 can be found on the Commonwealth’s website.

CHFS Clarification on Medicaid Add-on Billing

On July 10, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) issued guidance to health care facilities clarifying that the lab result is the source document for billing start/stop dates. Billing starts when the positive test result is received and continues until the COVID-19 resident is released from isolation (i.e., considered recovered) based on negative lab results. EXAMPLE: Test results are available on a Friday night, but not pulled until Saturday morning, so Friday would be billable if COVID-level care was provided through that day.

SAMHSA Awards $2,000,000 to Kentucky CHFS to Treat Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19

April 24, 2020

On April 20, 2020, HHS announced that SAMHSA will begin releasing $110M in emergency funding to the states to strengthen access to treatments for substance use disorders and serious mental illnesses (SMIs) during the COVID19 pandemic. The SAMSHA grants include a grant to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) in the amount of $2,000,000, the maximum award to successful applicants. Kentucky’s grant will be used to treat individuals with SMI and substance use disorders, healthcare professionals and their families who require mental health care as a result of COVID19, and individuals impacted by COVID19 who are experiencing mental health disorders less severe than SMI. Details for the Kentucky grant are posted on the SAMHSA website found here. The SAMHSA grant applications were open for only 10 days, from April 1-10, 2020.