Recent CMS Actions to Address COVID-19

New Video Available Now on Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services
CMS just released a video providing answers to frequently asked questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
CMS Approves Additional State Medicaid Waivers and Amendments to Give States Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
CMS just approved its 45th Medicaid waiver to the District of Columbia, delivering urgent regulatory relief to ensure the District can quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens. In light of the urgent and evolving needs of states during the COVID-19 crisis, CMS also developed a toolkit to facilitate expedited application and approval of State waivers requests in record time. The waivers support President Trump’s commitment to a COVID-19 response that is locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.
Additionally, CMS approved an additional state waiver amendment request for Oklahoma to give emergency flexibilities in their programs that care for the elderly and people with disabilities, bringing the total to 18 approvals across 16 states.
SAE is equipped to assist providers with operational needs for service transitions and risk mitigation. Click here to view SAE’s guidance for planning and response to operational needs. To connect with our team, email or call 212.684.4480.
ICYMI — SAE’s Second Podcast of the COVID-19 Series: “Technology Practices and Resources”
The second podcast of our COVID-19 series, “Technology Practices and Resources”, is available now for free listen and download! This podcast addresses issues related to using technology to provide behavioral health services. Issues discussed concern client access, staff home-based technology, development of policies and procedures, and choosing the right agency technology. This podcast provides information that enhances what already exists within your agency while expanding and stabilizing for the future. It is important to press “pause” on the frantic attempt to move a workforce to newly defined telemed services and asks the provider to think about sustainable systems, policies, and practices that can be implemented over the next few weeks and modified for future use.
Our new podcast series, Going from Reactive to Proactive in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, aims to pose thoughtful questions your practices should be thinking through, and provide short-term solutions and tools to help you accomplish your goals. Each podcast will include summaries of regulatory changes and links on SAE’s website to full text information and primary sources. They will also address self-care practices and topic-specific content.

Our goal in this series of podcasts is two-fold. First, we want to give you the tools and resources that will enable you to contain and gain operational control during this national crisis and its impact that this pandemic has caused on your service delivery system. Second, we want to offer specific stabilization strategies that you can deploy not only to gain control during the crisis but also to protect, implement and sustain course corrective adaptive interventions that meet the needs of the consumers you serve and the clinical, supervisory and safety needs of your staff.
If you have any questions regarding the podcast, please email them to or call 212.684.4480, and we will attempt to answer them as soon as possible. We also encourage you to offer suggestions for future podcasts to help address your concerns during this crisis.
Our next podcast will be released Friday, April 10, so if you are not already subscribed to receive our eblasts, click here and sign up to be added to our listserv!