Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

March 20 Coronavirus Updates from CEO Anne Starr

March 20 Coronavirus Updates

Dear All,

Thank you all for the focused efforts this week to contain COVID 19 and to find new ways to deliver services.  There are many powerful illustrations around the organization of social learning, social responsibility, growth and learning, and open communication.   The bigger the challenges the more we rise up to overcome them.

Remember to practice your self-care this weekend.  Sanctuary on!  Anne

Organization wide:

·        The big positive news for yesterday was that we have received permission from Iowa Medicaid to use telehealth as well as telephonic contacts with clients for any Medicaid funded service. 

o   We must document things correctly and put some careful thought into how both BHIS and therapy services are delivered via the telehealth (no matter whether we are using audio or video).

o   Here is the guidance from Iowa Medicaid on the use of audio only: “ If audio will support the service delivery, it’s acceptable. A quick example: “talk therapy” more easily transitions to audio only. Services that are more reliant on physical modeling, hands on intervention or visual observation are more difficult to deliver and document via audio only means. As long as your delivery and documentation is aligned to the service that is billed, it is covered under the expansion. We won’t be able to vet individual case scenarios but, I do hope the description above helps to guide your decision making. “

o   SO, video is still preferable but in situations when it’s not feasible (when our clients don’t have the capability or one of our staff doesn’t), now we have an audio to audio option. 

·        Be faithful in handwashing and in social distancing.  We can give ourselves a false sense of security because we don’t have confirmed cases as yet within OP.  We can’t stop doing these routine things that make us safer. 

CGC specifics:

·        Functional Family and School based therapists were trained yesterday on the telehealth platform.  Billing code information is coming. 

·        This past week no-shows for clinic based appointments were about 50%

·        Due to the decrease in appointments and overall activity at the clinic, 6 full time and 2 part time administrative staff have been placed on temporary unemployment.  This leaves CGC with 4 administrative staff to cover during this period.

Campus specifics:

·        Newly hired therapists have been released from school and their student internships and can start full time. 

·        Protocols have been established for isolation of symptomatic youth.

·        The Campus partners with Mercy Clinics and Mercy will make determinations if our youth are symptomatic whether they need to be COVID tested. 


PACE specifics:

·        Substance Use staff were trained Thursday on the telehealth platform.  Billing code information is coming. 

·        PACE staff are creating resource materials that all staff can use in telehealth sessions and to help families isolated at home. 

·        PACE staff are helping IHP families with securing food during this difficult time. 

·        IHP and BHIS are still taking referrals so if you have a family who could benefit either, let them know.