COVID-19 Update: Governor emergency order on medical services, telehealth, MIPS credit for clinical trials

Governor issues medical services emergency order
Today, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Executive Order 20-26, a sweeping emergency order that eliminates all statutory provisions relating to supervision and delegation requirements for virtually all health care providers who are rendering COVID-19-related care. Among other things, the order removes all collaborative practice, supervisory, or protocol-based agreements between physicians and other health care providers (APRNs, PAs, LPNs, pharmacists, health care profession students, etc.), for any care provided during the COVID-19 emergency declaration period. The order states that health care providers can provide “medical services…without supervision from a licensed physician or nurse, without criminal, civil, or administrative penalty related to a lack of supervision or…a supervision agreement.”

The order also includes liability protection for any care related to the treatment of COVID-19 provided by any of these health care workers during the declared emergency. While liability protection for COVID-19-related care is important and helpful, the order falls short of providing liability protection for physicians and other health care providers who, for example, had to delay or defer non-urgent care to non-COVID-19-related patients during this period.

This executive order is only in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency declaration period. This is a broad, complicated order that will require additional study.  As details emerge, KMS will keep you informed.

CMS guidance on telehealth billing for RHCs
To provide as much support as possible to RHCs and FQHCs and their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, both Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have made several changes to the RHC and FQHC requirements and payments. These changes are for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. For more information, CMS recently issued this FAQ, including a section on “Medicare Telehealth.” Find additional information in this overview from the Medicare Learning Network.

Providers can earn MIPS credit for COVID-19 clinical trial data
Clinical trial participation will earn half of the credit necessary to gain a maximum Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) improvement activities score, which is 15% of a provider's total MIPS score. This week, CMS announced that clinicians may now earn credit in the MIPS, a performance-based track of the Quality Payment Program, for participation in a clinical trial and reporting clinical information by attesting to the new COVID-19 Clinical Trials improvement activity. Find more information here. To view a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies currently being conducted on corona virus visit:

CMS issues toolkit for responding to workforce concerns
This week, CMS issued a toolkit to help state and local health care decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities amid COVID-19. Included is information on funding flexibilities, liability protections, and workforce training. See toolkit.

BCBSKS webinar on telehealth
BCBSKS is hosting a webinar at 1:30 p.m. Thursday April 23 for providers detailing its response to COVID-19. Register here. Space is limited, and BCBSKS asks that you limit the number of people attending from your clinic to two. Webinar agenda includes:

  • What is telehealth?
  • How to provide telehealth
  • Coding and documentation
  • No member cost-share
  • Communication during this time

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If you have questions about this update or other matters, please contact KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..