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HCL News - Key COVID-19 Updates & HCL Phase One

HCL News - Key COVID-19 Updates & HCL Phase One

On April 27, 2020 Governor Greg Abbott announced in a press release the first phase of the State of Texas plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Details outlining phase one can be found in the Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas, along with checklists that outline the Texas Department of State Health Services’ (TDSHS) minimum standard health protocols for all businesses and individuals to follow.

In response to phase one to open Texas, HealthCare ConsultLink (HCL) has issued updated guidelines for the HCL office and on-site activity for field consultants. Consultants performing on-site activities with client agencies have been provided supplies and guidelines for promoting a safe environment when visiting agency locations. For any questions, agency staff are encouraged to contact their assigned consultant or call the HCL office.

The following are additional resources that might be advantageous for your agency:

  • Palmetto GBA has released an update regarding NP/PA signatures. In the article, they state that the allowance for NP's, CNS's and PA's to certify beneficiaries for eligibility under the Medicare home health benefit and oversee their plan of care will be a permanent change that will continue after the Public Health Emergency.
  • KEPRO’s fax number for Texas-Region 6 recently changed to 844-878-7921. During the current COVID-19 situation, please know that KEPRO’s BFCC-QIO services remain available. To help avoid any delays with cases, agencies need to submit all medical records electronically by faxing instead of mailing copies of paper records.
  • On April 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the online list of symptoms associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to the CDC, a wide range of symptoms have been reported and vary from mild to severe. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. It is important that agencies and staff be aware of the full range of potential symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a news release on April 21, 2020 authorizing a diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19. This will allow for self-collection of samples in the home using a kit, and then mailing the sample to a designated lab for testing.
  • The TDSHS Test-Based Strategy for Healthcare Personnel Return to Work (V.2.0) was updated 5/4/2020. This document includes both test-based and non-test-based strategies.
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