Provider Alert: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Impact Update

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

On Friday, March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency for the state of South Carolina. 

In order to support the important social distancing principles recommended by public health officials and ordered by Governor McMaster, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) supports recommendations to defer services, such as elective surgeries, that may be deferred during this initial response period. For services that cannot be deferred, SCDHHS has provided flexibilities to ensure access to evaluation and management services, chronic disease management, behavioral health surveillance and crisis management, pharmaceuticals, and other medical equipment and services as detailed in prior bulletins related to this public health emergency.

SCDHHS further understands that beneficiaries under self-quarantine or implementing social distancing techniques will likely cancel or delay face-to-face, in-home, or in-office appointments. While SCDHHS is working with provider groups and associations to implement clinically appropriate telemedicine guidelines for non-urgent and non-emergent therapies and services, particularly as the duration of heightened social distancing extends, many practices may see service interruptions and decreases in utilization. 

State and federal authorities are providing new resources to assist small businesses, including clinical practices, and their employees to mitigate the economic impact of social distancing policies. More information may be found through:

SCDHHS will continue to issue guidance and updates throughout the duration of the declared public health emergency. Bulletins and communications related to SCDHHS’ COVID-19 response can be foundat www.scdhhs.gov/COVID19. Thank you for your continued support of the South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid program.

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