Latest Updates

Each day, we are learning new information about the impact of COVID-19. This website is a resource to help us stay aligned on preparedness and readiness as we work together to address the needs of those we collectively serve.


SAMHSA Emergency Grants will aid mental health and substance use disorder treatment amid COVID-19

4/03/20

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is now accepting applications for Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19, to enable more crisis intervention services and other mental health and substance use support systems during COVID-19. There are currently 57.8 million Americans living with mental and/or substance use disorders, and this number is likely to grow exponentially in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The program will address the needs of those with serious mental illness or substance use disorders, as these individuals are likely experiencing heighted distress and susceptibility during the pandemic.

State, territories and Tribes are eligible to apply for the grants, with 60 awards of up to $2 million per state and up to $500,000 per territories and Tribes. Application deadline is Friday, April 10, 2020.


Long-term advocacy effort pays off with patient-centered changes to 42 CFR part 2 privacy regulations

3/31/20

Decades of legislative advocacy efforts were met with success after major changes to 42 CFR Part 2 regarding privacy regulations were passed by Congress and signed into law late last week. Through this legislation, individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) or history of SUD treatment will gain easier access to integrated and comprehensive healthcare. The Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act, included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will simplify the consent process, helping to prevent delays in diagnosis or treatment. Read the full news release here.


Updated CMS Reporting Requirements

Medicare Incentive Payment System Extension - 3/24/20

COVID-19 has caused all of us to adjust to new updates and rapid change to our everyday lives, on an almost hourly basis. With the burden and unprecedented changes on the healthcare industry, CMS is providing relief to clinicians and healthcare facilities regarding quality reporting programs. CMS announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission.

For any clinician or healthcare facility participating in the Medicare Incentive Payment System (MIPS), CMS has granted an extension to the reporting deadline from March 31, 2020 to April 30, 2020. CMS has also taken this a step further and ensured that any clinician or healthcare facility that is participating in the MIPS program but has not submitted any MIPS data by April 30, 2020 will qualify for the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy. They will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year.

CMS will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and provide further guidance for the 2020 MIPS reporting year at a later date. Although CMS has extended the deadline for MIPS attestation, Netsmart is here to ensure a successful attestation.. If you still plan to attest, please run your numbers in CarePathways Measures Reporting and myHealthPointe where necessary. If there are any concerns with your results, please contact Netsmart Support. If you have any questions or are unsure how this impacts you, please contact us via the following email address. We are here to help!

Measuresreporting@ntst.com

For additional information on CMS’ update regarding the MIPS Incentive Program, or other hospital- based or post-acute based quality incentive payment programs, please click here.


FAQ for HIPAA Compliance in a Virtual Workforce

A message from David Gordon – 3/24/20

Many organizations are working through the transition to accommodate a virtual workforce while remaining HIPAA compliant. We have received several questions regarding HIPAA compliance and virtual workers as it relates to usage of home personal computers, VPNs and other connectivity methods. To address these initial questions and provide some suggested ways in which you can keep your organization’s data secure we have put together an FAQ on HIPAA compliance

As you have deeper questions about transitioning your organization to a virtual workforce, don’t hesitate to contact your Client Alignment Executive or Technology Solutions Executive for guidance. We are here to help!

Sincerely,

David Gordon
SVP/GM Plexus Technologies
Netsmart


An Important Message for all Netsmart Clients – 3/16/20

While many of you are working at the forefront to respond to COVID-19, Netsmart is here to support your organization to ensure business continuity. Our teams continue to work together to ensure we can meet the unique demands that we are facing in our communities. We are committed to providing the services and solutions needed to ensure that together we can focus on the care of those in need.  All of our solutions delivery functions continue to operate at 100% capacity, and we have made arrangements to ramp up to support you if necessary.

The leadership team at Netsmart is meeting continuously to assess and appropriately respond to COVID-19. Our extensive online collaboration capabilities enable our associates to communicate seamlessly with each other and with you. Many of you have asked where to find additional information, in response, we have created this resource center to keep you up to date.

Our heartfelt appreciation to you and your teams for your service to cause and community. It’s moments like these that we are reminded of the obligation and opportunity we have to make a difference for the greater good. 

We will continue to stay in touch as we work together to serve you.

Sincerely,

-Mike


An Important Message for McBee Clients

A message from Mike Dordick - 3/16/20

To our valued partners,

Thank you for all you are doing to respond to COVID-19. Healthcare providers stand at the forefront of our nation’s response and we are always here to support you and your organization to provide continuity of services. Our teams continue to work together to ensure you can focus on the unique demands that you may be facing.

In speaking with many of you, there are concerns surrounding the impact of COVID-19 to your daily operations. Our goal is to help you maintain your flow of resources and help you work through processes that may be disrupted. While your primary focus should be on delivering quality of care to your patients, in this time of uncertainty, know that you can turn to us.

Many of you have reached out for help in specific areas and based on the urgency of the situation, we wanted to proactively share options of support:

These solutions can be ready to deploy to relieve valuable resources during this time of need. Contact your McBee representative if we can provide assistance at this time.

The well-being of our clients, associates, and communities is of the utmost importance to us. Please reach out to me if I can help.

Sincerely,

Mike Dordick
President
McBee


An Important Message for Managed Services Clients

A message from Mike Thornhill - 3/16/20

I have spoken with many of you over the past few days answering your COVID-19 questions on the ongoing Netsmart operational execution during this time of need. Our top priority is to continue providing the same level of service excellence to which you are accustomed.

We are humbled to be serving providers working at the forefront of this crisis. Here are updates on what you can expect from Netsmart Managed Services to ease any concerns you may have:

  • All Netsmart Managed Services functions are operating business as usual. Our Virtual Managed Help Desk, NOC, Virtual Engineering and Application Managed Services functions are fully staffed and operational.
  • Our extensive online collaboration capabilities enable our associates to communicate seamlessly with each other and with you.
  • One of the many benefits of having operations in many locations across the country is that we have technology, infrastructure and security protocols within multiple facilities in place to serve you from anywhere in the country.
  • For clients with fully outsourced IT functions, your vCIO will remain in daily contact with you to support you and your organization as you make ongoing operational decisions.
  • We have our team actively responding to your requests to help assess remote access/virtual worker infrastructure and telehealth preparedness.

Many clients have expressed the need for expanded IT managed services, up to and including full IT support – if even on a temporary basis. We know these are challenging times for you, your teams, and your organization. If we can help you with any questions, please contact your current Netsmart IT Managed Services associate and/or your Client Alignment Executive.

Sincerely,

Mike Thornhill
Executive Vice President
Netsmart


An important update for RCM Clients

A Message from Erica Gregory – 3/13/20

I’ve spoken with many of you to answer questions about COVID-19 and wanted to share more broadly with all of you what we’re doing to support you during this time of need.

Like you we are monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation closely, keeping those impacted in our thoughts, and are committed to maintaining the high standard of service you have come to expect from us. 

Here is a quick summary for you to give you peace of mind on how we’re covering you:

  • All Netsmart facilities are operating business as usual currently.
  • One of the many benefits of having operations in many locations across the country is that we have technology, facilities, infrastructure and security protocols in place to be able to service you from anywhere in the country.
  • Netsmart has confirmed with CMS that the COVID-19 CPT code is being added and can be used on April 1, 2020. CMS is recommending holding claims until that date.
  • For those who have a license for CPT codes, all Netsmart solutions are updated with the recommended ICD-10 codes for COVID-19 as recommended by the CDC.

If you should need for expanded RCM services, up to and including full centralized billing-business operations (CBO) support, please contact your current Netsmart RCM associate.

Sincerely,

Erica Gregory
Vice President, RCM
Netsmart


Personal Resource: Speaking to children about COVID-19

Madison Hummel – 03/13/20

As news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to dominate the news cycle even on a day-to-day conversation, it’s important to acknowledge adults aren’t always the only ones hearing the drumbeat. Children are becoming more aware of the coronavirus and its potential impact on the health and wellness of not only themselves but those around them. Fear, anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the virus are often heightened by misinformation, and it can be difficult for children to separate the noise from the facts while not getting overwhelmed by the sensationalism that often accompanies events like the COVID-19 outbreak.

If a child isn’t worried about themselves getting sick, they may be worried about a loved one such as a grandparent or relative who they have now learned may be more susceptible to the virus. One parent reported their daughter was losing sleep over worry that her grandma may catch the coronavirus and not have the ability to recover. When a child comes to you with concern or fear about COVID-19, what is the best way to address the situation while remaining truthful without instilling more fear.

It’s important for adults and parents to talk about COVID-19 to their children in a way that is reassuring, informative and does not stimulate an already worried mind. It’s important to remain calm, as children often feed off their parents’ fear or worry. Allow them to ask questions and voice their concerns in a way that makes them feel their apprehensions are heard and validated. The reality is there is a lot of uncertainty of how COVID-19 will affect our communities, leaving a lot of people feeling a sense of helplessness. However, we can control taking the proper precautions, following guidelines from healthcare officials and remaining informed and calm. Teaching children these instructions can help ease fears and give them a sense of control.

There is an excellent parent resource available from The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to guide you.  You can download the PDF from their website, and the guidance has been summarized below:

Check out some of these other tips to keep in mind when addressing COVID-19 with your child:

Be ready and willing to talk: It’s important parents make themselves available when a child or young adult is sharing their questions or concerns about the virus. In times of stress or uncertainty, kids may need a little more attention from adults, so be intentional in not brushing off their worries. Talk to them in a way they will understand while prioritizing facts and actionable items such as the importance of washing your hands and not touching your face. Ensuring your child knows you they have someone to openly talk to can help ease anxieties and burden.

Remain honest and factual: While we don’t want to further scare our children, it’s crucial to remain truthful when addressing this ongoing situation. Be honest about the uncertainty of the situation but follow up with some concrete affirmations. There are plenty of reliable resources we can turn to in order to separate facts from fiction, and it’s important to rely on healthcare authorities for the most accurate, fact-based information. Stick to the facts when talking with your child, such as how the disease is spread and how they can protect themselves from becoming sick.

Monitor TV and social media use: Try to avoid watching news or television that is alarming or upsetting when your child is present. When surrounded by fear and sensationalism, children often imagine things to be much worse than they truly are. Constantly watching, reading or discussing the virus around your child may only boost anxieties and heighten often unrealistic fears. Try your best to keep the TV watching and news intake around your kids to a minimum. Do what you can to best maintain your family’s routine, as this can instill a sense of normalcy for your child.

You can find a full list of specific guidelines to follow here.

As COVID-19 continues to quickly unfold, be sure to remain informed and up-to-date. When discussing with your child, ensure above all else they know they are loved and there are people working around the clock to keep our community safe. Lead by example: wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face or public amenities such as handrails, and most importantly, remain calm and stick to the facts.

 


Important announcement regarding CONNECTIONS2020

A Message from Mike Valentine - 3/13/20

CONNECTIONS has always been a time of collaboration and working together - ensuring our focus is about serving cause and community. After careful consideration and discussion with many of you, local health authorities and our partners, it is clear our focus right now must be on providing care and services. We have made the decision to postpone our CONNECTIONS2020 conference. It is an unprecedented time in healthcare and our continued partnership will be essential as we move forward in these times.

As I shared yesterday, we are here to support you as you serve those in need during this defining moment. While you do this without an expectation of recognition, we are grateful for the essential role you serve for cause and community.

Please contact events@ntst.com with further questions regarding CONNECTIONS2020 and/or your Client Alignment Executive if there are additional ways in which Netsmart can support you during this time.

Sincerely,

-Mike


Telehealth expands care delivery options in this time of need

A Message from AJ Peterson - 3/13/20

As concerns around COVID-19 continue to rise, several clients have reached out to me to understand ways to supplement their ability to deliver care and services through telehealth capabilities. These clients shared that they are preparing for ways to deliver care in a virtual manner in both human services and post-acute communities. I’ve been humbled to hear stories about the transition from preparation to immediately delivering care to patients who have been quarantined. 

Based on the urgency of the situation, I wanted to proactively share with you our telehealth options. If you should need help putting virtual care in place, we have an integrated solution for myAvatar, myEvolv and myUnity clients through our partnership with amwell (AmericanWell). This solution is ready to deploy for both consumers and providers and we can move rapidly to help. 

For other CareRecords, while we don’t yet have a fully integrated solution for telehealth, we have developed a consumer and provider mobile application that can support virtual sessions. This solution is also through our partnership with amwell and is ready to be deployed to serve patients virtually. 

If we can help, or if you have questions and would like more information, please reach out to your Client Alignment Executive.

Sincerely,

AJ Peterson
Vice President, GM CareGuidance
Netsmart


A Message from Mike Valentine - 3/12/20

Each day, we are learning new things regarding the impact of COVID-19. We want to provide updates to stay aligned regarding preparedness and readiness as we work together to address the needs of those we collectively serve. Netsmart is committed to providing the services and solutions needed to ensure that together we can focus on the care of those in need.

We continue to monitor this situation and will take immediate action as needed, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and local health authorities. The health and safety of our clients, associates, partners and communities is our top priority.

  • We have not had any impact to our offices or workforce at this time.
  • One of the many benefits of having operations in many locations across the country is that we have technology, facilities, infrastructure and security protocols in place to support you without interruption.
  • We have tools to allow us to perform our services in a virtual capacity to keep your projects moving forward. 
  • Our associates will continue to support your priorities - remaining flexible to adapt to your schedules and needs.
  • We are providing tools and solutions to help monitor the current situation.
  • Along with other organizations, we are monitoring our upcoming conference – CONNECTIONS2020. Should we need to adjust CONNECTIONS2020, or the way in which we come together, we will communicate those changes as quickly as possible.

Like you, we are evaluating our priorities to address new needs, while ensuring requirements are being met. We are committed to keeping you informed and answering any questions. Let’s stay in touch as we work together to serve our communities.

Most importantly, we want to say thank you as you serve those in need of care and services. While you do this without need of recognition, we are grateful for the essential role you serve for cause and community.

Sincerely,

-Mike

KPI Dashboard Reference Picture

Community Resources

CDC

COVID-19 Summary

Leading Age

Coronavirus Resources