COVID-19

Updated: 4/30/20

 

Dear Clients:

With so much change in our community and lives we want to stay ahead of how insurance coverage might be affected.

If their has been an employment change in your household, please see if it affected your insurance coverage and what your options might be, including coverage through the  health insurance exchange.  They are accepting new applicants at this time.  Alternatively, you may qualify for Medicaid (also known as MA) through an application to your home county for this state assistance. 

If you seek Medicaid (MA) coverage, know that in recent years Minnesota moved to prepaid medical plans purchased from a menu of different “commercial” insurance providers in the state.  

Each county can have different lists so consult with your county about the plans available and confirm with your healthcare providers that they accept the plan you are considering before you make your final choice.  Otherwise, you may need to change providers.  

Also note that these “commercial” medical plans do not cover expenses prior to their activation.  If you anticipate a gap of coverage please speak to your county about starting coverage first with Medicaid (MA) to avoid uncovered expenses.  The Medicaid (MA) would automatically become inactive when the “commercial” plan starts.

With all changes in coverage please let your provider immediately know and provide the information about your new insurance. 

If you have questions about the process we can help you find the right people to talk to for the help you need.

 

Thank you,

Your Treatment Team at MHS

 


 

Updated: 4/21/2020


For Persons with COVID-19 Under Isolation:

The decision to discontinue isolation* should be made in the context of local circumstances. Options now include both 1) a time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery (non-test-based) strategy, and 2) test-based strategy.

Time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery strategy (non-test-based strategy)

Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

 

Test-based strategy (simplified from initial protocol) Previous recommendations for a test-based strategy remain applicable; however, a test-based strategy is contingent on the availability of ample testing supplies and laboratory capacity as well as convenient access to testing. For jurisdictions that choose to use a test-based strategy, the recommended protocol has been simplified so that only one swab is needed at every sampling

Persons who have COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

 

Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness provided they remain asymptomatic. For 3 days following discontinuation of isolation, these persons should continue to limit contact (stay 6 feet away from others) and limit potential of dispersal of respiratory secretions by wearing a covering for their nose and mouth whenever they are in settings where other persons are present. In community settings, this covering may be a barrier mask, such as a bandana, scarf, or cloth mask. The covering does not refer to a medical mask or respirator.

 

Footnotes

*Note that recommendations for discontinuing isolation in persons known to be infected with COVID-19 could, in some circumstances, appear to conflict with recommendations on when to discontinue quarantine for persons known to have been exposed to COVID-19. CDC recommends 14 days of quarantine after exposure based on the time it takes to develop illness if infected. Thus, it is possible that a person known to be infected could leave isolation earlier than a person who is quarantined because of the possibility they are infected.

 

**This recommendation will prevent most but cannot prevent all instances of secondary spread.  The risk of transmission after recovery, is likely substantially less than that during illness; recovered persons will not be shedding large amounts of virus by this point if they are shedding at all. Certain employers can choose to apply more stringent criteria for certain returning workers where a higher threshold to prevent transmission is warranted.  These criteria can include requiring a longer time after recovery or requiring they get tested to show they are not shedding virus. Such persons include healthcare workers in close contact with vulnerable persons at high-risk for illness and death if those persons get COVID-19. It also includes persons who work in critical infrastructure or with high-value human assets (e.g., military) where introduction of COVID-19 could cause major disruptions or reduce national security. Lastly, persons who have conditions that might weaken their immune system could have prolonged viral shedding after recovery. Such persons should discuss with their healthcare provider how best to assess if they are safe to return to work; this might include getting tested again to show that they are not shedding virus.

 

***All test results should be final before isolation is ended. Testing guidance is based upon limited information and is subject to change as more information becomes available.

 


 


Updated: 4/6/2020

 

Dear Clients and Community,

On Monday, April 13th MHS will reopen its in-person intensive outpatient programs. 

Our decision to close for two weeks was to help to stabilize the health of the population of the State and to make sure our building complexes themselves stayed open and provided essential services like cleaning and sanitation.  


We will continue the social distancing and disinfection measures we instituted for all in-person services.  In addition, in accordance with new CDC recommendations, MHS will have staff wear face coverings and require clients to do so too. The use of masks is a clear and easy way to decrease the unintended spread by individuals who are not demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19, so to help all clients to attend with a face-covering we provide the following information on how to make a face-covering: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

https://www.raegunramblings.com/how-to-make-a-face-mask-from-a-shirt-no-sew/#wprm-recipe-container-24212

 

We recognize that our services meet the definition of essential services.  What we do together is vital for the mental health of our clients. 

In addition to re-opening in-person services, during these past two weeks, MHS therapists have worked to increase their training and skills in Telehealth, and MHS management has worked with insurance companies to increase our Telehealth options. 


We will also begin to expand these options starting with our clients who are in high-risk categories and continuing from there.  Because Telehealth is a new service for intensive outpatient levels of care, the roll-out of these services must be done in an organized and careful manner.  Please also know that our platform for Telehealth is secure and HIPPA-compliant.  See Remote Video Session (Telehealth) Procedures and Expectations.

Your therapist at MHS will be contacting you over the next couple of business days in regard to your services.  It has been reported that some of our Telehealth invitation emails are landing in "junk" folders.  Please check your junk folder for the email, right-click on it to reclassify it as not junk, and move it to your primary inbox.  

 


 

How to Use Zoom for Telehealth at MHS

 

MHS is temporarily moving to Telehealth services. The instructions below are to help you with this process.

Zoom is a teleconferencing software that is widely used in a variety of environments to facilitate communication and, in the health field, Telehealth services.  The version used by MHS is HIPPA compliant, meaning that the identity of the participants is protected by improved data security and management.  You can use Zoom on your computer or your smartphone.  

 

Preparing for Use of Zoom

If you are going to engage in Telehealth sessions with your therapist, you will need to do a few things ahead of time.  First, you will need to download the software.  You can download the software by clicking this link https://zoom.us/download. You will need to scroll to the appropriate device and click or tap through to begin the download.  In addition to this, you will also need a stable internet connection.  Using Zoom through a data plan will expend a variable amount of data, but the average is one megabyte per minute.  We recommend using a wireless (or wired, if using a PC) network.  Make sure that you are connected in advance.  This can generally be done by going to your phone’s settings section, tapping through to the wireless icon, and identifying your preferred network. 

 

Getting Started Information Page - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697


Zoom Tutorial Videos - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials

Telehealth Informed Consent Form - please review, print, sign, and return to your clinician.  

 

Your First Zoom Meeting

Once you have done your preparations, your therapist will send you an email with an invitation to participate in Zoom.  This email will have a link to click and a meeting ID.  You will need to save this email, as you will be required to indicate your meeting ID when you enter.  Regardless of using the app or software on a PC, you do not need to create an account.  Simply click the link, or hit “Join Meeting” on the app to begin your session.  You will be asked to enter a password, this is found on the invitation email. Remember to check your "junk" folder as we are learning that invitations are landing there at times.

 

Making the Best of Teletherapy

While Telehealth might not be your (or our) preferred way of doing therapy, it can still be effective.  We recommend finding a comfortable place that is quiet, safe and comfortable.  Be mindful of where you are and who might be present.  We recommend using earbuds or headphones, so that our feedback to you is heard only by you, and not by others, you will be asked if you are in a safe secure space.

 

Keeping Your Session Confidential

We at MHS will not engage in any nonconsensual recording or observation.  We ask that you likewise protect yourself by ensuring that you are talking to us from a private location, that you are not engaging in any internet activity that might include recording or streaming your session, and that you do not include anyone in the session that is not explicitly disclosed at the beginning of the session and agreed to by your therapist. 

  

Remote Video Session (Telehealth) Procedures and Expectations

 

All COVID-19 Related Letters to Clients

Adult Diary Card

IDD Diary Card

Teen Diary Card

EAP Diary Card

Behavior Chain Analysis

Release of Information

Telehealth Informed Consent Form

Community Mitigation Strategies

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health 

DIY Face Cloth Coverings

Helpful Tips for Staying Healthy

 

Referrals and Intakes

952-835-2002