This FAQ has been developed to answer some of the most common questions received from our Members. The best resource as you resolve challenges brought on by this outbreak is the collective experience of our Membership.
Please utilize the M2M forum during this time to seek information and share your experience. We encourage members to connect, collaborate, and ask each other questions directly about how their treatment centers are handling specific situations. Remember to reference the Addiction Industry Directory (AID) for CEO, Marketing, and Admissions direct contact information.
What are the HIPAA requirements for utilizing Telehealth?
Generally, all telehealth services must be encrypted and operated under a BAA with the service provider. However, Health and Human Services (HHS) have announced that “[The Office of Civil Rights] will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency."
What telehealth service are available?
There are a number of services available that claim to be HIPAA compliant, and that will enter into a HIPAA BAA. Some of these include:
How do I bill for Telehealth services?
This may vary state to state, and it is best to contact individual insurers directly, or to consult with your billing department or third-party billing provider. A list of NAATP Supporter Members that provide consulting and billing service can be found here. You can also consult the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC).
Intake, Admissions, and Reporting Requirements
If a client tests positive, should they be kept and isolated, or discharged?
Providers should follow internal policies and procedures regarding patients with infectious diseases. Sample policies can be found in NAATP COVID-19 Resources. If a patient is presumptive or confirmed positive for COVID-19, please contact your local or state health department for guidance.
Are Treatment Providers required to report patients that test positive for COVID-19?
According to the CDC, “Healthcare providers who are concerned that a patient may have COVID-19 should contact their local or state health department immediately for consultation and guidance.” Local and State health departments are responsible for reporting and tracking Persons Under Investigation (PUI).
How are providers screening potential patients at risk for COVID-19?
A number of providers have reported taking temperatures of every patient or individual coming onto the property. NAATP has put together a list of additional screening questions that can be used by admissions departments to assess risk factors for COVID-19. We are also hearing about an increasing number of providers shifting outpatient services to video or telehealth services to limit exposure.