In collaboration with the AHCCCS Complete Care (Medicaid) Health Plans, Health Current is pleased to host this page as a centralized resource for COVID-19 related issues impacting the Arizona Medicaid provider community.
- HHS Provider Relief Fund Application Date Extended to Aug. 3
- HHS Announces Enhanced Provider Portal, Relief Fund Payments for Safety Net Hospitals, Medicaid & CHIP Providers (PDF)
- New #MaskUpAZ video helps Arizonans understand why, when and how to use a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic
- AHCCCS: Providers Can Be Reimbursed for COVID-19 Testing and Treatment of Uninsured Arizonans
- Executive Order on Elective Surgeries
- Executive Order on Elective Surgeries Dental Communication
- Arizona Governor’s Office: Governor’s Executive Orders
- Health Current: COVID-19 Alerts Now Available from Health Current
- HHS Awards $1.3 Billion to Health Centers in Historic U.S. Response to COVID-19
- New Resource: Centene’s Provider Support & Resources
- AZCERT Announces Open Access to Medsafety Scan® For Safe Prescribing During COVID-19 Pandemic
AHCCCS Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- AHCCCS COVID-19 Emergency Medical Coding Guidance
- Telehealth services information:
Training & Webinars
- Webinars: How to Apply for HHS Provider Relief Funds: HHS announced the distribution of $10 billion in Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals that serve our most vulnerable citizens, recognizing the incredibly thin margins these hospitals operate on. HHS has published more information on the provider relief fund website. Two webinars have also been scheduled to help those who want to learn more about the application process. Pre-register to reserve a spot on either date:
- SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19: regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19.
- Centene Corporation Webinar: SBA Relief Programs for Small Businesses Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis.
Please refer to the information below for resources to allow Providers to care for or treat patients that have been diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19.
Provider Recommendations for Patient Care during a National Emergency
Given the international precedent, there will likely be a surge on Emergency Department (ED) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity due to the spread of COVID-19. Arizona has experienced this previously during abnormally high seasonal flu seasons; this situation unfortunately is right on the heels of the flu season in Arizona. One of the principal goals at this time is the protection of the ED, ICU, and health care system capacity.
- For all providers: Communicate the message to most patients with mild respiratory symptoms to stay at home. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Model recommended physical distancing with your friends, family, and community as you are who others look to in a health emergency.
- For outpatient providers: Use but conserve your PPE, try to move to telemedicine for chronic or well visits (now covered as stated in the Emergency Declaration and Order), and consider how to add COVID-19 to your diagnostic arsenal. It is likely that COVID-19 testing will continue for a long time.
- For inpatient providers: Use but conserve your PPE, consider ICU capability and surge capacity, remove students and learners from patient care (to lessen exposure and use of PPE).
- For Health Information Exchange (HIE) Participants and non-participants:
- Existing HIE Participants – Please contact your Health Current account manager or the client support team at HIEsupport@healthcurrent.org.
- Not an HIE Participant – If you are not a current participant, please contact the Health Current recruitment team at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing for Providers
- Test guidance: COVID-19 is difficult to distinguish from other respiratory viruses that are currently circulating. Depending on the current epidemiologic profile, consider influenza and respiratory viral panel testing. Priority of testing has been approved by SDMAC. The goal of testing should be to limit potential introduction of COVID-19 in healthcare and congregate settings and vulnerable populations. Public health and healthcare professionals should prioritize testing among three specific groups until sufficient and consistent PPE, testing supplies and capacity are widely available:
- Healthcare workers, first responders, and employer identified critical infrastructure personnel* with COVID-19 symptoms
- Individuals living in congregate settings with symptoms of COVID-19
- Individuals hospitalized with respiratory symptom
- Community-based COVID-19 testing (drive-through, walk-up, etc.) should be focused on making tests available to the three priority groups above.
- Healthy individuals do not require testing. These individuals should practice social-distancing and follow the recommendations of their local and state public health authorities. Critical infrastructure personnel are based on the CISA Infrastructure Sectors: Chemical, Emergency Services, Energy, Nuclear, Water.
- Test availability: There are now private laboratory tests available; please contact your vendor for supplies and guidance. The Arizona State Public Health Laboratory also has testing capability with a faster turnaround time, but there are specific testing criteria.
- SonoraQuest: Test 907078
- LabCorp: Test 139900
- Mayo Clinic
- Arizona State Public Health Laboratory: Testing should be cleared through local health departments. The current testing criteria matrix is located here.
- Drive-thru testing: Multiple sites in Arizona are standing up drive-thru testing. This website will maintain updates on these sites and patient eligibility.
- Specimen types: The current recommended specimens include a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab or nasal wash. A sputum or lower respiratory sample can be submitted if clinically indicated.
- Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens
- Instructions from CDC for nasopharyngeal swab collection:
- Tilt patient’s head back 70 degrees.
- Insert swab into nostril parallel to the palate. Leave the swab in place for a few seconds to absorb secretions.
- Slowly remove the swab while rotating it.
- Place tip of swab into sterile viral transport media tube and snap/cut off the applicator stick.
- Instructions for nasal wash collection:
- With the patient’s head hyper-extended, instill about 1 mL to 2.5 mL of sterile, normal saline into one nostril with a bulb or syringe.
- To collect wash, place a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap sputum collection cup or sterile dry container directly under the nose with slight pressure on the upper lip.
- Tilt the head forward and allow the fluid to run out of the nostril into the specimen container.
- Repeat for the other nostril and collect the fluid into the same specimen container. Total collected fluid should be 2-3 mL.
- Test performance: There are no published studies on the COVID-19 RT-PCR testing characteristics, but it is anticipated that the test is more sensitive for those individuals that are symptomatic.
- Submission Process: Providers wishing to send diagnostic testing to a commercial laboratory are NOT required to notify public health prior to submission and can be sent through the commercial vendor as per normal. For testing at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory, providers should first contact their local health department to determine if they meet testing criteria.
- Notification process: Currently, commercial labs and the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory will notify the provider and county of the positive test results. Public health may not be able to address all positive cases as numbers continue to increase.
- HIE COVID-19 Alerts – HIE participants can receive real-time COVID-19 Alerts for any patient on their patient panel. Learn more.
Guidance and Resources for Medical Professionals
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 (General)
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 and Children
- CDC: Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 and Pregnancy
- CDC: Information for Health Departments
- CDC: Information for Healthcare Professionals
- CDC: Print Resources
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Current Emergencies Webpage
- CMS: COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Health Care Providers Fact Sheet (PDF)
- SAMHSA COVID-19 Resources and Information
Business Related Support
- Arizona Commerce Authority: Material for small businesses seeking relief due to COVID-19.
- Centene Provider Financial Support & Resources: A dedicated online portal of Provider Financial Support & Resources, where network providers can research benefits they may be eligible for and work directly with experts to apply for them.
Health Plan Contacts for Providers:
|Health Plan||Provider Services|
|Arizona Complete Health||1-866-796-0542|
|Care1st||1-866-560-4042 (Press 5, then 7)|
|Health Choice Arizona (ACC & RBHA)||1-855-322-8670|