COVID-19 Legal Guidance for Healthcare Professionals and Healthcare Providers in Minnesota

Last update 1.3.2022

Legal guidance for healthcare professionals and businesses operating in Minnesota. Contact Holt law for clarification on these resources to apply your situation to the law.

Required for most Businesses: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans for Critical Sector businesses

For other industries and businesses, the General Guidance for All Businesses should be sufficient for writing and developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Minnesota OSHA is also prepared to assist any business with the development of their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans – if you need help, you can contact MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation at 651-284-5060 or OSHA.compliance@state.mn.us.

1. Minnesota Department of Human Services – COVID-19 Legal Changes to Telemedicine and Programs

  • Behavioral Health Telemedicine Waivers
  • Minnesota Health Care Programs Provider Manual – COVID-19 (includes telemedicine changes)
    • Telemedicine
      • Until further notice, Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) is temporarily expanding coverage of telemedicine visits.These changes are effective April 1, 2020:
        • Providers can provide services virtually via telephone when providers determine it is safe and effective to do so. This coverage change applies to MHCP members in fee-for-service programs.
        • The current limitation of three telemedicine encounters per week will be suspended.
        • MHCP will cover evaluation and management services provided via telephone using the telephone services CPT codes. Follow CPT guidelines for use of 99441, 99442 and 99443.
        • In delivering telemedicine, the distant site (provider’s location) can be the eligible provider’s home. The originating site (member’s location) can be delivered to members while they are in their home.
        • Providers with current telemedicine assurance statements on file may begin providing telephonic telemedicine immediately.
        • Providers without a telemedicine assurance statement must submit the Telephonic Telemedicine Provider Assurance Statement (DHS-6806A) (PDF) before providing telemedicine services.
        • Billing Telemedicine. Providers who had an approved telemedicine assurance statement prior to April 1, 2020, and have a TD specialty code on their provider file, should continue to bill with place of service 02 for telemedicine. New telemedicine providers on or after April 1, 2020: Do not bill place of service 02 at this time. We are finalizing system edits to recognize this place of service. Effective April 1, 2020, Federally Qualified Health Center and Rural Health Clinic telemedicine services (including telephonic) will be included for the purposes of the face-to-face encounter payment methodology. Any service when provided face-to-face that would generate an encounter will continue to generate an encounter if provided via telemedicine, provided it meets all telemedicine requirements.
  • Temporary expansion of remote support for HCBS waiver services. As of May 4, 2020, the DHS commissioner will allow remote support (real-time, two-way communication) temporarily as a service delivery option for several waiver services. Remote support may be delivered through phone or other interactive technology medium.

2. Federal Law Changes – COVID-19; HIPAA, Medicare

  • HHS Waiving Penalties for certain HIPAA violations. Effective immediately, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will exercise enforcement discretion and waive penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients in good faith through everyday communications technologies, such as FaceTime or Skype, during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
  • Medicare/CMS Telehealth Rules  Effective for services starting March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Medicare will make payment for Medicare telehealth services furnished to patients in broader circumstances. This includes expanding the definition of originating site to include professional services furnished in all eligible health care settings, and in the patient’s residence.  Temporary guidelines expanding the technology that can be used to furnish an eligible telehealth service.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
    • Summary of Program: Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, such as independent contractors and self-employed people. The program was authorized but must be created by the states, so Minnesota must build out this program before it can be implemented. More information will be available soon, however it could be several weeks before payments begin.
    • Why this might make sense for you: If you are an independent contractor or self-employed person who would not typically be eligible for unemployment benefits, but you have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. LOANS AND GRANTS AND FINANCIAL RELIEF

  • SBA Disaster Loans – Federal. COVID-19 – Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Variable Interest Rates and pay back terms.
  • SBA Debt Relief
    • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • SBA will pay the principal, interest and fees to banks on behalf of businesses for current SBA loans and new loans issued up until September 27, 2020. Businesses should ask their lender for this relief.
      • Note: This includes SBA export financing programs (i.e. EWCP, Export Express, and the International Trade Loan)
    • For existing SBA Disaster Loans (home and business), payments of these loans have been automatically deferred by the SBA. For more information, visit their SBA Debt Relief page or contact your local office.

4. Employment Guidance

5. Taxes

6. Other Resources

 

Disaster Mental and Behavioral Health and COVID-19

Mental health and behavioral health resources specific to COVID-19. Additional regular Disaster Mental/Behavioral Health resources may also apply.

Crisis Lines

COVID Cares Stress Phone Support Service. Any Minnesotan experiencing stress can call 833-HERE4MN (833-437-3466) for free telephone support from 9am to 9pm every day. The service is a collaboration with volunteers from the Minnesota Psychiatric Society, the Minnesota Psychological Association, the Minnesota Black Psychologists, and Mental Health Minnesota. The free service is also accessible at FastTrackerMN.org where searchers can also find psychiatric and mental health services availability and real-time Substance Use Disorder Treatment program openings.

Responder Resources

Health Provider Resources

Community Resources

Child and Parent Resources

Family Resources

Mental Health Support Resources

Workplace Resources

Community Violence

 

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