Governor’s press conference today, THURSDAY MARCH 26th, 2020:
🔘 335 total cases, two new counties impacted: Lonoke and Randolph
INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS BURDEN COVID-19 HAS PLACED ON RURAL HOSPITALS & HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS:
1️⃣ Capital improvement payments to certain hospitals, independent physicians, rural health clinics, and behavioral health agencies for environmental modifications (i.e. drive-thru test sites, building isolation areas, etc) during this emergency.
2️⃣ Financial support for workforce safety and training for providers for whom it’s necessary to continue providing face-to-face services. Will be flexible to meet the priority needs of the healthcare provider.
3️⃣ Expansion of telemedicine and non-emergency transportation to keep patients connected to their medical care.
4️⃣Additional payments to support nurses:
📌 Extra $1,000 a month for non- physician healthcare workers
📌 Extra $2,000 a month for non-physician direct care workers treating COVID-19 patients.
5️⃣ Payment to nursing facilities that care for disproportionate share of COVID-19 patients (i.e. temporary housing facility for homeless population, etc)
🔘 These are 5 high points. There are more points included in initiative, including foster care families. (Link in comments)
🔘 Total cost for this initiative: $116.3M. Only $25M is expected to be state dollars. The rest will be federal dollars.
DR NATE SMITH, SEC OF ADH:
📍Breakdown on the 335 cases:
213 people ages 19-64
108 people ages 65+
15% African American
📍41 are currently hospitalized
13 are currently on ventilators
42 are from nursing homes
13 people have recovered
3 have died
Numbers above have drastically risen because we have a better method for reporting. Hospitals: please be diligent to upload your numbers everyday.
📍 FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECOVERED: Please consider donating plasma as it will have antibodies that could help fight the virus. PLEASE DONATE.
SEC CINDY GILLESPIE, DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES:
📍There are other components of Medicaid services that can now help out that couldn’t before. Example: non-emergency transportation can be utilized to deliver meds to people. Nursing home workers, CNAs, direct care, and home health workers will all receive this extra payment during this time.
📍Foster care initiative: there are additional burdens on foster families taking in children and working through many daycares being closed. They will receive an additional $500/month payment.
📍DHS will work in partnership with cities who want to come forward and sign an agreement with DHS to help draw down federal dollars, using city funds, to temporarily house the homeless population. This will ensure they are not in congregant housing during this time.