Tags Posts tagged with "COVID-19"


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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced today it is extending its opioid treatment program (OTP) exemption for an in-person physical evaluation for buprenorphine treatment for a period of one year from the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). The extension goes into effect upon the expiration of the COVID-19 PHE.

Read the full announcement.

ODP Announcement 22-073 announces that the Department of Human Services (DHS) is preparing for the eventual end of the Public Health Emergency. Under the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, Pennsylvania has continued Medical Assistance (MA) coverage for most people unless they moved out-of-state, passed away, or asked to end their MA.

When the federal PHE ends, the Department of Human Services must determine if people are still eligible for MA. MA recipients will have to complete a renewal to maintain their MA coverage.

DHS is seeking trusted partners to assist in this PHE unwinding process through means of connection to individuals that will need to renew MA benefits. Today, an email newsletter called the DHS Helper Portal is being launched.

Sign up to become a helper today!

  1. Fill out the simple online form.
  2. The form will generate an email to the email address given.
  3. Confirm the address by walking through the prompts in the email.
  4. Congratulations! You are a helper!

ODP Announcement 20-114 provides an updated timeline on Medication Administration training requirements as it pertains to the “Modified” and “Standard” courses offered by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ODP allowed staff who are required to take the Standard Medication Administration Training Course (“Standard Course”) to take the Modified Medication Administration Training Course (“Modified Course”) until December 31, 2021.

Because the effects of the pandemic are ongoing, staff can continue to take the Modified Course in place of the Standard Course until July 31, 2022.

The Department previously required that staff who took the Modified Course in lieu of the Standard Course complete the Standard Course no later than December 31, 2022. Please be advised that this deadline has been extended to July 31, 2023.

Beginning August 1, 2022, staff persons must take the Standard Course.

Thursday, June 16, 2022, 11:00 am EDT

This multi-part conversation includes perspectives from the disability community, medical doctors, as well as Allegheny and Philadelphia county health departments. This event is sponsored by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, the LEND Center of Pittsburgh Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Mayor’s Commission for People with Disabilities in the Office of the Mayor, and the Department of Public Health City of Philadelphia, as well as the Allegheny County Health Department.


11:00 am — Welcome
11:10 am — People in the disability community will share their lived experience with COVID and specific challenges of these times.
11:30 am — Medical doctors will discuss current information about COVID and specific impacts to individuals with disabilities. They will also share new information about something called “Long COVID,” which is COVID symptoms that last beyond a few weeks.
12:00 pm — Department of Health professionals from Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties will give us status/statistics of COVID, what the counties are doing now, how they are assuring accessibility of resources, and how people can stay safe during a surge.
12:30 pm — Home and Community-Based Service (HCBS) policy gaps revealed by COVID will be discussed, including what we can do to close the gaps.

Visit here for more information.

Message from the Department of Health (PA DOH):

With the recent rise in COVID-19 case counts across the Commonwealth and the country, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) wants long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to be aware of the multiple ways to access lifesaving COVID-19 treatment and preventive products.

We distribute the following outpatient therapeutics directly to LTCFs that enroll in the PA DOH network:

  • Treatment: Oral antivirals (Paxlovid & Lagevrio);
  • Treatment: Monoclonal antibodies (Bebtelovimab); and
  • Preventive: Monoclonal antibodies for pre-exposure prophylaxis (Evusheld).

Stocking therapeutics on-site can help eligible patients access preventive protection and receive timely treatment, which must be initiated within a matter of days from symptom onset. Most patients who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible for treatment.

The one-page guide for LTCFs covers how to enroll in the PA DOH therapeutics network. The first step is to complete our therapeutics enrollment form. You will receive additional instructions after form submission. To enroll, your facility will need a pharmacy license and/or a licensed medical director to take responsibility. If you do not have either of these, please reference the guide for alternative options to access COVID-19 therapeutics.

In addition to reviewing the guide, we appreciate you sharing it with other relevant LTCF stakeholders.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via email. Thank you for all that you do to protect vulnerable residents across the Commonwealth. We appreciate your partnership in the fight against COVID-19.