Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Updates
Wisconsin EMS: Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System
The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is now operational in Madison and accepting N95 respirators for decontamination. As discussed in our weekly briefing calls, services need to sign up with Battelle at www.battelle.org/decon. Battelle then emails the service with links to the enrollment contract, instructions, and the Battelle point of contact. Once the contract is signed, Battelle will then assign a three-digit site code for the service or location. Services will received shipping labels and further instructions as part of their enrollment. Additional information is attached to this email. A reminder that Battelle is only able to accept non-cellulose, NIOSH approved N95 respirators and certain imported, non-NIOSH respirators. Links to the CDC/FDA resources to check and see if your respirators are compatible with the Battelle CCDS: NIOSH-approved respirators or Imported respirators.
Questions? Contact Kevin Wernet from Wisconsin Emergency Management at Kevin.Wernet@wisconsin.gov
DHS Health Alert – COVID-19: Health Alert #6
New website enables health care providers to request COVID-19 lab testing supplies
Providers encouraged to visit covid19supplies.wi.gov/Testing
On Monday, April 20, the State of Wisconsin launched a new website for health care providers to request COVID-19 testing supplies. The website URL is covid19supplies.wi.gov/Testing.
The State of Wisconsin is making supplies available to facilitate laboratory COVID-19 testing at no charge for qualifying Wisconsin clinicians, local and tribal health centers, clinical laboratories and others collecting specimens in response to COVID-19. The supplies provided through the site are intended to help Wisconsin achieve the goal of providing testing for all who have influenza like illness symptoms.
Testing supplies available through covid19supplies.wi.gov/Testing include:
TM/Swab Only – Room Temperature Stable: specimen collection materials including commercial M4 room temperature stable viral transport media (VTM) and a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab. NOTE: these are currently in very limited supply.
VTM/Swab Only – Refrigerated: specimen collection materials including FDA approved CDC protocol VTM and a NP swab. NOTE: materials require refrigerated storage.
VTM/Swab/Diagnostic Testing – Exact Sciences: specimen collection materials including room temperature stable saline VTM and a NP swab including specimen analysis at Exact Sciences. NOTE: media specifically validated for testing to be performed solely at Exact Sciences. For more information go to: Exact Sciences
The supplies and laboratory services available through the site are intended to expand Wisconsin’s existing COVID-19 testing capacity. Please do not use these supplies and services as a substitution for using your own existing testing resources.
Health care providers can find other HAN alerts and information on COVID-19 at dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/providers.htm.
3/20: A joint letter that NAEMT signed to make a permanent extension of the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA; S. 1210, H.R. 1241) in any legislation to address the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The VRIPA provides a crucial tool for local communities to ensure they have enough volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to guard against a wide variety of emergencies, including stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The VRIPA expires at the end of this year. Without an extension of the VRIPA, volunteer and combination fire departments and EMS agencies will be challenged to recruit and retain volunteer personnel due to overly burdensome tax regulations.
DHS Quarterly Medicaid Report to Finance Committee
Past Projections Obsolete - Extraordinary Moment in History
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted its quarterly report on the Medicaid benefits budget to the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance (See attached).
“We are in an extraordinary moment in the history of Wisconsin and the nation, as we wage an all-out battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is likely to significantly increase Medicaid expenditures for the remainder of the biennium. Medicaid members will require more health care services, and the pandemic’s effect on the nation’s economy will likely drive up Medicaid enrollment."
December 2019 projection of $39.8 million Medicaid deficit is now obsolete.
Hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care and long-term care providers will be stretched to the limit as they care for individuals suffering from COVID-19.
DHS has issued a number of MA policy updates and alerts to safeguard the health and wellbeing.
DHS working with Legislature to pursue a temporary federal waiver approval for more flexible provider requirements during the COVID-19 crisis.
DWD has experienced a dramatic increase in the daily number of claims for UI benefits.
As unemployment increases, Medicaid enrollment is expected to rise.
Federal CARES Act increases FMAP by 6.2%
Legislative Fiscal Bureau projected GPR Savings of $150 million per quarter), during the duration of the federal public health emergency.
DHS working with Legislature to make temporary program changes to quality for 6.2% FMAP
Federal CARES Act conditions states’ eligibility for increased funding on:
Eligibility restrictions being no more restricting than those in effect on January 1, 2020
Premiums imposed being no greater than those in effect on January 1, 2020
Currently enrolled and newly enrolling individuals may not be disenrolled, effective on the enactment date until the last day of the month in which the public health emergency period ends.
There is no cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 testing services and treatment.
Overall, the cumulative effect of service utilization changes, enrollment changes, and enhanced FMAP availability are unknown.
DHS will closely monitor expenditures and revenues in the Medicaid program
State Plan and Waiver Amendments
The Appendix lists state plan amendments and waiver amendments submitted to the federal government this quarter.
3/20: The COVID-19 Pre-hospital Screening Worksheet is now active in Elite. When the primary impression on the state form is selected to be “Infectious – Fever” or “Infectious – Influenza (flu-like) symptoms” the worksheet will flag for completion. We’ve activated this worksheet to get a better handle on the prehospital data for COVID-19. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
3/20: The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are working together to determine the emerging and urgent child care needs of medical professionals and essential staff due to COVID-19.
Please note that you are receiving this survey in order for the State of Wisconsin to help ensure that you have access to child care to address your families’ needs during this evolving pandemic.
If you have an immediate need or anticipate having a need for child care, please take 3 minutes to complete this survey. Please complete within the next 24 hours or as soon as possible. Please include as much information as possible when filling out this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/childcareneedwi
We are working with child care programs in your community to prioritize and ensure care for families of essential services providers, first responders, and medical professionals during this critical time.
We appreciate all you are doing to help keep our children, families and the community safe and healthy during these uncertain times.
Thank you in advance for completing this survey as soon as possible!
WI DHS: Outbreaks and Investigations
Tracking of Covid19 in Wisconsin. The site is updated daily by 2 PM.
Wisconsin has now seen multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19. And with more testing facilities online, we can expect to see even more cases. Identifying cases allows DHS and our local partners to move quickly to isolate a case and possibly contain the spread of the virus.
You can help do that by following basic hygiene practices. Wash your hands with soap and water, cover your coughs, and if you are sick - stay home
3/20: National Registry Extends 2020 Recertification Deadline; Modifies Requirements
MARCH 13, 2020
Columbus OH — As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians today announced two important modifications to the current recertification cycle for Nationally Registered EMS personnel.
The National Registry's Board of Directors approved a motion extending the current recertification deadline from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Additionally, for Registrants due to recertify March 31, 2020 Distributive Education (DE) limitations will be removed. This allows all continuing education to be accomplished outside of classrooms.
“Given the dynamic nature of this global pandemic, the focus of our nation's EMS personnel should remain on personal well-being, patient safety and supporting their communities in need,” said Bill Seifarth, Executive Director of the National Registry.
3/20: National Registry Board Approves Provisional Certification
MARCH 19, 2020
Responding to the nationwide need for Emergency Medical Services personnel and the social-distancing public health guidance, the Executive Committee of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians gave emergency approval to add a Provisional Certification. The Provisional Certification will be automatically assigned to any candidate that (1) completes an educational program at the EMR, EMT, AEMT or Paramedic level and (2) successfully passes the National Registry's cognitive examination. The requirement for completing the psychomotor examination is suspended for the duration of the national emergency or until psychomotor examinations can be safely reinstated in the United States.
“This is a vital step in ensuring that we are able to continue to get qualified and competent EMS personnel into our communities during this national emergency,” said Bill Seifarth, executive director of the National Registry. “This decision, along with this pandemic, is evolving and requires swift, bold measures to ensure the continued safety and health of the public.”
This document was created using official or best practice information taken from multiple organizations that was vetted and assembled by subject matter experts working for the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The aim was not to develop novel guidance for emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, but to unify multiple sources of information in a single planning document addressing the full spectrum of infectious agents to create a concise reference resource for EMS agencies developing their service policies. This document does not represent official policy of HHS/ASPR or other federal or private agencies.
Following President Donald J. Trump’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.