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COVID-19, State Efforts

State Spotlight April 15, 2020

Published On April 16, 2020

By: Joanna Dornfeld

United States of Care is supporting policy makers and public servants across the country respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Our support includes sharing the innovative approaches communities and states are taking to respond to the immediate public health crisis and the resulting economic impacts. Below is a snapshot of the most interesting and innovative action we saw in states over the last week from the public and private sectors.

Support for Rural Hospitals

  • Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the state’s request to recover Medicaid federal match rates and provide federal funds for a payment benefiting over 50 rural hospitals. This funding will play a critical role in ensuring rural hospitals throughout the state have resources necessary to treat patients infected with COVID-19

Expanding the Health Care Workforce

  • Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed an executive order to allow retired and inactive EMS professionals to join the fight against COVID-19 by providing supplemental health care services during this public health emergency without reinstatement or approval by the Indiana EMS Commission, if they work under the supervision of a licensed EMS or health care professional.

Testing and Tracing COVID Patients

  • Massachusetts officials will launch a large-scale contact tracing program with the help of a nonprofit health organization, Partners in Health, by the end of the month. The initiative aims to have a team trace confirmed COVID-19 patients and contact people who have been in close contact with confirmed COVID patients to provide additional support.
  • Walgreens is opening 15 drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in “hot spot markets” across seven states using new testing kits that provide results in minutes. The locations for these sites are still being finalized with the U.S. Department of Human Services. (News Source)

Innovative Supports

  • Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced RI Delivers – a website to connect those living in quarantine or isolation to the supportive services they need to safely remain at home and monitor their symptoms.
  • Several auto insurers announced they are providing refunds to customers given the reduction in auto crashes as people #StayHome. For example, all 18 million drivers with Allstate auto policies will receive 15% of their premium credited back to them, for a total of $600 million. American Family Insurance, will be sending checks of $50 per car to more than 2 million customers, totaling $200 million. (News Source)

Missouri’s Comprehensive Emergency Response

  • Missouri Lawmakers returned to the Capitol and passed an emergency funding bill with strong bipartisan support amounting to $6.2 billion, with $5.5 billion of it coming from federal funds. The bill will shore up the state’s budget during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. The legislation gives broad authority to Governor Parsons to spend hundreds of millions of dollars intended to provide relief to schools, local governments and businesses resulting from the Coronavirus including about $1 billion in spending for cities and counties; $1 billion for the state’s emergency management agency; $300 million for K-12 public schools; $200 million for Missouri public universities and colleges; $90 million for nursing homes; $40 million for food banks and Meals on Wheels; and $20 million for child care.