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COVID-19: News and Resources

COVID-19: ForwardHealth News and Resources

Contact Information

For specific questions about COVID-19 as it relates to ForwardHealth coverage and policy, contact DHSDMSCOVID19@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

For specific questions about testing considerations or to discuss a case during business hours, call 608-267-9003 or email DHSDPHBCD@wi.gov. For after-hours assistance, call 608-258-0099.

Information about the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly. ForwardHealth has established this page to keep providers informed about news, resources, and policy related to the virus so they can effectively care for ForwardHealth members. Providers are encouraged to check this page frequently to stay informed about this quickly evolving situation.

General resources for COVID-19 information:

Program-specific COVID-19 information:

Information About Wisconsin’s Medicaid Section 1135 Waiver

On April 16, 2020, Department of Health Services sent a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to request approval for flexibilities listed under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320b-5) as related to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional information on Wisconsin’s Medicaid Section 1135 waiver is forthcoming and will be posted here.

ForwardHealth Alerts for Providers

ForwardHealth Alerts are short, targeted publications designed to disseminate the latest COVID-19 information to providers quickly. They may contain news, policy, or resources deemed critical or helpful for providers. Providers will receive messaging letting them know when Alerts have been published that may impact them, and all Alerts relating to COVID-19 will be linked from this page.

The following ForwardHealth Alerts relating to COVID-19 have been published:

  • New! Alert 029: New CPR and Respiratory Care Services Training Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (11/6/20)
  • Alert 028: New Procedure Codes in Response to COVID-19 (11/6/20)
  • Alert 027: Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program Enrollment Now Open (11/5/20)
  • Alert 026: ForwardHealth Increasing Coverage for Influenza Vaccination (10/28/20)
  • Alert 025: Public Health Emergency Extended Into January 2021 (10/15/20)
  • Alert 024: ForwardHealth Billing Reminders When Submitting Claims for Vaccinations (10/2/20)
  • Alert 023: ForwardHealth Will End Coverage for Some Non-Physician Phone Assessment Services (7/28/20)
  • Alert 022: Providers May Not Charge Members Additional Fees for COVID-19 Precautions (6/02/20)
  • Alert 021: Medicaid-Enrolled Provider Requirement Temporarily Waived for Prescribing, Referring, or Ordering Certain COVID-19-Related Laboratory Codes (5/27/20)
  • Alert 020: COVID-19 Laboratory Procedure Codes U0002 and 87635 Allowable With Modifier QW (5/15/20)
  • Alert 019: Opioid Treatment Programs Submitting Claims for Phone Calls Under the Five-Minute Threshold (5/15/20)
  • Alert 018: ForwardHealth Will End Expanded Presumptive Eligibility for Express Enrollment for Children (5/5/20)
  • Alert 017: Billing Clarifications for Dental Telehealth Services (Revised 5/11/20)
  • Alert 016: ForwardHealth-Accepted Procedure Codes from Eligible Providers Who Test Medicaid-Enrolled Members for COVID-19 (4/23/20)
  • Alert 015: Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants May Temporarily Order Home Health Services (Revised 5/11/20)
  • Revised! Alert 014: ForwardHealth Will Expand Presumptive Eligibility for Express Enrollment (Hospitals) (4/17/20) May 5, 2020: This Alert has been revised since its original publication. The information from Alert 012, which has been replaced by Alert 018, has been removed.
  • Alert 013: Enhanced Reimbursement for Therapy Provided as Part of the Birth to 3 Program Using Telehealth (Revised 5/11/20)
  • Alert 012: ForwardHealth Will Expand Presumptive Eligibility for Express Enrollment (4/10/20) May 5, 2020: This Alert has been replaced by Alert 018.
  • Alert 011: ForwardHealth Is Implementing Two New Diagnosis Codes Effective April 1, 2020 (4/6/20)
  • Alert 010: ForwardHealth Has Expanded the List of Drugs Available Through Expedited Emergency Supply (Revised 5/7/20)
  • Alert 009: Temporary Changes for Durable Medical Equipment and Disposable Medical Supplies Face-to-Face Requirements (Revised 5/11/20)
  • Alert 008: Temporary Change for Urgent Prior Authorization Requests (Revised 5/8/20)
  • Alert 007: Respiratory Care Services Training During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (Revised 5/8/20) January 21, 2021: This Alert had been replaced by Alert 029.
  • Alert 006: CPR Training During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (Revised 5/8/20) January 21, 2021: This Alert had been replaced by Alert 029.
  • Alert 005: Temporary Changes to Narcotic Treatment Services (Revised 5/7/20)
  • Alert 004: Tribal and Non-Tribal Federally Qualified Health Centers Billing Guidance for Telehealth Policy Changes in ForwardHealth Update 2020-09 (3/23/20)
  • Alert 003: Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Services (3/20/20)
  • Alert 002: Temporary Policy Changes for Personal Care Providers (Revised 5/11/20)
  • Alert 001: ForwardHealth Accepted Procedure Codes From Eligible Providers Who Test Patients for COVID-19 (3/18/20)

ForwardHealth Updates for Providers

ForwardHealth Updates announce changes in policy and coverage, prior authorization requirements, and claim submission requirements. Links to all published Updates relating to COVID-19 will be available on this page, as well as being listed on the ForwardHealth Updates page of the ForwardHealth Portal. Several Updates related to COVID-19 are currently in work.

The following Updates relating to COVID-19 policy have been published:

  • New! 2020-36: Temporary Policy for Interprofessional Consultations and Remote Physiologic Monitoring (8/28/20)
  • 2020-34: Ensuring Appropriate COVID-19 Testing (8/7/20)
  • 2020-26: Member Copay Exemption for COVID-19 Laboratory Testing, Laboratory Testing-Related Services, and All COVID-19-Related Treatment Services (6/26/20)
  • 2020-19: Temporary Expansion of Provider Enrollment for Medicaid-Only Providers (5/8/20)
  • 2020-16: Approval of Nursing Home Levels of Care During COVID-19 (Revised 5/7/20)
  • 2020-15: Additional Services to Be Provided Via Telehealth (Revised 5/8/20)
  • 2020-14: Temporary Changes to the Provider Enrollment Process (Revised 5/7/20)
  • 2020-13: Temporary Changes to Clinical Policy and Prior Authorization (Revised 5/11/20)
  • 2020-12: Temporary Changes to Telehealth Policy and Clarifications for Behavioral Health and Targeted Case Management Providers (Revised 5/8/20)
  • 2020-11: COVID-19 Information for Pharmacies (Revised 5/8/20)
  • 2020-09: Changes to ForwardHealth Telehealth Policies for Covered Services, Originating Sites, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (3/18/20)
  • Wisconsin Medicaid Response to COVID-19 Outbreak Provider Bulletin (3/18/20)

Telehealth Resources for Providers

The Telehealth Resources for Providers page includes summaries and explanations of the recently published materials, FAQs, billing guidance, and resources, all pertaining to telehealth.

Additional Messages for Providers

Resources and Links for Providers

Connecting Essential Workforce Families to Child Care

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has launched two new tools to help connect essential workforce families to local, safe child care. Healthcare workers and essential employees are now able to submit a request for care through DCF’s updated Child Care Finder or proactively view up-to-date availability across the state using DCF’s new child care map. For any questions regarding this effort, contact dcfmbcovid19@wisconsin.gov.

HMO News

The following communications for BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid SSI HMO and Special Managed Care Programs (Care4Kids, Children Come First, and Wraparound Milwaukee) have been distributed:

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