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COVID-19 Message from Kelly Pfeifer, MD, DHCS

Date: March 16, 2020 at 9:00:04 AM PDT

Dear Colleagues:

As the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) continues to closely monitor the emerging 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, DHCS is issuing guidance to counties and providers to assist them in providing medically necessary health care services in a timely fashion for patients impacted by COVID-19.  
In light of both the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s January 31, 2020 public health emergency declaration, as well as President’s March 13, 2020 national emergency declaration, DHCS is exploring additional possibilities and options to temporarily waive and/or modify certain federal and state requirements through an 1135 Waiver to ensure the health and safety of Californians. Further guidance will be provided after California submits an 1135 Waiver.
Please find attached the following documents, which will be published on our website in the next few days.  Feel free to forward them to anyone who might find them helpful:

1. Information Notice 20-009: COVID-19 Guidance for Behavioral Health Programs
2. COVID-19 FAQ for Behavioral Health
3. COVID-19 FAQ for Narcotic Treatment Programs (Updated 3/19/2020)
4. COVID-19 FAQ for Mental Health Rehabilitation Centers and Psychiatric Health Facilities
These were informed by feedback from stakeholders; please continue to share with us how we can be helpful to you in managing the public emergency.
As a reminder, to see all Behavioral Health Information Notices, ADP Bulletins, MH Information Notices and MH Letters please visit our Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Services and Behavioral Health Information Notices webpage.
Kelly Pfeifer, M.D.
Deputy Director, Behavioral Health
California Department of Health Care Services
1501 Capitol Avenue, MS 4000
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413
916-345-7554 (W)