Apr 28, 2020
North Carolina Client Kudos
As we all continue to feel the effects of the global pandemic and adjust to a new normal for everyone, we want to highlight a few ways our clients across North Carolina have worked to support residents and make this time a little easier for those throughout the state.
“As the managed care organization for publicly funded behavioral health services for a population of 1.8 million in central North Carolina, Alliance Health is working hard to ensure that our provider network has a robust set of tools to enable them to support our health plan members during the COVID-19 emergency,” said Alliance CEO Rob Robinson.
“We are collaborating closely with NC DHHS and our providers to enhance opportunities for telehealth and telepsychiatry, and Alliance will implement a provider stabilization program to help ensure the financial viability of our providers during a time when many of them face tremendous strain due to this unprecedented public health emergency.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CenturyLink announced earlier this month that the company would provide free broadband services to any already on network Overflow Hospital facilities. These temporary hospital facilities are being created to help ease the burden on the country’s healthcare system and CenturyLink wants to help ensure we all stay connected.
In recognition of the essential role CVS Health employees are playing as the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is awarding bonuses to employees who are required to be at CVS facilities to assist patients and customers in this time of unprecedented need. Bonuses will range from $150 to $500, and will be awarded to pharmacists, certain other health care professionals on the front lines, store associates and managers, and other site-based hourly employees.
“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health. “As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times.”
CVS Health is also embarking on the most ambitious hiring drive in the company’s history, with plans to immediately fill 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary roles across the country. Roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and member/customer service professionals. The company will utilize a technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts. Many roles will be filled by existing CVS Health clients who have had to furlough workers, including Hilton and Marriott.
An influx of talent will help manage capacity for existing employees, who will also benefit from the following changes:
CVS Health will launch a new offering to help employees with both child and elder or adult dependent care needs. Working with the Bright Horizons network of national in-home and center-based daycare providers, employees will be able to take advantage of up to 25 fully covered days of backup care. This benefit will begin in early April for both full- and part-time employees.
Full-time CVS Health employees have always had access to paid sick leave. Effective March 22, CVS Health has made 24 hours of paid sick leave available to part-time employees for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paid sick leave is in addition to the 14-day paid leave the company is providing for any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to be quarantined as a result of potential exposure.
Employee safety has been a focus for CVS Health from the start, and the company has been prioritizing distribution of protective gear to the hardest-hit areas.
“The health and wellbeing of our colleagues has always come first. We’ve been working around the clock to increase availability of supplies and update protocols to ensure our stores are safe for colleagues and customers alike,” Merlo stated.
FEEDING THE CAROLINAS
“Our Food Banks are seeing an unprecedented increase in people needing food, compounded with a decrease in volunteers. We need both funds to purchase bulk food, and volunteers to help sort and pack. You can give to Feeding the Carolinas at our website, or you can give or volunteer at a food bank.
Go to www.feedingthecarolinas.org/locations/ and find your food bank, where you can find links to Donate or Volunteer, and also a ‘Food Finder’ which takes you to their website where you can find local community food pantries/etc.
We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support from our friends and neighbors in the Carolinas – and much is needed as we navigate these uncharted waters. Thanks for your help!” – Mike Darrow, Executive Director, Feeding the Carolinas
Healing Transitions provides freedom from addiction through long-term recovery and dignity through a non-medical detox and overnight emergency shelter to those in-need. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a decline in donations, both financially and in much-needed supplies, and Healing Transitions could really use your help. Detox facilities are licensed and are required to provide food that is individually packaged. Next time you make a run out to the grocery store and you see individually wrapped pretzels, chips, granola bars, juice boxes, and the like, consider picking up an extra box and dropping it by Healing Transitions at any time. Click here for more information on Healing Transitions and how you can help.
NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMY OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS
North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA) is the professional group that supports physician assistants (PAs) in North Carolina. PAs are working across the state addressing needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. PA Ginger Sims worked to help set up a drive through a testing center in Thomasville, which you can read about here. PA Dan Lynam has been working in the Outer Banks, coordinating PAs who are willing to help in the hospital system when needed. NCAPA is recruiting PA volunteers through the NC Training- Exercise- Response Management System (NC TERMS) and are hearing from PAs who are signing up across the state.
NCAPA President Alisha DeTroye, PA-C shares, “Many physician assistants (PAs) are on the front lines providing direct patient care in health care systems and in rural settings across the state. PAs are key members of health care teams that are running drive through testing centers, staffing emergency departments and ICUs, and working as primary care providers. PAs are uniquely positioned and trained to meet those needs as flexible and versatile clinicians ready to step in for a sick colleague or fill other unmet needs."
Food delivery service Uber Eats is supporting independent restaurant owners and operators as the hospitality industry faces unprecedented challenges amidst the COVID-19 emergency by waiving delivery fees. Head of Uber Eats for the U.S. and Canada, Janelle Sallenave, said “We know the coming weeks will be challenging ones for many small business owners, and we want to help restaurants focus on food, not finances. That’s why we’re working to drive increased demand to more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada through free delivery and marketing efforts.” Join Uber Eats in supporting your community by ordering delivery or takeout from your favorite local restaurants by downloading their mobile app.
In March, effective immediately, and until April 30, UnitedHealthcare is expanding telehealth services for Medicare, Medicaid Advantage, Medicaid and Commercial membership with reimbursement for both video and audio only visits. The termination date may be extended, if necessary, based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information regarding coverage information and reimbursable codes, click here.
In addition to expanding telehealth services, UnitedHealth has taken numerous actions to support members, patients, and the community, including:
- UnitedHealthcare has waived all member cost sharing, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines for all commercial insured, Medicaid and Medicare members. UnitedHealthcare is also supporting self-insured customers choosing to implement similar actions.
- Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line is available to support anyone who may experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COIVD-19. The free service can be reached at (866) 342-6892, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to all. In addition, emotional-support resources and information are available online at liveandworkwell.com.
- Eligible UnitedHealthcare and OptumRx members needing help obtaining an early prescription refill can call the customer care number located on the back of their medical ID card for assistance or contact OptumRx customer service (800) 788-4863.
- Health plan members are encouraged to use UnitedHealthcare’s Virtual Visit* capability, available through the UnitedHealthcare app, to help answer any general questions or concerns they might have.
- UnitedHealth Group is utilizing its advanced analytics capabilities to enhance situational awareness and continuously adapt and evolve support services for members, patients and employees
- Nurse Line support resources for UnitedHealthcare Members to address clinical questions.
- Advocate For Me – helping Medicare Advantage members navigate the healthcare system, including ensuring finding a provider and not paying out of pocket for COVID-19 testing.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Verizon is supporting our communities through a combined $13 million donation to nonprofits directed at supporting students and healthcare first responders, including No Kid Hungry, the American Red Cross, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund, Direct Relief, and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s global response.
Verizon is also donating $2.5 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national nonprofit that invests in economic opportunity for people and communities across America, as part of the launch of Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live, a weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19. Over the course of the series, all viewers will be encouraged to tag their favorite local businesses and make advance purchases for when the businesses reopen. As consumers engage, Verizon will unlock an additional $2.5 million in funds, bringing the total donation to a potential $5 million.