Smart Alert: 5-11-23 Ends  Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Proclamation

 The SUPR Smart Alert includes important information regarding the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency proclamation, including information regarding the use of telehealth, blanket exemptions that are ending or continuing, and Administrative Rule Section 2060.314.

 On May 11, 2023, Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 public health emergency proclamation officially ends. This date coincides with President Biden’s announcement regarding the COVID-19 national and public health emergency declarations. After the Governor’s proclamation was announced, the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) shared information and implemented several blanket exemptions to ensure that IDHS/SUPR licensed organizations continued to effectively operate during the pandemic.

Given the announcement ending the COVID-19 emergency proclamation and to assist IDHS/SUPR licensed organizations maintain compliance with Administrative Rule 2060 and federal guidelines, this smart alert outlines those exemptions that will expire effective May 11, 2023, as well as those exemptions that will continue. Additionally, you will find guidance specifically addressing telehealth and Administrative Rule Section 2060.314: COVID-19 Vaccination of Organization Staff.

Throughout this alert, you will find information to help you and your staff navigate with adapting and assessing your organization’s policy and procedures to identify those that need to be reinstated and those that need to end given this official notice. To locate documents referenced, please visit COVID19 Resources.

Services Delivered by Using Telehealth: As you may recall, services delivered via telehealth were allowable for IDHS/SUPR licensed and grant funded organizations prior to the pandemic. The use of telehealth has greatly expanded access to critical services and helped to stabilize a struggling workforce during the pandemic. As such, IDHS/SUPR will continue to support the use of telehealth by maintaining the exception that removes the requirement for the face-to-face delivery of services. Additionally, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) does not anticipate imminent/emergent changes to their telehealth policy or practice in the short term.

Currently, HFS is undergoing an analysis of telehealth service utilization by provider type/service over the period of the pandemic to current. HFS will make future decisions about telehealth in concert with stakeholders and with prior notification. Please send any questions you have regarding telehealth billing to DoIT.SUPRHELP@illinois.gov.

Blanket Exemptions Continuing After May 11, 2023: Below is a list of the blanket exemptions that will continue after May 11, 2023

  • Section 2060.417: Assessment for Patient Placement — assessments may be conducted face-to-face or by using telehealth.
  • Methadone Take Home Doses: SAMHSA/CSAT approved Illinois’ application for a one-year extension of the original COVID take home exception under SAMHSA/CSAT guidelines.
  • Section 2060.505: DUI Risk Education — risk education may be conducted face-to-face or online.
  • DUI Evaluations may be completed by using technology (virtually); however, staff and clients must sign the evaluation. The evaluation must contain original and/or electronic signatures.

Blanket Exemptions Ending on May 11, 2023, in Letters Dated March 16, 2020, and March 28, 2020: The COVID-19 disaster proclamation granted several blanket exemptions that will expire on May 11, 2023; the applicable Sections that expire are as follows:

  • Section 2060.401: Levels of Care
  • Section 2060.421: Treatment Plans
  • Section 2060.423: Continued Stay Reviews
  • Section 2060.509: Recovery Homes
  • Section 206.309 e) 1): Professional Staff Qualifications
  • Section 2060.413 Medical Services • Section 2060.415: Infectious Disease Control

The recovery home rate available for patients discharged from Levels 3.5 or 3.7 who needed to shelter in place due to COVID-19 will also expire on May 11, 2023. This end date is being placed on all recovery home unit/program numbers in DARTS that allowed for billing of this service.

Letters dated March 25, 2020; March 28, 2020; April 4, 2020; April 10, 2020; April 27, 2020; and May 4, 2020; include information about funding, billing, and other practices. All references in these letters will also expire unless otherwise noted above.

Also, organizations are no longer required to adhere to guidance in FAQs. However, your organization may want to consult this information in the future if there are public health issues or emergencies that arise in your facility or community.

Section 2060.314: COVID-19 Vaccination of Organization Staff: During the pandemic, an emergency rule was adopted- Administrative Rule, Part 2060.314. Standards were created to address COVID-19, including requirements for vaccinations and testing. IDHS/SUPR can grant an exception for these requirements when an organization submits a formal request and agrees to comply with applicable federal regulations.

If you have any questions about updates outlined in this Smart Alert, please send your questions to IDHS-SUPR’s help desk at DoIT.SUPRHelp@illinois.gov.

Smart Alert Volume XVI Issue XIII- 5-11-23 Ends Governor Pritzkers COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Proclamation

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