Changes to Oregon Medicaid Plan During COVID-19 Emergency

Please review the Approval Package to see the changes that were approved in the state 1915(i) plan as part of Medicaid Disaster relief. These changes are retroactive to 3/1/20 and will sunset at the end of the public health emergency.

The following are now approved to be provided by telehealth:
• Needs-based eligibility criteria evaluations and re-evaluations
• Person-centered service plan development and completion and monitoring
• Home-Based Habilitation; HCBS Behavioral Habilitation and Psychosocial rehabilitation to individuals who are being served in an inpatient setting to promote supports not otherwise provided by the acute care hospital and are designed to ensure smooth transitions between acute care and community based settings

OHA COVID-19 Webinar: Adapting MH Services for Children and Families

Monday April 27th from 1:30p-3:00p
Children’s Behavioral Health Outpatient and Community Based Provider COVID-19 Webinar: Adapting Mental Health Services for Children and Families:

Please register here:

They plan to include:
Welcome and Introductions
COVID-19 High level update – Dr. Jetmalani
Behavioral Health COVID-19 Response update – Steve Allen
Adapting Behavioral Health Services during COVID-19 – Chelsea Holcomb, Nat Jacobs, Fran Pearson and Laurie Theodorou
Resources – Chelsea Holcomb
Q&A and sharing/discussion

New OHA sponsored webinars for professional healthcare networks! – CEU certificate of completion for each course!

Registration is now open for free, online disaster behavioral health training, offered to health care professionals and first responders by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Please note that completing the training does not qualify as a full PFA certification. All participants receive a CEU certificate of completion for each course.
These free webinars are limited to health care professionals, first responders and SERV-OR volunteers in Oregon. Please share widely with your professional healthcare networks.

1. Just In Time Behavioral Health in Times of Community Crisis (2-hours)
Principles of behavioral health action, and the initiation of behavioral health action using the criteria of Psychological First Aid (PFA) during the COVID.19 pandemic. This course provides the fundamentals for delivering initial behavioral health response assistance during the Coronavirus. This abbreviated training provides best practices when working with any individual during the current situation of the pandemic. This curriculum is based on the SAMHSA 8-hour provider certification under the supervision of Dr. Ronald Glaus.

2. Compassion Fatigue and Self-Care (2-hours)
Responding in a compassionate and caring manner, in any profession, can impact mental and emotional strength. Assess your own level of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction, and acquire new tools to strengthen your resilience to burnout. Participants will also put together their own self-care plan after learning about strategies for self-care.

Click here to register and for the current schedule of offerings:

Additional offerings will be posted through the months of April and May.

Free Phone Resource for Low Income Families & CHOICE Funds Approved for Phone/Minutes Purchase

As of March 30th, OHA has confirmed that Choice funds can be used to purchase phones/minutes for clients in need. Please also check with your CCO’s to see how they can support/fund the purchase of phone for ACT participants.

Additionally, Assurance Wireless is a source for free phones for clients that don’t have one. For more information regarding Assurance Wireless, follow the link below. OCEACT has heard some ACT teams that Assurance is also experiencing staff shortages during this COVID-19 emergency, so wait times may be longer than usual.

Quarterly ACT Data Collection Not Required At This Time

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has announced that reporting of data for the Oregon Performance Plan has been put on a temporary hold during the Covid 19 crisis. This means that ACT programs are not required to submit their data into OAD for Quarter 1 2020 if this is not possible. It has not been made clear from OHA, if these data will be required to be submitted at a future date. Brenda Dennis, the ACT Services Coordinator at OHA is seeking clarification on the expectations for data collection and submission of the data.

We have already heard from several ACT teams that they will continue to collect and enter OHA required data into OAD throughout this COVID-19 emergency, since it is a part of their other information tracking, sharing, and planning activities regarding ACT services. I wanted to confirm that participant care is the first priority and making sure you and your teams have the capacity to serve people comes first. However, we encourage ACT teams that have the ability to continuing data collection and entering data into OAD to continue to do so.

I (Alyssa) will continue to support teams in using the OAD web-based portal. OAD will remain up and running and available for entry and export of ACT data. I will also be available to help teams enter data into OAD if you are wanting to still collect data but don’t have capacity to do the data entry into OAD. Reach out to me directly via phone (541-450-5233) or email ( to coordinate that.
Thank you for continuing to prioritize the health and safety of staff and participants during this time.
Please forward your questions to Alyssa Kerlinger or Heidi Herinckx and we will continue to work with OHA to get you the best information we can during these rapidly changing times.