Pa. Governor Tom Wolf announced today that through the federal stimulus bills providers of COVID-19 testing and treatment services will be able to be reimbursed for providing those services to uninsured patients.
“All Pennsylvanians should have access to necessary testing for COVID-19 and this federal funding will help eliminate any financial burden on those both providing and receiving tests,” Gov. Wolf said.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) also reminded Pennsylvanians of the continued availability of health coverage through the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medical Assistance (MA), or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“We are also pleased to work with the federal government to ensure that people who are uninsured can receive COVID-19 testing and treatment without worrying about how to pay for it. No Pennsylvanian should forego medically-necessary testing for fear of what it might cost, and providers will be able to collect payment for testing and services directly from the federal government,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “Affordable health care and access to it is a necessity at all times, but it is especially vital during a health crisis. DHS is always working to make sure that people who need coverage to protect themselves and their children have it. I encourage anyone who may need coverage to apply for Medicaid or CHIP.”
As part of the Family First Coronavirus Relief Act and CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide reimbursement to health care providers generally at Medicare rates for testing uninsured individuals for COVID-19 and treating uninsured individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Payments for uninsured individuals will be administered through the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA).
HRSA is accepting claims as of May 6 and will accept claims for services dating back to February 4, 2020. Providers should access the HRSA website at https://coviduninsuredclaim.linkhealth.com/ to learn what services are covered, determine who is eligible, submit claims, and find more information.
Pennsylvania added 822 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday. According to information released on Pa. Department of Health’s website, the state has 63,056 cases of the virus since the first case was discovered in March.
The death toll was increased by 87 souls on Friday, putting the count at 4,505. Monday marked the addition of the first two deaths in Northumberland County due to the Coronavirus, according to figures released Monday.
Dauphin County added 15 cases and 11 deaths to its total on Monday, while Schuylkill County added four cases and five deaths, while Northumberland County added two cases and two deaths. Dauphin County currently stands at a total to 978 cases with 50 deaths, Schuylkill stands at 529 cases with 20 deaths, and Northumberland County, in the yellow phase of reopening, is at 143 cases and two deaths.
In comparison, Philadelphia County, the hot spot of the state, added 200 cases and 58 deaths, putting their totals at 16,340 positive cases and 1,080 deaths since the coronavirus first hit in March..
In nursing home and long-term care facilities, Dauphin County is listed in the table having four facilities affected, with 258 cases among residents, 51 cases among employees and 27 deaths. Schuylkill County has 85 residents, 21 employees affected and four deaths in 10 facilities, while Northumberland County has one patient in one facility
All total, 561 facilities are reporting 13,626 cases among residents and 2,111 among employees, and have accounted for 3,086 of Pennsylvania’s 4,505 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
Officials say that the public’s effort on social distancing and wearing masks must continue to get things back to normal.
“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to protect our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, which includes our seniors, those with underlying health issues, our healthcare workers and our first responders. I am proud of the work that Pennsylvanians have done so far, but we cannot stop now, we must continue to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”
As far as negative tests for each county, Dauphin is listed as having 7.531 negative tests while Schuylkill reported 3,282 negative tests and 1,065 in Northumberland County.
The state also updated numbers of age ranges of the positive cases and hospitalizations to date. Currently 1,885 Pennsylvania residents are hospitalized with the virus and its complications, down 74 from Friday.
The breakdown is as follows:
Ages 0-4, <1%; 5-12, <1%; 13-18, 1%; 19-24, 6%; 25-49, 37%; 50-64, 26%, 65+, 29%
Ages 0-29, 2%; 30-49, 5%; 50-64, 10%; 65-79, 20%; 80+, 18%
The counties affected and the number of confirmed cases, with the number of deaths in parentheses, are:
Adams-194 (5), Allegheny-1,641 (143), Armstrong-58 (2), Beaver-533 (70), Bedford-32 (2), Berks-3,719 (248), Blair-38 (1), Bradford-41 (3), Bucks-4,516 (417), Butler-203 (12), Cambria-54 (2), Cameron-2 Carbon-214 (22), Centre-133 (5), Chester-2,153 (227), Clarion-24 (2), Clearfield-33, Clinton-44, Columbia-337 (29), Crawford-21, Cumberland-525 (61), Dauphin-978 (50), Delaware-5,689 (436), Elk-6, Erie-145 (4), Fayette-91 (4), Forest-7, Franklin-631 (25), Fulton-11 (1), Greene-27, Huntingdon-214, Indiana-84 (4), Jefferson-7, Juniata-94 (2), Lackawanna-1,363 (125), Lancaster-2,552 (252), Lawrence-72 (8), Lebanon-877 (21), Lehigh-3,491 (173), Luzerne-2,532 (122), Lycoming-149 (8), McKean-11 (1), Mercer-94 (4), Mifflin-57 (1), Monroe-1,259 (88), Montgomery-6,012 (566), Montour-50, Northampton-2,727 (171), Northumberland-143 (2), Perry-41 (1), Philadelphia-16,340 (1,080), Pike-461 (15), Potter-4, Schuylkill-529 (20), Snyder-33 (1), Somerset-36, Sullivan-2, Susquehanna-85 (15), Tioga-16 (2), Union-51 (1), Venango-8, Warren-2, Washington-133 (4), Wayne-108 (7), Westmoreland-432 (38), Wyoming-30 (4), York-857 (18).
As of noon May 18, there have been 277,553 negative tests for the coronavirus, 6,883 more than the day before.
What is coronavirus?
According to the Pa. Department of Health, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. These viruses can live in animals and at times, evolve and infect people before spreading through human to human contact.
Human coronaviruses are spread just like the common cold or the flu — either through the air through coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact like touching or shaking hands, or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after a person is exposed to the illness. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to severe illness and death. As of May 17, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reports there have been 1,480,349 cases of the Coronavirus reported in the U.S. with 89,407 deaths.
What can you do?
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
Clean surfaces frequently.
Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.
The Pa. Department of Health offers these guidelines as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings.