Relief Fund’s Community Resiliency Fund Applications Due Nov. 15

NEW CASTLE (Nov. 13, 2020) – The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is reminding community- and faith-based 501c3 charitable organizations that primarily serve low-income and/or racial or ethnic minority populations in Kent or Sussex counties that CARES Act Relief funds are available for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadline is Nov. 15, 2020, for eligible organizations to apply through the Community Resiliency Fund, part of the $100 million Health Care Relief Fund that Gov. John Carney and DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik announced in October.

Applicants will need to provide their organizational information and a brief overview of all funds requested for reimbursement, as well as how projected expenses through Dec. 30, 2020, will be spent. All expenses must comply with U.S. Treasury Department guidance.

For eligibility requirements and the online application, go to DHSS’ Health Care Relief Fund webpage.


Delaware Child Psychiatry Access Program Looks to Remove Barriers, Empower Primary Care Providers

WILMINGTON – The Delaware Children’s Department has launched a program that links pediatric primary care providers with free psychiatry consultations and assistance to streamline behavioral health care for children and youth.

Implemented in 2019, the Delaware Child Psychiatry Access Program (DCPAP) is a beneficial resource for primary care providers serving young people with behavioral health needs. The goal of this program is to remove barriers to behavioral health care and provide quicker services to patients when they need it, as well as empower primary care practitioners.

According to the Institute of Medicine, about 13 –20 percent of children living in the United States (up to 1 out of 5 children) experience a mental disorder in a given year. Children’s mental health disorders have a significant impact on children, their families and communities constituting an important public health issue. According to a study published in the journal “Pediatrics,” primary care providers have substantial interactions with children when it comes to managing mental health disorders with about 1/3 of children exclusively receiving their mental health care through primary care.

“Pediatric primary care practitioners (pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners and medical assistants) are increasingly being asked to provide direct behavioral healthcare services for their patients. DCPAP supports pediatric practitioners by offering consultations and trainings by a child psychiatrist, and referrals to resources and services by a behavioral health care coordinator. The goal is to empower health professionals to treat their patients within their practices,” said Dr. Richard Margolis, DCPAP Project Director and Medical Director for the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services.

“We want primary care providers to take advantage of these free services and look forward to helping them with their practices’ behavioral health needs. Integrating behavioral health care with primary care provides better access – and comfort – to our young patients and their families.”

Pediatric primary care providers enrolled in DCPAP can request a consultation with a board-certified child psychiatrist or behavioral health resources to help them address their patients’ needs. These services aim to help expand providers’ skill and comfort in managing their patient’s behavioral health disorders in their office, as opposed to referring their patients to limited psychiatry services that may take months to access. Providers interested in consultations or more information can call the DCPAP “warm line” at 302-513-0929 or fill out this online form. Consultations often focus on questions about diagnosis, screenings, medications and treatment choices for behavioral health disorders.

So far, 175 pediatric primary care practitioners have registered for the program. Interested providers, including pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants caring for patients up to age 21, can register by calling 302-513-0929 or by emailing DSCYF_DCPAP@delaware.gov. Enrolled providers will also have access to a newsletter, information and webinars.

DCPAP also offers various training and education opportunities for the pediatric primary care practitioners and their staff, as well as the general behavioral health community. These training sessions, accessed on a virtual platform and available for free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits feature live sessions with a child psychiatrist on a variety of topics. The current DCPAP fall training series is ongoing.

Please Save the Date for the below trainings by Dr. Mark Borer MD:

  • Youth Suicide Parts 1 & 2: Tuesday 10/6 & Tuesday 10/13
  • Bipolar Disorder Parts 1 & 2: Tuesday 11/10 & Tuesday 11/17
  • Trauma & PTSD Parts 1 & 2: Friday 12/4 & Tuesday 12/8
  • Look for the Autism Spectrum Disorder series to start 2021!
  • ***All sessions will occur from 12:30 – 1:30 PM on Zoom.***

Sign up for the trainings via e-mail at DSCYF_DCPAP@delaware.gov. Participants will be sent the Zoom invitation.

DCPAP is funded through a five-year $2.225 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide pediatric primary care professionals with child psychiatry consultation and behavioral health training. For additional information, DCPAP is modeled after the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (McPAP) and receives consultation from the Massachusetts-based program. The McPAP program, in existence for 15 years, covers the entire state of Massachusetts and offers services to approximately 96 percent of the pediatric serving primary care practitioners in the state.

 Media Contact: Jen Rini, jen.rini@delaware.gov

 


State Releases Preliminary Look at Health Care Spending in 2018

Report Is Latest Step in Effort to Analyze Cost and Quality of Care in Delaware

DOVER (June 4, 2020) – The Delaware Health Care Commission (DHCC) has released preliminary data on health-care spending in the state in calendar year 2018, the latest step in the state’s effort to reduce health care spending and improve quality of care for Delawareans.

The report, available here, follows the establishment in late 2018 of a state health care spending benchmark, a per-annum rate-of-growth benchmark for health care spending. The first benchmark went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, and was set at 3.8 percent, with the target expected to decrease gradually to 3.0 percent over the following three years.

Picture of DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker
DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker

The DHCC collected spending data from calendar year 2018 to provide a preliminary basis for calculating the state’s health care spending performance and to serve as a baseline for 2019 spending growth calculations. The 2018 baseline data collection also allowed the state’s health insurers and the DHCC to test payers’ data-submission methods and identify areas for improvement.

The DHCC is scheduled to collect 2019 medical expense data from insurers this summer. As part of the next round of benchmark data collection, health care insurers will be asked to resubmit their 2018 data to incorporate any updates to collection methods to ensure better year-over-year comparisons. Because of that, the DHCC expects the next set of 2018 data to differ from that released today.

The state plans to release its 2019 health-care spending performance as measured against the 3.8 percent benchmark early next year.

The release of the preliminary spending data from 2018 marks another step along the state’s “Road to Value” initiative to improve access to affordable, quality health care for all Delawareans. That effort remains vitally important while Delaware addresses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, a member of the Delaware Health Care Commission and a practicing family physician.

“We need to support our health care system to rebound from the global pandemic with value-based goals so it can be stronger than ever,” Secretary Walker said. “Now, more than ever, our vision to improve transparency and public awareness of spending and quality in our state through the adoption of spending and quality benchmarks will assist in these efforts.”

To learn more about Delaware’s health care spending and quality benchmarks, visit the Delaware Health Care Commission website.

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The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of life of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

 


Governor Carney Urges Delawareans with Health Care, Child Care Experience to Assist in COVID-19 Response

Community call-to-action issued for workforce support

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney expanded his community call-to-action on Saturday morning, urging all Delaware citizens with health care and child care experience to offer their expertise in Delaware’s fight against COVID-19.

Last week, Governor Carney urged citizens, businesses and nonprofits with access to emergency materials and supplies to support Delaware’s response.

The State of Delaware has launched an online application portal at de.gov/coronavirus to recruit Delawareans with health care and early education credentials to fill critical positions in our health care and emergency child care workforce.

Click here if you can offer to work in health care, child care, or early education.

“We need all Delaware citizens, businesses, and nonprofits to support Delaware’s response to COVID-19,” said Governor Carney. “If you have experience in health care or child care especially, please sign up at de.gov/coronavirus and help us fill critical positions. Thank you to all of Delaware’s health care workers who have been on the front lines, risking their own health and safety to protect others. Thank you to Delaware’s child care workers, our grocery store employees, teachers, and all Delawareans who are stepping up for their neighbors during this difficult time. We’ll get through this, but it will take all of us.”

If you are looking for ways to support Delaware’s response – and specifically if you have expertise in areas of medicine, public health, and/or behavioral health – please apply through the online workforce portal. Applications will be reviewed by the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and shared with institutions in need across Delaware. Anyone who is licensed or certified to work in child care or education is also encouraged to submit their information for potential temporary employment by emergency child care sites. Applications will be reviewed by Delaware’s Office of Early Learning.

The community call-to-action also reminds Delawareans that donations of cleaning supplies and other items for emergency child care sites are urgently needed.

Click here if you are a citizen, business or nonprofit with materials and supplies to support Delaware’s response.

Critical needs include:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Tyvek Suits
  • N95 Masks
  • Face shields and/or eye protection
  • Impermeable gowns

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19, related to medical or social service needs, should call 2-1-1; or 7-1-1 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Questions may also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit: de.gov/coronavirus.

 

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GOV. CARNEY OP-ED: We Can Build on Health Care Progress

Governor John Carney published an op-ed about progress made in Delaware to get more Delawareans health insurance coverage, and reminds Delawareans the ACA health insurance marketplace enrollment period ends December 15. 

 

Ten years ago, before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, it was legal for insurance companies to deny Delawareans health coverage because they had diabetes or another pre-existing condition.

Across our state, more than 11 percent of Delawareans went without insurance. They skipped preventive visits to their doctors. And they accepted that a health crisis could also mean losing all their savings, or worse.

In the years since, we have made substantial progress in reducing the number of uninsured Delawareans.

With federal assistance, we have expanded our Medicaid program to provide quality health insurance coverage for Delaware families who need it the most. And more than 22,000 Delawareans have signed up for a health plan under the ACA health insurance marketplace.

Since implementation of the ACA, we have nearly cut our uninsured population in half in Delaware. And here’s some good news this year: rates on the ACA health insurance marketplace are down almost 20 percent, which we hope will encourage more Delawareans to get covered.

This is because, working with the General Assembly, we passed House Bill 193 into law, creating a reinsurance program which helped drive down the cost of coverage on the ACA marketplace.

In addition, some people will qualify for premium assistance, making the plans even more affordable.

That’s a really big deal. And as we near this year’s deadline of open enrollment on the ACA health insurance marketplace, we want to make sure even more Delawareans get covered.

For Delawareans who don’t have coverage through their employers, and for those who already have insurance through the ACA marketplace, I want to remind you and urge you to shop and compare ACA marketplace plans.

If you don’t have coverage, you need to act quickly. Enrollment on the ACA marketplace is open through December 15. Visit ChooseHealthDE.com to review your options and enroll at healthcare.gov.

If you’re not sure if can afford coverage on the marketplace, Westside Family Healthcare has health care navigators to help walk you through your options, including whether you and your family are eligible for financial assistance.

To make an appointment with a marketplace navigator, call Westside Family Healthcare at 302-472-8655 in New Castle County or 302-678-2205 in Kent and Sussex counties. Or visit ChooseHealthDE.com.

We know that we still have a lot of hard work to make health care more affordable for Delawareans and Delaware families. That’s why – working with members of the General Assembly – we created the new reinsurance program.

And that’s why we are working with health care providers on an initiative to bring transparency to health care prices and give Delaware consumers more information when they are making decision on where to get care.

Our overall goals are to reduce health care costs costs, and improve affordability and health outcomes for Delawareans across our state.

Our overall goals are to reduce health care costs and to improve affordability and health outcomes for Delawareans across our state. To do this, we need to build on the foundation of the ACA until all Delawareans are able to get the quality health care they deserve.

John Carney is the 74th Governor of the State of Delaware.