COVID-19 Update: Medicaid Waiver Application, First Responder Safety, Essential Job Openings


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MEDICAID WAIVER APPLICATION

In addition to previous emergency measures taken by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to help increase access to healthcare for millions of Ohioans, Governor DeWine announced that his administration is submitting its first waiver application to the federal government, known as 1135 or Appendix K, to provide the needed flexibility to address this crisis.

This waiver will allow Ohio to:

  • Bolster the use of telehealth and other technology for health assessments and care planning;
  • Waive signature requirements for a variety of providers to ensure safe distancing without compromising access to care;
  • Ease obstacles to access nursing home care;
  • Allow services to be provided at alternative locations; and
  • Remove staffing-level requirements to give providers more flexibility.

"Removing restrictions like these during this pandemic will allow health care workers to focus on meeting the needs of Ohioans," said Governor DeWine. 

Upon approval, the waiver will be retroactively applied from March 1, 2020.  

FIRST RESPONDER SAFETY

To protect our first responders and to ensure consistency across the state, Dr. Amy Acton announced that a new order has been issued that requires local health departments to provide to their jurisdictions' dispatch agency or agencies the names and addresses of COVID-19-positive individuals.

Dispatch agencies are required to keep this information confidential.

By knowing in advance if they will be interacting with someone who has tested positive, first responders will be better prepared when they arrive at a scene with appropriate protective gear. 

ESSENTIAL JOBS

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that 667 critical employers have listed around 41,000 essential job openings on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.

"These employers have created safe environments for their employees," said Lt. Governor Husted. "These employers need you if you can answer the call."

Examples of companies that are hiring include LiveOps, Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, CVS Health, and FedEx Ground.

CURRENT OHIO DATA

There are 7,280 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 324 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,156 people have been hospitalized, including 654 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.