Data updates in Connecticut

As of April 08, 2020, a total of 8781 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents. One thousand four hundred eighteen patients are currently hospitalized. There have been 335 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated deaths. New in today's update are two graphs that show the rate of cases and deaths per 100,000 population by race and ethnicity. Day-to-day changes reflect newly reported cases, deaths, and tests that occurred over the last several days to week. All data in this report are preliminary; data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Hospitalization data were collected by the Connecticut Hospital Association. Deaths* reported to either the OCME or DPH are included in the daily COVID-19 update. 

Fairfield County
Hartford County
Litchfield County
Middlesex County
New Haven County
New London County
Tolland County
Windham County


For several additional charts and tables on testing performed in Connecticut, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality, visit .
State Public Health Commissioner orders suspension of license renewals and payment of associated fees during pandemic

Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell today  issued an order  suspending the need for all DPH licensees to renew their licenses throughout the duration of the declared COVID-19 emergency. This applies to all licenses the agency administers, including those for health care facilities and physicians. Licensees will not be required to pay the fees associated with the renewals during this time but will be required to pay such fees retroactively when the period of license renewal suspension is over. All active licenses will remain active throughout the duration of the declared emergency.
Helpful Telehealth Billing Information from Community Medical Group

CMG assembled a helpful  grid sheet  by commercial health carrier, Medicaid and Medicare when billing for telehealth services. This information is not static and
CMG / FCMA will provide updates as the information becomes available.
Medicare Billing for Professional Telehealth Services During the Public Health Emergency

Building on prior action to expand reimbursement for telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries, CMS will now allow for more than 80 additional services to be furnished via telehealth. When billing professional claims for non-traditional telehealth services with dates of services on or after March 1, 2020, and for the duration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), bill with the Place of Service (POS) equal to what it would have been in the absence of a PHE, along with a modifier 95, indicating that the service rendered was actually performed via telehealth. As a reminder, CMS is not requiring the “CR” modifier on telehealth services. However, consistent with current rules for traditional telehealth services, there are two scenarios where modifiers are required on Medicare telehealth professional claims:

  • Furnished as part of a federal telemedicine demonstration project in Alaska and Hawaii using asynchronous (store and forward) technology, use GQ modifier
  • Furnished for diagnosis and treatment of an acute stroke, use G0 modifier

Traditional Medicare telehealth services professional claims should reflect the designated POS code 02-Telehealth, to indicate the billed service was furnished as a professional telehealth service from a distant site. There is no change to the facility/non-facility payment differential applied based on POS. Claims submitted with POS code 02 will continue to pay at the facility rate.

There are no billing changes for institutional claims; critical access hospital method II claims should continue to bill with modifier GT.
Governor Orders Grace Period for Insurance Premium Payments Including Health and Professional Medical Liability Insurance

Governor Lamont signed an  executive order  allowing for a 60 day grace period on premium payments. The  executive order   applies to any entity licensed and regulated by the CT Department of Insurance, including, among others, health and professional medical liability insurers. The grace period is not automatic. Policy holders must provide their carriers with additional information. Insurance carriers will provide instructions how to apply for the deferment.
The deferment is not applicable to self-funded plans, which make up 65 % of the group health insurance market in Connecticut. The deferment also does apply to the medical liability insurance captives and risk retention groups that are domiciled out of Connecticut.

The grace period begins April 1 and ends June 1, 2020.
Mortgage Deferment and Assistance Available to Medical Practices

Gov. Ned Lamont announced his administration reached an  agreement  with financial institutions, the Connecticut Bankers Association, and the Credit Union League of Connecticut.

More than 50 credit unions and banks  statewide will participate, including Webster Bank, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Bank of America, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, and People's United Bank.

Under the agreement, participating lenders will offer mortgage-payment forbearance of up to 90 days, allowing borrowers to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments. 

The lenders will also provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for coronavirus-related reasons, with the option for extended relief if hardship persists. Participating financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals for at least 90 days.

Additionally, no new foreclosure sales or eviction proceedings will be commenced for 60 days and all late or missed mortgage payments will not be submitted to the credit reporting agencies for 90 days.
Mandatory Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers - Including Medical Practices

The State Department of Economic and Community Development issued rules outlining protective measures that every workplace in Connecticut, including medical practices, must follow. 
Governor Lamont’s  Executive Order No. 7P  enacts safe housing for healthcare workers and others: 

This order gives the appropriate state officials authority to ensure  safe housing for certain first responder and healthcare workers who need alternative housing , provide for physical distancing in safe and adequate settings for people experiencing homelessness, and meet FEMA requirements to reimburse state efforts in these areas.
New Amendment to Mandatory Connecticut Unemployment Form

The Connecticut Department of Labor just amended the mandatory form every employer must deliver to its employees when they separate from the Company – regardless of the reason.  The key difference is when listing the reason for separation, a new category was added – Leave of Absence.  Given the number of employers who are using furloughs – a forced leave of absence with a promise of a return to work – this change is key and likely a reaction to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The new form and the entire unemployment packet can be found  here .
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Information Sheet: Borrowers

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:

  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made; and
  • Employee and compensation levels are maintained. Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.

What do I need to apply? You will need to complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application and submit the application with the required documentation to an approved lender that is available to process your application by June 30, 2020.

Click  here  for the application.

10 K Disaster Grant: Does Not Impact Qualification for Forgivable Loan) 75% Reserved; File Now!
Do NOT Wait

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to  $10,000 . To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan,

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
Access Health CT extends special enrollment period for uninsured residents to April 17

Access Health CT – Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace – today announced that it is extending the deadline for the new special enrollment period for uninsured residents to enroll in health insurance plans. The special enrollment period opened on March 19 and was originally anticipated to end April 2, however that deadline is now being extended to April 17. Anyone who enrolls during this extension period will receive coverage effective May 1.

The only way to sign up for this special enrollment period is by calling  1-855-365-2428.  Telephone enrollment is available Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Individuals who lose coverage due to unemployment, experience certain other qualifying life events, or qualify for Medicaid/Children’s Health Program (CHIP), can always enroll online, in-person or over the phone and all help is free.

Nearly 1,500 people enrolled during the initial-two week special enrollment period.

New Specimen Collection Codes for Laboratories Billing for COVID-19 Testing

Clinical diagnostic laboratories: To identify and reimburse specimen collection for COVID-19 testing, CMS established two Level II HCPCS codes, effective with line item date of service on or after March 1, 2020:

  • G2023 - Specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), any specimen source
  • G2024 - Specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), from an individual in a skilled nursing facility or by a laboratory on behalf of a home health agency, any specimen source
These codes are billable by clinical diagnostic laboratories.
CMS to Apply MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy In Response to COVID-19, Reopens Application

CMS is offering multiple flexibilities to provide relief to clinicians responding to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition to extending the 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data submission deadline to  April 30, 2020 at 8 PM ET , the MIPS automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy will apply to MIPS eligible clinicians who do not submit their MIPS data by the April 30 deadline.

If you are a MIPS eligible clinician and do not submit any MIPS data by April 30, 2020, you won’t need to take any additional action to qualify for the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy. You will be automatically identified and will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year.  Please note,   CMS has updated the  QPP Participation Status Tool  so eligible clinicians can see if the policy has been automatically applied.

Additional 2019 Relief Measure

We are also  reopening  the  MIPS extreme and uncontrollable circumstances application   for individuals, groups, and virtual groups.  

Who should submit an application?
  • Individual clinicians who started, but are unable to complete, their data submission;
  • Groups that started, but are unable to complete, their data submission; and
  • Virtual groups that are unable to start or complete their data submission.

An  application  submitted between  April 3 and April 30, 2020,  citing COVID-19, will override any previous data submission.

For more information, please see the  Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet .
You can contact the Quality Payment program at  1-866-288-8292 , Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET or by e-mail at: .

Implementing and Expanding Telehealth to Address COVID-19

COVID-19 Billing for Telemedicine Services and Q&A Session

Navigating A Murky Landscape: An Employer’s Guide To Responding To The Challenges of COVID-19

Exiting and Entering Contracts in the Age of Coronavirus

A State Update: How to Operationalize the Connecticut Administration’s Expectation Regarding Elective Cases in ASCs

CT Unemployment and Shared Work Programs

Small Business Loans and Tax Advice

The COVID Crisis: Financial Options and Contract Issues