The CDC frequently provides update on the most recent information scientists have learned about Carona Virus that causes COVID-19 disease. They also provide scientifically based ways to keep yourself and your family safe during the outbreak. Please visit the CDC website to stay informed.

The CDC also provides tips for handwashing, disinfecting your home, and use of masks.

The Louisiana Dept. of Health provides data specifically related to COVID-19 in Louisiana. This includes updated information about the number of cases and suggestions for steps the public can take to maintain safety.

The American Psychological Association has a COVID-19 Information and Resources page, which is continually updated by APA for psychologists, health-care workers and the public.

Staying update is important, but too much media exposure can cause undue stress and anxiety. Here you can find tips for Coping with Anxiety around Coronavirus Coverage.

Most of all, remember that the current situation is temporary. Here is an article highlighting some ways that we can navigate the situation with wellness in mind.

The VA National Center for PTSD includes information sheets on managing stress for the public, for providers, for health care workers and for community leaders.

Talking to Kids about Coronavirus and COVID-19 is a helpful strategy. Kids and adolescents are often much more fearful of what they don’t know and it is better to explain even difficult concepts than to leave them in the dark. Always make sure to explain things at an age-appropriate level and give them opportunities to ask questions. Here are some tips for discussing COVID-19.

There are also tips for talking to very young children about the coronavirus by Zero to Three.

Here are some tips from Dr. Anna Long, a school psychology professor at LSU, about helping kids manage stress around COVID-19.

Keeping children’s minds and bodies active is also important at a time when there are more limited options. Here are some Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents.

The COVID Trauma Response Working Group has resources and advice for:

• Sustaining staff wellbeing in critical care
• COVID-19 & Mindfulness: Resources for Health & Care Staff
• Looking after doctors’ mental wellbeing
• Managing healthcare workers stress associated with the COVID-19, and
• Psychological First Aid among a number of others.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges also has many resources, with particular guidance on Managing stress and burnout and Staying Safe & Well: A Self Care Guide for Staff looking after patients with Coronavirus, which both address needs of healthcare staff directly.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has opened its telehealth content to everyone, including content which is usually only available to APA members. They have multiple webinars available free of charge, guidelines for the practice of telehealth psychology, and resources for managing stress during the COVID-19 crisis.

APA Telepsychology webpage
Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology
Guidance on Psychological Tele Assessment
Tips for Connecting with Children and Adolescents Via Telehealth

Choosing a Platform:

Guidelines on Choosing Telepsychology Platforms
• The following link compares several different platforms
• Here is a list of Telepsychology Platforms Our Colleagues Are Using in Louisiana: Zoom for Healthcare, Doxy.me,
Vsee, thera-LINK, Simple Practice

Information on Tele Psychological Assessment

Latest Updates for CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) telehealth policies and Billing Information
(Updated April 6, 2020):

CMS is temporarily waiving key tele health requirements to allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive services from their homes with fewer restrictions. This link includes the current current guidelines and billing codes. Information is also included regarding when audio only sessions can be billed and the codes to use.

Accelerated or Advanced Payments for Medicare Providers: CMS has announced that it will provide accelerated and advance payments for Medicare participating providers. Accelerated and advance Medicare payments provide emergency funding and address cash flow issues based on historical payments when there is disruption in claims submission and/or claims processing. Medicare will start accepting and processing these payment requests immediately. CMS anticipates that the payments will be issued within seven days of the provider’s request. An informational fact  sheet on the accelerated/advance payment process and how to submit a request can be found here.

Commercial Insurance Company Policy/Billing Information:

Aetna
Blue Cross of Louisiana Telehealth Policies during COVID 19
Beacon Health
Humana
Magellan Behavioral Health
United Health Care
United Behavioral Health/Optum

APA has developed guidance and resources about small business loans that psychologists may qualify for under the CARES act. APA has a new Practice Information Hub that provides current and updated information on a myriad of topics that may be of value to psychologists. The APA’s new Practice Information Hub website provides detailed information on the following programs:

• SBA loan assistance under the CARES Act.
• Paycheck Protection Program
• Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
• SBA Express Bridge Loan
• Small Business Debt Relief Program