Dear MMHCA members and allies,

The following is information about the latest Executive Orders (EO) that affect LLPCs, LPCs and other licensed mental healthcare providers. The information is up to date as of 9/4/20.

Executive Order 2020-175 replaces EO 2020-97. Its title is “Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19.” In EO 2020-175 under number 9. Healthcare it states “Outpatient health-care facilities…must: (k) Employ telehealth and telemedicine to the greatest extent possible.” It remains the licensed Counselor’s decision if a client cannot be seen via telehealth and must be seen face to face instead, but clearly requires we use telehealth “to the greatest extent possible.” That being said, there are absolutely a variety of legitimate reasons why a client would need to be seen in person. MMHCA does recommend if you are seeing clients in person that you document why the client cannot be met with via telehealth. The rest of section 9. Healthcare in this EO details procedures that must be followed if a client/patient needs to be seen in person. EO 2020-175 was signed 9/3/20 and can be viewed here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/09/03/file_attachments/1535444/EO%202020-175.pdf

Executive Order 2020-177 was also signed 9/3/20. EO 177 extends the State of Emergency to October 1, 2020. https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/09/03/file_attachments/1536731/EO%202020-177%20Emergency%20declaration.pdf

EO 2020-176 replaces EO 160 and 162. Its title is “Safe Start.” The first item in this directive reinforces the directive from the EO it replaces concerning the fact that work that can be done remotely “must” be done remotely. In two regions, 6 and 8 (which are defined on page 10 of the EO) where Covid 19 is under better control, the order says “should” work remotely rather than “must.” EO 2020-176 can be viewed here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/09/03/file_attachments/1535448/EO%202020-176.pdf

EO 2020-153 replaces EO 147. Its title is “Masks” and can be viewed here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/07/17/file_attachments/1498115/EO%202020-153%20Emerg%20order%20-%20Masks%20-%20re-issue.pdf

EO 2020-138 replaces EO 86 and is titled “Encouraging the use of telehealth services during the COVID-19 emergency” and can be viewed here: https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-533221–,00.html

Below are several other links you may find helpful.

You can receive immediate updates from the State of Michigan about new executive orders by going to https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus    Under “press releases” subscribe to “news releases from state emergency operations center”.

The State of Michigan has the following list of resources regarding mental health during Covid-19: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_99557—,00.html

The CDC document “Using Telehealth to Expand Access to Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 pandemic” can be viewed here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/telehealth.html

“As the pandemic continues, healthcare systems must balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and healthcare personnel (HCP).” (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website)

We will do our best to keep you updated and informed.

Best wishes to you always,

MMHCA Public Policy Committee, and MMHCA Leadership Team

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