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Blog COVID-19 in Maryland Health Care

Hogan Designates Disability Support Workers ‘Essential,’ Expands Telehealth

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) issued two emergency orders Wednesday that expand health care services available to Marylanders in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The orders I have issued today help ensure that Marylanders of all ages and abilities can continue receiving essential services throughout this public health crisis,” Hogan said in a statement.

As of Wednesday, Maryland has almost 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — just short of half of the cases reported in the Capital region.

The first of the two orders allows those who work in disability support services to be classified as health care workers under the Families-First Coronavirus Response Act enacted last month.

This designation will provide those who deliver in-home care and social services, among other duties, for disabled Marylanders with the classification of “essential,” allowing them to continue reporting for work under Hogan’s stay-at-home directive.

The governor also issue an executive order Wednesday that will broaden telehealth remote care to include email services during the public health crisis.

This is an expansion of a previous executive order permitting audio-only calls as an acceptable mode of telehealth in Maryland. According to a news release, these services may qualify for Medicaid reimbursement.

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Hogan Designates Disability Support Workers ‘Essential,’ Expands Telehealth