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Governor Hogan enacts emergency orders to expand telehealth, upgrade designation of disabilities services personnel

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday issued two emergency orders to further support Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the expansion of telehealth services and the designation of disabilities services personnel as health care providers.

“As our state faces new and unprecedented challenges, we need to be adaptive, innovative, and inclusive in our response,” said Governor Hogan. “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.”

Earlier today, Maryland reported 1,985 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Maryland Department of Health announced 13 additional deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the state’s total to 31 deaths. As of March 27, Maryland had also reported 53 flu-related deaths so far in 2020.

On Wednesday afternoon, as chairman of the National Governors Association, Governor Hogan will lead a teleconference with the nation’s governors to discuss the states’ response to COVID-19.

Governor Hogan issued an executive order that amends the previous May 20 order regarding telehealth by expanding these services beyond audio-only methods. With this order, healthcare providers may engage in asynchronous telehealth services, such as email, provided that any and all telehealth practices are clinically appropriate, properly documented, and otherwise comply with proper standards of care. These telehealth services are also eligible for reimbursement by Medicaid. Read the amended executive order.

Additionally, Governor Hogan issued an executive order ensuring that workers who provide important support services to the disabled will be treated as health care providers under the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This order officially recognizes the essential function of services for the disabled—including in-home care, interpreting services, social services, and support systems for substance abuse and mental illness—and designates those who provide these services as essential health care providers. Read the executive order.

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