UK HEALTHCARE COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Updated: September 29, 2020

Patients/Public
Staff
Workforce Readiness Plan
Administrative No-Pay
Benefits & Leave
Providers
Referring Providers
Visitor Restrictions
Screeners


Patients/Public

1) Are there visitation restrictions at UK HealthCare?

Yes, visitor restrictions and point of entry screening of visitors  are regularly updated.

2) How are we screening patients who appear in our clinics?

All clinics and entry points should ask patients and visitors the questions on the IPAC COVID-19 Screening Process document.

3) Are there risks to other patients and visitors who have been at UK HealthCare sites because of the confirmed cases?

Typically, a person would need to be within close contact (6 feet is the standard) of someone who has contracted the virus. UK HealthCare has standard precautions for control of all types of infections.

4) Where are patients that have coronavirus being treated? What part of the hospital should I avoid?

Any patient diagnosed presumptive positive for COVID-19 will be in isolation and will not pose any risk to other patients or their families. The hospital is a safe environment of care.

5) What should I do if I (or someone in my family) feel sick and believe it is COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19, a common cold and influenza are similar.

If you are in the state of Kentucky, please call the state COVID-19 hotline for an evaluation of your symptoms and guidance for your next steps: 800-722-5725.

Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of influenza. Call your health care provider and discuss your symptoms. Stay home and self-isolate if possible. If you feel sick with fever, cough and have difficulty breathing AND you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or have traveled to one of the high-risk areas, make sure your health care provider knows.

     Get expert care at home

UK HealthCare currently offers two ways to see a provider online so you don’t have to leave home.

  • UK TeleCare is for your regularly scheduled primary and specialty care appointments. Individual clinics will be contacting you to transition your in-person visit to a TeleCare visit.
  • UK Urgent TeleCare is available for sudden onset symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion, respiratory difficulties or sore throat. This is similar to visiting an urgent care clinic.

6) What is expected of a person/patient sent home for home isolation?

Infection Prevention & Control has suggested the following handout for patients sent home to await test results on home isolation.

– Patient handout (English) / (Spanish) / (Chinese)

7) We are instructing patients to wear their own mask, and if they don’t we will give them one. What do we do if the patient refuses to wear a mask?
A mask must be worn to enter the premises.

If the patient is in a clinic or presents for an elective procedure, the patient may be rescheduled or the issue presented to the provider to determine whether the patient should be rescheduled. The provider may refuse to see the patient.

If an unmasked patient has made it past the screeners and is in the emergency department or admitted, their refusal to wear a mask should be escalated to the attending physician or provider to determine whether the patient should be discharged if medically stable or whether to continue to treat the patient.

  • If the patient is allowed to remain, the attending physician or provider will advise staff whether any extra precautions should be taken.
  • No visitor will be allowed to remain if the patient refuses to wear a mask.

8) If a patient refuses to wear a mask, and the decision is made to continue to treat the patient, what precautions should staff take?

If due to health reasons the patient is unable to wear the face mask or if the patient refuses, the staff member should don a standard mask, gloves and eye protection for any negative COVID patients. For the positive COVID patients, the staff member should don N95 or PAPR, standard mask over the N95, googles/face shields, gloves, and gown.

9)  If an asymptomatic patient tests positive for COVID-19, how long do you wait to repeat testing in order to ensure two negative results?
Our practice is to retest every four days until we get a negative result. After the first negative, another test can be ordered after 24 hours. If a second negative test result is obtained, the patient is considered recovered.

Staff

10) If you work on the health care campus and are already completing a daily screening for UK HealthCare, do you also need to complete the main campus screening?

At this time you should continue completing the UK HealthCare daily screening survey prior to coming into a UK HealthCare facility, as well as the campus screening if asked to do so.

11) What can I do if a colleague is not wearing a mask? What should I say?

First, assume the best in your colleague.  Like you, they may still be working to build the habit of meeting all health safety protocols.  They may have forgotten to put it on, or not realized they would be around others.  Kind support from colleagues is one of the best ways to help establish new habits.  Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus:

  • Don’t forget your mask!
  • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements. 
  • Remember, we must wear masks over our nose and mouth to prevent spreading COVID-19 and other germs.
  • Covering only the mouth does not offer full protection from infection.
  • Please wear a mask when you come to my office/cubicle.

12) Why have masks been removed from public places? 

In an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), boxes of masks for public use have been removed from public areas and are kept at screening locations or behind the nearest information, registration or nursing desk.  Patients and visitors are encouraged to wear masks to the hospital and clinic, but if they do not, they will be given one.

Masks are given at the public entrance screening stations. Weston Klinksiek in the Office of Patient Experience has signs that explain the missing masks.

13) What are the remote/flexible work options?

UK HealthCare has provided guidance to leaders within the organization on making those decisions. We must ensure clinical operations can continue with minimal interruption to workflow. Even those who do not provide direct patient care are key to supporting our clinical teams and our patients. Talk to your leader about your options.

14) I have a low immune system, what documentation will I need to work from home?

If you have an immunocompromised system and are seeking accommodations due to concerns about possible exposure to COVID-19, you may contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity. You must fill out the ADA Accommodation Form and your provider will fill out the Medical Inquiry Form.

You may also find the forms at https://www.uky.edu/eeo/ada-compliance. Possible accommodations could be working from home, reassignment to an area in which exposure risk is reduced, or approved leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

If leave is the only reasonable accommodation available, you would utilize any accrued time for the preventive measures.

You may view control and prevention guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html. You should also talk with your health care provider for advice on any additional recommended precautions.

15) Can a temporary exception to the telework policy be approved for staff working remote with children home from school?

Yes. The same productivity expectations are in place and when responsibilities shift between work and care commitments, the expectation is that you’ll utilize Kronos appropriately with accurate clocking management to reflect personal/work obligations.

16) If employees that have heart and lung issues cannot do their job at home but stay at home; will they be allowed to use sick time, vacation time, or be paid in another way?

If an employee cannot work at all, our HR Employee Relations team can help employees explore options for leave use. Please call them at (859) 257-8758. If you have an immunocompromised system and are seeking accommodations due to concerns about possible exposure to COVID-19, you may contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity.

17) A person in my household has tested positive for COVID-19. Does that impact my ability to come to work?

If a person living with you has a documented diagnosis of COVID-19, you will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and provide appropriate documents to the IPAC team.

If you are a UK HealthCare employee, the isolation period will not count as an occurrence under UK HealthCare’s Attendance Policy.

18) If I am in isolation, does that count as an occurrence?

No, it does not. If isolation is requested by the health department, it will not be counted as an occurrence.

19) Do employees calling in sick need to report COVID-19 symptoms to their manager? (We currently only report flu-like symptoms.)

The symptoms are similar to flu and can be reported as you report flu-like symptoms. Employees who report an illness, including COVID-19 related, will use sick leave.

20) How should staff request vacation leave? 

Staff who want to take time off should follow the normal process of requesting vacation leave, which is subject to supervisor approval. If the vacation leave is approved, you may be called back to work if a Code Yellow Standby or Code Yellow is activated.

21) Will UK HealthCare require employees to quarantine for 14 days if they travel out of state?

Travel out of state does not requires a 14-day quarantine before an employee can return to work.

Staff members returning from travel out of state must complete the daily employee screening and monitor themselves for symptoms.

Traveling employees who have COVID symptoms
If the employee develops symptoms, their responses to the daily screening will trigger the scheduling of an appointment for drive-thru testing at our Turfland location. See Screening Employees for COVID-19.

Traveling employees without COVID symptoms

As of August 17, employees returning from travel to hotspots – who do not have COVID symptoms – should still schedule a COVID test between day 4 and day 7 following their return. See COVID Testing for Employees Who Have Traveled to Hotspots Begins Aug. 17 for details of how that process will work.

These two groups are tested in different locations, so please read the instructions for the process you should follow.

International travel on university business is still not approved. International travel on personal business will continue to require 14 days of quarantine before the employee can return to work.

22) Are we on code yellow or code yellow standby?  How will it be announced? At what point is a Code Yellow determined?

We are not on Code Yellow or Code Yellow Standby.   If called, it will be announced overhead, posted to CareWeb and communicated widely.

Code yellow status will be determined based on a number of factors, including but not limited to the number of COVID-19 positive patients, COVID-19 positive employees, and the doubling rate of positive test results.

23) In the event we activate a Code Yellow Standby or Code Yellow what does that mean for KY Clinic and Turfland staff?

This event is different than a Code Yellow Standby or Code Yellow event, especially in terms of length of the event and our time to prepare.  Our response will incorporate useful elements of a disaster response, with specific strategies around redeployment and expanded capacity.  If you have skills useful in our plan, you may be asked to redeploy.

24) Is there a plan for your PRN employees who have been working full-time for over year but don’t qualify for things like sick leave yet? 

PRN employees do not accrue sick leave.

25) What is the status of UK HealthCare volunteers?

All UK HealthCare volunteers have been suspended until further notice.

26) Will we continue in-person classes and events such as orientation, residency, quarterly sessions, etc.?

UK HealthCare New Employee and Provider Orientations have been made available online to support social distancing when possible, along with the quarterly sessions.  Certain certification classes required as part of your competencies will still be required where they cannot be delivered virtually.  Precautions will be taken to locate locations to allow for social distancing as much as possible.  If other events that are still in-person are changed to remote, those participants will be notified and announcements made.

27) Are we cohorting COVID-19 patients?

Yes.

28) What are we telling our patients?

Please see UK HealthCare’s website for updated information for patients and the public.

For more information:

State COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-722-5725 Updates: www.kycovid19.ky.gov

Lexington Coronavirus – COVID-19 Page: https://www.lexingtonky.gov/coronavirus-response

29) What do I tell colleagues and friends that ask about patients with COVID-19?

Standard HIPAA Privacy Rules and UK HealthCare Privacy policies still apply to all UK HealthCare staff. Privacy staff monitor and audit medical record accesses on any affected patients. Additionally, our privacy staff monitor any reports of social media disclosures regarding patients. Providers and staff should continue to use good patient privacy practices during a time when there are patients of high media interest.

If you have any questions about what is permitted regarding patient privacy, you can call Corporate Compliance at 859-323-8002 or email Richard Chapman at Richard.chapman@uky.edu.

30) Do we have traveler contracts?

Traveler contracts have been reinstated in order to address current vacancies and increase acuity/volume of patients.

31) Do per diem and STEPS employees receive any guaranteed paid hours until April 25?

No, there’s no guarantee of hours for per diem or STEPS positions, consistent with our normal practice.

32) Does the federal emergency Family Medical Leave Extension Act apply to UK HealthCare and Eastern State Hospital/Central Kentucky Recovery Center employees?

No, the regulation provides an exclusion for health care workers and first responders. All UK HealthCare employees (PA1500), including clinical providers/faculty and advanced practice providers and Eastern State Hospital/Central Kentucky Recovery Center employees are excluded.

 

UK Human Resources and Employee Information
https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/faqs

 

Workforce Readiness Plan

33) If staff are deployed to other areas-will their work hours be the same? 

The UK HealthCare Mass Casualty Response Policy (Code Yellow) and the Plan B Staffing During University Emergencies Policy allow for staffing decisions necessary to support the disaster response.  This would be addressed on a case-by-case basis and would be driven by the need, which could be at varied times of the day and different shifts to maintain all necessary operations.

34) How will this impact those employees with light duty assignments currently?  Will they be replaced with redeployed personnel?

UK HealthCare employees in light duty assignments will continue unless there is insufficient work. If there is insufficient work, the employee should report back to the UK light duty coordinator at 859-218-3260.

35) If a bedside nurse is pregnant, can they be reassigned to not take COVID patients? How can they be protected? 

While pregnancy is not a disability requiring accommodation, UK HealthCare leadership has determined that pregnant workers should not be assigned to take care of COVID-19 patients or patients under investigation (PUI) for COVID if possible. You will work with your manager or the Redeployment Center to find a role for you.

36) In a surge, do you foresee reallocating staff from non-clinical UK roles to bedside care if they have a clinical license?

Redeployment to a clinical role is a possibility.

37) If you are a pediatric RN will you be “re-deployed” to adult areas or remain within job duties of KCH?

The decision to redeploy staff is based on census within the unit. During times of low census in Kentucky Children’s Hospital, you may be asked to redeploy to an adult unit to participate in a team nursing model of care.

38) If you are an ambulatory RN who has not worked in a hospital environment for over 20 years, will there be deployment roles available for us that do not involve bedside care?

We have many roles that do not involve bedside care. If you are redeployed to bedside care, you will be in a company of providers and nurses and will train as a team. You will be given a role and sufficient training to be successful.

39) Will exceptions be made for redeployment for employees who have small, documented immunocompromised children at home?

While having immunocompromised family members does not qualify as a condition for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may work with your direct supervisor related to any safety concerns and/or other work opportunities.

40) I have full-time work to do, why can’t people who are “working from home” staff screening positions?

Staff working from home may be redeployed if the volume of work in their unit indicates they may be more useful elsewhere. Staffing a screening location is one place that redeployed staff may be used. Staff on administrative no pay may be recalled for a redeployment opportunity.

41) Will employees with chronic medical conditions or advanced age be asked to care for COVID-19 patients?

If possible, UK HealthCare leadership will not assign those considered high-risk to take care of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or under investigation as a COVID patient.

42) Can nursing students who are employees and are getting ready to graduate be used in clinical settings?

We are investigating how best we may use those with clinical training during this pandemic. We will not ask you to work beyond your provisional license, skillset or training, but there are many support roles required for clinical settings. Most likely you will be part of our team nursing model of care with an assigned preceptor to provide support to you in your practice.

43) What constitutes my refusal of work?

If you are being redeployed, you will be contacted with an assignment.  If you refuse this assignment, you may be offered a second (different) assignment if one is available. If you refuse the second assignment, this constitutes refusing two redeployments.

44) If we are salaried and called back to the bedside, how will the pay be handled?

If an employee is redeployed to another position, the employee will continue to receive their current rate of pay and benefits. Shifts will be organized to enable sufficient rest for all direct care providers to the greatest degree possible. Overtime and shift differentials will not be paid to salaried employees. Salaried staff will not be paid more than their normal bi-weekly salary.

Administrative No-Pay

45) What does administrative no-pay mean?

Administrative no-pay status is a temporary unpaid leave. Employees placed into this leave remain employees of the university. However, employees do not work during this leave and as such will not receive pay for work hours. Employees on administrative no pay can be called back to work for a redeployment opportunity.

46) How long will I be in a no-pay status?

The decision to place an employee in the no-pay status is based on how much work is available. Should the work situation change, you may be called back to work prior to the anticipated end date of your administrative no-pay status listed on your notification letter. Your supervisor will contact you if that happens.

47) I know I can’t work while in administrative no-pay status, but can I still use my university email?

Yes. While you are in this unpaid leave, you should not respond to any work-related emails or calls. However, we know many employees use their work email addresses for many things that are important to them. We also would like to make sure you get university updates during this time. Turn on your out-of-office auto reply while on administrative no pay status.

48) Is there anything I can do to keep getting paid?

Yes.  Employees may choose to use available vacation, holiday or bonus day leave. You may also use the new well-being days (deducted from TDL sick leave bank). Employees in an administrative no-pay status will still continue to earn additional vacation and sick leave, just as they normally would.

49) How can I find out how much leave I have available?

You can look in myUK employee self service to see your current balances. HR Employee Relations can also help you determine how much leave you have available if you’d prefer to talk to someone. The contact number for HR Employee Relations is 859-257-8758.

50) Where can I obtain information about unemployment insurance?

Please go to Tip Sheet on Unemployment Insurance  to see information on unemployment insurance. Keep in mind:

  • A supervisor does not have the authority to tell an employee they will get unemployment benefits.
  • A supervisor cannot tell an employee how much they will get in unemployment insurance benefits.
  • There may be unknown factors, such as previous employment, past state unemployment insurance overpayments to the employee, or a past fraudulent claim. For example, an employee may not have worked long enough to be eligible for unemployment insurance, so supervisors should not tell employees they are eligible.

51) Is unemployment insurance impacted if I return to work while on administrative no-pay status?

You will need to report your hours worked to the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance. The best website to learn more about reporting hours worked is http://www.kewes.ky.gov.

52) Can I work a few days per week and be on administrative no-pay for the remainder of the week?

Salaried/exempt employees must be on administrative no-pay for a full week consecutively per Department of Labor guidelines. Hourly/non-exempt employees can have less than a full week on administrative no-pay.

53) May employees apply for unemployment if they have reduced hours of work?

Yes, employees working at reduced hours may apply for unemployment.

54) Are there other resources or help for me from a financial support perspective?

Yes. The HR unemployment site https://www.uky.edu/hr/hr-home/unemployment/about-unemployment-office includes the section Other Benefits for Families in Crisis.

55) What if I want to drop some benefits for a while? Can I do that?

Yes. If you are considering ending any coverage, we strongly encourage you to contact HR Employee Benefits at 859-257-9519, option 3, to discuss your unique circumstances and needs so you can make an informed decision. If you end benefits during administrative no pay and want to begin benefits when you return to work, you can re-enroll in your plans when you move back into paid status effective your first day back to work.

56) Are there other community resources I should know about?

Everyone’s circumstances are unique. Here are some resources to consider.

57) Are there resources to help me process this information?

Yes. Our team of counsellors with Work+Life Connections offer individual counselling. This is a free, confidential benefit that is always available to University employees. https://www.uky.edu/hr/work-life/counseling/worklife-connections-counseling

58) How is my parking pass handled when I’m on administrative no-pay?

Payroll deduction for parking will be suspended without the employee having to turn in their permitIf you are in full administrative no-pay status in May, June or July, you will not be charged for the permit while on administrative no-pay status. When you return to work, notify Transportation Services to reinstate payroll deduction for your parking permit. See this link for more information.

59) Can I be placed on administrative no-pay when I have an ADA accommodation?

An ADA accommodation should not be used as a factor when making operational decisions for a unit.   With the current low census, the employee is reviewed by the same criteria as all other employees within the unit/department.

60) What will happen to my benefits if I am in an administrative no pay status after refusing two redeployment job alternatives?

Your benefits will continue for 90 days, or when the administrative no pay status ends, whichever comes first. You will continue to receive the employer credit toward the cost of your health insurance and basic life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance plans.

The employee portion of your health, dental, vision, optional life insurance, dependent life insurance and flexible spending and health spending accounts will be billed to you directly. You may opt to have these premiums pulled from your checking or savings account.

Work refusal is reported to the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance and may impact these benefits.

Example:

Joe moves to administrative no pay on May 12, which continues 90 days to August 11. Joe’s benefits coverage continues through August 31 if he pays the employee portion of the premium.

61) Will a STEPS employee have to complete an I-9 and pre-employment screening in order to return to work?

Currently for the I-9, an individual can be separated for up to one year without having to complete a new I-9, assuming the individual is an American citizen. If the individual was separated for less than one year, a pre-employment screening will not be required.

62) If UK HealthCare does not have work for everyone, how is it decided which employees get redeployed and which ones go into administrative no-pay status?

Your manager determines which employees require redeployment based on work required in the department, skill set and seniority/years of service. Seniority is based on the regular service date at UK.

63) How can you rotate staff into administrative no-pay by seniority?

Least senior staff are rotated into administrative no-pay for a period first and most senior staff rotated into administrative no-pay last.  All staff need to be planned to be on administrative no-pay for equal periods of time.

64) When volumes increase again, will all employees need to be called back at the same time?

Employees should be called back based on the operational needs of the unit. All employees do not need to be called back simultaneously but they do need to be called back based on seniority. The most senior people on administrative no-pay will need to be called back first based on the skill sets needed to fulfill operation need.

65) Prior to April 8, if I received administrative no pay due to low census, do I get paid for those hours?

No, the commitment to full base pay for hours worked extends from April 8 to 25 for regular staff. After April 8, call off due to low census still applies as per standard operations for direct care providers.

 

Benefits & Leave

66) What if Infection Prevention and Control decides an employee working with a COVID-positive employee/patient needs to be quarantined?

  • If the employee can work from home, that is permissible.
  • If IPAC determines an employee is positive for COVID-19 and was exposed at work, UK HealthCare will use a special COVID code, “Incident Command,” to pay for any shifts scheduled during the time of exposure. The manager will make this selection in Kronos. This will pay the employee their base hourly rate, no differentials. The employee should contact Worker’s Care to determine eligibility for worker’s compensation if they become positive.
  • The absence is excused and does not count as an attendance occurrence.
  • The employee can return to regular work after the quarantine period; however, that period is defined by IPAC, provided the team member is asymptomatic. The local health department or IPAC – whichever required the quarantine – will provide a quarantine release letter that identifies the length of the quarantine period.

67) What actions should be taken if an employee who was sent home on quarantine due to an internal exposure to a COVID-positive employee/patient becomes COVID-positive also?

  • Notify Infection Prevention and Control.
  • For employees who have gone through IPAC and are determined to be positive for COVID and were exposed at work, UK HealthCare will use a special COVID code, “Incident Command,” to pay for any shifts scheduled during the time of exposure. The manager will make this selection in Kronos. This will pay the employee their base hourly rate, no differentials. The employee should also contact Worker’s Care to determine eligibility for worker’s compensation.
  • The absence is excused and does not count as an attendance occurrence.
  • The employee cannot return to work until they are released from quarantine by their local health department via a quarantine release letter.

68) If an employee is COVID-positive from an external or undetermined source, is the absence considered unexcused?

  • If Infection Prevention and Control determines the employee was not exposed at work, but was instead exposed externally, then the employee’s own leave time should be utilized.
  • The absence is excused and does not count as an attendance occurrence.
  • The employee should be sent a Family and Medical Leave Act notification letter. The normal FMLA protocol will be followed.
  • The employee cannot return to work until they are released from quarantine by their local health department.

69) If an employee is sent home on quarantine by Infection Prevention and Control from an external exposure, does the absence count as unexcused if they cannot work from home?

  • If IPAC determines they were not exposed at work, but instead were exposed externally, then the employee’s own leave time should be utilized.
  • If quarantined by their local health department, the absence is excused and does not count as an attendance occurrence.
  • If an employee reports symptoms and is not quarantined by their local health department, the absence is unexcused and will count as an attendance occurrence.
  • The employee can return to regular work after the quarantine period, the period of time defined by IPAC, provided the team member is asymptomatic.

70) Will staff qualify for unemployment if they are quarantined at home and not being paid?

  • Please refer to the information posted under the FAQs on the COVID site, such as the Tip Sheet on Unemployment Insurance .
  • A supervisor does not have the authority to tell an employee they will get unemployment benefits.
  • A supervisor cannot tell an employee how much they will get in unemployment insurance benefits.
  • There may be unknown factors, such as previous employment, past state unemployment insurance overpayments to the employee, etc. For example, an employee may not have worked long enough to be eligible for unemployment insurance.

71) How are my UK health benefits impacted while I’m on administrative no-pay status?

Up to 90 calendar days from the beginning of administrative no-pay status, UK will pay the employee and employer portion of the health insurance premium. During this period, UK is paying the total cost for medical insurance (UK portion + employee portion), with some important caveats:

  • Salaried/exempt employees must be on administrative no-pay for minimum of a full week consecutively per Department of Labor guidelines.
  • You must be on administrative no-pay for the entire pay period. You cannot receive any pay during the pay period if you want UK to pay your portion of the health insurance benefit. This means you cannot use any holidays, bonus days, well-being days, or vacation leave during the pay period.
  • The 90 calendar day period begins with the first hour of administrative no-pay, and is continuous from that point regardless of leave used or work rotation.

The diagram below shows how the UK health insurance benefit would be paid for an employee with the UK PPO single plan (employee portion is $16.50 per pay period), rotating two weeks on administrative no-pay and two weeks working full time (or using any type of paid leave):

Benefits such as dental, vision, optional life insurance, dependent life insurance and flexible spending and health spending accounts will be billed to your UK email address. Voluntary benefits such as Cancer Specified Disease, MetLaw Legal Services, auto and home, Universal Life, and others will be billed directly to your home address from the vendor, and you will need to continue to make a timely payment in order to continue your benefit. If your payment is not received within 30 days of the payment due date, your plan will be canceled. You can call MPM Group at 859-223-4973.

72) What will happen to my voluntary benefits (legal services, universal life insurance, short-term disability insurance, cancer/specified disease, accident, auto/home, pet insurance) if I am in an administrative no pay status?

You may continue your voluntary benefits.  All voluntary benefits will be directly billed to your home address from MPM Group, and you will need to continue to make a timely payment in order to continue your benefit. If your payment is not received within 30 days of the payment due date, your plan will be canceled. You can call MPM Group at 859-223-4973.

73) What about my other employee benefits like dental and vision insurance?

If you are enrolled in additional voluntary benefits such as dental, vision, or other, you will still be responsible for making those payments. You can see how much those payments are by looking at a recent pay stub in myUK employee self-service on your recent pay statement. HR Employee Benefits can also help you understand those costs and help you make a plan on how to pay them, should you want to continue to have them. HR Benefits can be reached at 859-257-9519, option 3.

74) If I am moved to an administrative no pay status, can I end benefit plans?

Yes, you may end your health, dental or vision coverage due to a no pay status and re-enroll during open enrollment to be effective July 1. You may reduce or end your optional life insurance and dependent or spouse life insurance, but increasing or re-enrolling in this coverage may be subject to completing medical evidence of insurability information. This information is required and approved by the life insurance carrier.

You may end your health, dental or vision coverage due to a no pay status and re-enroll during open enrollment to be effective July 1. You may reduce or end your optional life insurance and dependent or spouse life insurance, but increasing or re-enrolling in this coverage may be subject to completing medical evidence of insurability information. This information is required and approved by the life insurance carrier.

75) I heard there were temporary changes to my UK health insurance during COVID-19. What are these changes?

Two changes are in effect from March 19 to September 30, 2020 – COVID-19 testing and Telehealth visits:

COVID-19

The UK Employee Health plans have agreed to follow the federal mandate to waive the member’s cost share, including co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles, for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19, as well as for the in-network visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether it takes place at the doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency department. If the provider orders a COVID-19 test, it is deemed as medically necessary and therefore covered at no cost share to the member.

If patients are seen in the office for anything other than testing of COVID-19, member responsibilities will continue to be applied (i.e. co-pay, co-insurance, deductible), as long as the services are covered benefits.

Telehealth visits

Telehealth visits have no member responsibilities (i.e. co-pay, co-insurance, deductible) for UK Employee Health plan covered employees, as long as the service is a covered benefit from March 19 to September 30, 2020.

Telehealth services for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy are being covered on any of the UK HealthCare employee plans.  There is no member responsibility during this COVID-19 period of March 19 to September 30, 2020.  Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy visits do not count towards member visit limits.  No authorizations are required for telehealth Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy.

If you are seen in the office for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy current requirements must be performed (authorizations if needed) and member responsibilities will be required.

76) Can employees extend accrued leave that is subject to expire?

If a Code Yellow Standby or Code Yellow is called, salaried/exempt employees unable to take vacation would be able to request an extension to April 1, 2021. In accordance with UKHC policy for subject-to-loss vacation leave, payout up to two weeks is available for non-exempt employees in personnel area 1500 (UK HealthCare). Payout is not available to salaried/exempt employees. Accrued vacation leave expires September 30, 2020. Accrued holidays, bonus days or wellbeing days, expire June 30, 2021.

77) Can staff use accrued vacation leave up until a Code Yellow is called, with the expectation they can be called in when we go into Code Yellow?

Currently, you would need to request vacation leave (for personal or professional reasons), which is subject to supervisor approval. During our Code Yellow Standby and eventual Code Yellow, no vacation leave will be approved. All critical personnel shall be available during this time. If employees are unable to take vacation, accrued vacation will be extended through to April 1, 2021, or for non-exempt employees, up to two weeks paid out at the employee’s request. Vacation pay-out can also occur in the usual November time frame.

78) How does this affect pre-approved vacations?

Your supervisor will likely honor pre-approved vacation, unless a Code Yellow Standby or Code Yellow is activated and you are called back to work.

79) Can I extend my accrued bonus and holidays if I am unable to take them by June 30, 2021?

Accrued holidays, bonus days and well-being days cannot be extended beyond June 30, 2020.

80) Do I have to use my vacation leave before going onto administrative no-pay status?

You don’t have to use accrued vacation leave before going onto administrative no-pay status. However, please keep in mind:

  • Accrued holidays, bonus days and wellbeing days cannot be extended beyond June 30. If you don’t use these days you will lose them July 1.
  • If you have any vacation leave expiring on June 30, you need to use this leave prior to July 1.
  • Employees on administrative no-pay will still receive the holidays. If you are faced with an administrative no-pay situation, you should at a minimum, use any holiday balances remaining by June 30 to ensure they do not expire.

81) Can I apply for unemployment if I choose not to use my vacation leave and just go straight to administrative no-pay?

Yes, you may apply for unemployment if you’ve experienced any reduction in worked hours.

82) If I’m going on Family Medical Leave (FML) for pregnancy or other medical situation should I be placed on FML or administrative no-pay?

Employees qualifying for FML should contact the FML Coordinator at (859) 323-0256 or (859) 323-4259 to apply and get more information on the correct leave to use.

83) I am a PRN employee with reduced or no worked hours. How is my UK health benefit plan impacted?

If you are currently on a UK benefit plan your benefits will continue for up to 90 calendar days or until you return to work. You will be direct billed for your portion of the health benefit premium if you have no worked hours in a pay period. For more information contact HR Benefits at (859) 257-9519.

84) I am a STEPS employee with reduced or no worked hours. How is my UK health benefit plan impacted?

If you’re still working a minimum of 30 hours per week, your UK benefits will continue until your hours have been officially modified to less than 30 hours/week or you are separated. Upon separation from UK:

  • You’ll be offered COBRA
  • If  you’re a retiree working on a post-retirement appointment, you will be billed  directly for your retiree health plan
  • If you’re age 65 or older you may apply for Medicare
  • If you’re under age 65 you could also explore Medicaid or pursue an individual plan in the marketplace.

You may apply for unemployment if you experience any loss of worked hours. For more information contact HR Benefits at (859) 257-9519 or the STEPS Office at 257-9561.

85) Will the university still contribute to my retirement plan? Will I still need contribute?

Retirement contributions are based on a percentage of pay. If you use available leave, the contributions (yours and the university’s) would be based on the amount of paid leave you use. If you do not receive any pay, no contributions would be made.

86) I’m retiring soon and I’m designated for administrative no-pay status. Will my retirement be impacted in any way?

Being on administrative no-pay status will not impact your eligibility to retire. Contact a retirement officer in HR Benefits at  (859)257-9519, option 3 to get more information about the impact on your retirement contributions.

87) What happens if I’m on Family Medical Leave (FML) at the beginning of or during administrative no-pay status?

You would begin by using accrued sick leave and then move into accrued holiday leave, bonus days, and vacation leave. After the employee returns to work from FML, administrative no-pay could be considered.

88) Are there child care options for UK HealthCare workers?

UK HealthCare’s goal during this state of emergency is to ensure continued health care operations and to support our team and their families. We understand that the care of your children is of the utmost importance and sensitivity. We are working closely with UK Human Resources to discover and/or create options for parents who will need some support while their children are not attending school.

View child care support for updated information.

89) How will isolation be handled for faculty? Will they receive paid leave?

The Provost’s memo of November 2019 offers full-time faculty paid sick leave for documented illness or upon order of self-isolation or quarantine. Please see the Provost’s memo at A November 2019 memo from Provost David Blackwell.

90) I’m currently using the Employee Education Program or the Family Education Program. Can I continue to use those programs?

Yes. You still qualify for those programs. For more information contact the Employee Education Program and Family Education Program Coordinator at 257-8772.

Providers

91) What if a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 leaves against medical advice?

We will report that to the Kentucky Department of Public Health.

92) What if a patient who meets the clinical indications refuses COVID-19 testing?

If a patient refuses testing, we cannot make them take the test. However, we will report them to KDPH.

 

Referring Providers

93) Have we been, or will we be, in contact with the hospitals in the state to balance and distribute patients, taking into account severity of illness?
We have discussed with area providers the creation of a regional call center – Regional Operations Center for Kentucky (ROCK) – that has four defined goals:

  • Goal 1: UK HealthCare, Baptist Health, CHI St. Joseph Health, and Lexington VA Medical Center to form a unified bed operations call center to manage patient flow during the COVID-19 state of emergency
  • Goal 2: Triage patients to the appropriate location based on level of care and subspecialty coverage to optimize Lexington community hospital resources
  • Goal 3: Serve as the regional coordinator for the Bluegrass region and tertiary areas of the state
  • Goal 4: Act as a network for providers to share protocols and treatment plans as the situation evolves

94) Will we be able to defer a COVID-19 patient to another hospital, Baptist or CHI, if we have 50 and they have a very small number of COVID-19 patients in order to utilize resources more equitably?
Utilizing the tools as resources that will be part of the Regional Operations Center for Kentucky (ROCK), when activated, we will be able to assess and distribute patients appropriately based on availability of COVID-19 ICU beds.

95) Since Kentucky numbers are lower than in surrounding states, are we concerned about an influx from other states?
The Regional Operations Center for Kentucky (ROCK), when activated, will allow us to assess and evaluate all requested transfers for COVID-19 patients and place them in the appropriate facility based on bed availability.

96) As the third largest transfer center/hospital in the country, do our COVID-19 models take into account the patients we will get from Tennessee, West Virginia and small area hospitals? Will/can our “never refuse an ICU transfer” policy remain in place?
This question is answered in the guidelines that were developed for referring providers early on when COVID-19 was first identified in Kentucky. UK HealthCare temporarily suspended our auto-accept policy for internal medicine. Read the guidelines.

97) The current plan for admission of patients from outside hospitals is updated as follows:

A. UK HealthCare admission criteria remains unchanged; patients should not be sent to UKHC for COVID-19 testing unless they have medical needs that cannot be met at the outside hospital.

B. Patients do not require hospitalization for COVID-19 symptoms nor for viral testing. If the patient’s symptoms are mild, the patient should be instructed to return home and call their primary care provider if their symptoms worsen.

C. UKHC is only requesting testing for patients admitted to the hospital who are over the age of 10, patients scheduled for surgery or an outpatient procedure, or patients with known exposures or symptoms.

Visitor Restrictions

98) How should we handle customers coming to pick up medication prescriptions? 

Individuals picking up prescriptions should be screened and allowed to get their prescriptions and leave the hospital as soon as their medications are secured.  They cannot go to any other location in the hospital.

99) What if family members want to pick up belongings of a patient who has passed away? 

The hand-off of belongings must be coordinated by the unit where the patient transitioned. Typically, family members take patient belongings home once the patient transitions. If a family member is not present, the belongings are sent to the morgue with the patient and handed off to the funeral home to give to the family.

100) What if someone wants to drop off belongings to a loved one?

Belongings can be dropped off at any of the staffed Information Desks. Belongings must be properly labelled with the patient’s full name. If the Visitor wants to take the belongings to the patient, then they will be appropriately screened.

101) Is the belongings drop off process different for known positive patients? Do these belongings need to be double bagged when received by UK HealthCare staff?

For any known positive patient, staff should place the belongings brought in by families in a Hospital Patient Belongings bag before taking to the patient.

102) What is the process used for accessing medical records? 

In-person medical record requests, including test results, have been suspended. Requests for medical records received by fax or email will continue to be processed. Health Information Management is working to make sure records are received in a timely manner.  Patients may request copies of their medical records via the UK HealthCare websiteOR by calling 859-300-8110.

103) What is the visitation policy for surgical/procedural patients?

One designated Visitor will be allowed to accompany adult patients entering hospitals for surgery or other invasive procedures after being screened. For pediatric patients, one or two parents/guardians are allowed to accompany the patient. The visitor(s) should restrict their location to an approved waiting room with appropriate social distancing and keep their mask on. Masks should be worn by visitors in patient rooms at all times. If the waiting room cannot safely accommodate social distancing, the hospital will provide the visitor(s) with an alternative plan.

104) What areas are exempt from the new visitation guidelines?

The following areas are not allowing any visitation due to their high risk/more susceptible patient population

  • Pav A 11-200 floor
  • Pav A 10 Floor
  • Pre-Op/PACU (Exceptions might be made for peds patients)

105) Are we allowing one family member to leave and another come visit or just the one person stay the entire day?

We are strongly encouraging all areas to establish a “Partner in Care” for their patients, and limit the number of visitors.

106) Are we allowing visitors to spend the night in the patient’s room or do they need to be approved?

One designated care-giver also referred to as “Partner in Care” can stay overnight.

107) Are obstetric COVID-positive/results-pending patients allowed to have their ‘partner in care’ with them during their inpatient stay?

 Yes, but they must comply with rules stated below:

  1. OB COVID-positive patients will be allowed a “partner in care” to accompany the patient but will be REQUIRED to wear the proper PPE (including gown and mask) and stay in the room the entire time. UK HealthCare will supply the proper PPE. The patient’s nurse will call Food Service to get meal trays for the approved “partner in care.”
  2. OB patients pending COVID results will be allowed a “partner in care” to accompany the patient. The “partner in care” is REQUIRED to wear a mask at all times.
  3. OB patients refusing COVID testing will be allowed a “partner in care” to accompany the patient. The “partner in care” is REQUIRED to wear a mask at all times.
  4. Any “partner in care” showing signs of COVID-19 or with a positive COVID-19 test result will be allowed to accompany the OB patient BUT encouraged to go home for the safety of the patient and baby. The “partner in care” will be REQUIRED to wear proper PPE (including a gown and mask) and stay in the room the entire time. The patient’s nurse will call Food Service to get meal trays for the approved “partner in care.”

108) Are we allowing patients to go outside with the new changes?

No this has not changed.  We are still discouraging patients or visitors from going outside.

109) Do we have a flyer with all the new information on visitation changes?

Marketing is currently creating these.  Until then the updated information is on the UKHC website.

110) What are the food options for visitors?

At Chandler Hospital, grab-and-go meal options are available for purchase in the hospital cafe or other designated areas for visitors.

Chandler Hospital – Monday – Friday 
Courtyard Café (Ground Floor, Pavilion A)
8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (After 5:30 – Chandler Dining)

Chandler Hospital – Saturday & Sunday

Chandler Dining (First Floor, Pavilion A)
Breakfast: 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dinner: 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Good Samaritan Hospital

At Good Samaritan Hospital, visitors should be encouraged to take advantage of carry-out options from nearby local restaurants. Visitors will also have access to the cafeteria.

Signage is in place in all areas where food can be purchased to inform visitors of social distancing requirements. Visitors are encouraged to buy their food and leave the common areas to consume their food in the patient’s room when possible. The visitor’s mask should be replaced as soon as possible.

Screeners

111) Am I screening everyone who comes by my table?

Yes, unless an employee has completed the screening survey prior to arrival.

112) What is the process for Spanish-speaking visitors?

Each screening location is equipped with iPads that have language services apps that can be used to communicate with non-English speaking visitors.

113) What should we do with a patient who is going to the Emergency Department? 

Screen the patient and then direct and/or escort the patient and no more than one accompanying person to the main entrance of the Emergency Department. Give the patient a mask, if available, and ask them to wear it.

114) What should we do with a visitor is going to the Emergency Department?

Screen the visitor and direct them to the front entrance of the Emergency Department. If the visitor fails the screening, they should be asked to leave the premises.

115) What should be done if the visitor fails to stop and by-passes the screening station?

Notify Security at 323-6156. State the location and a description of the visitor.