COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the waivers announced by the Trump administration on March 13 in effect for all states, even if the State of Montana did not submit a waiver request of its own?


This afternoon the American Hospital Association submitted the attached blanket waiver request to HHS. Please review and share any feedback to MHA. Several states have sent individual waiver requests to CMS. MHA has prepared a draft waiver request (attached) and shared its contents with DPHHS as the agency prepares its waiver request. Where there is alignment we can submit a joint waiver request. If there are outstanding items that require MHA to pursue, we will do so. On today’s CMS call, MHA requested clarification that the blanket waivers contained in the President’s declaration were operative. CMS confirmed that the blanket waivers are in place in all 50 states and territories.

-Rich Rasmussen, President/CEO, MHA

TAGS: Waivers

Q: What resources exist to address workforce shortages, should nurses and other clinical staff with confirmed COVID-19 cases be required to quarantine themselves?



There are three things every MHA member should do to increase staffing options, should your workforce experience confirmed cases of COVID-19:

  1. MHA Ventures has developed workforce solutions in partnership with Company X and Company Y. Read more about them here.
  2. Sign the revised Montana Hospital Mutual Aid System agreement.
  3. Explore and implement cross-training recommendations. At Prairie Community Hospital in Terry, staff have begun to prepare by identifying essential but non-clinical activities that can be delegated to a non-clinical support person. PCH staff have developed competencies for the non-clinical support person. These competencies are trained and tested by the Director of Nursing, or DON designee. Read the message from PCH and review their competencies list for the role here.

-Heather O’Hara, VP, MHA

TAGS: Workforce, Staff Shortages, Mutual Aid

Q: How are facilities planning and implementing drive-thru testing locations? Is the State planning to stand up additional testing sites?


Hospital systems like ABC and XYZ have shared their planning documents for setting up drive-through testing sites. You can view them in MHA’s COVID-19 Resource Library Dropbox folder. Keep in mind that every state, community and hospital has different resources available to them as well as different requirements.

The State of Montana has indicated that it plans to stand up its own alternative testing sites, but as of this writing, no announcements confirming locations or timing have been made.

-Rich Rasmussen, President/CEO, MHA

TAGS: Drive-thru Testing, Alternative Testing Sites