Important News about Women’s Health Services

July 29, 2020

Recently a federal preliminary injunction Civil Action No. TDC 20-1320 was released regarding the “In-Person requirements contained in the mifepristone REMS as to medication abortion patients, to extend until the resolution of this case or until 30 days after the end of the public health emergency declared by the Secretary of HHS pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 247d, whichever comes first.”

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), is complying with the decision made in this injunction, Civil Action No. TDC 20-1320, that ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must temporarily suspend enforcement of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMs) as a restriction on medication used for early abortion, since it subjects patients to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risks by forcing them to make an unnecessary trip to their health care provider just to pick up the medication and sign a form. In compliance with the federal ruling, providers who bill using HCPCS code S0191 to prescribe mifepristone to end early pregnancies, may provide medically necessary services without an in-person visit or signature. Providers should include a notation of “Civil Action No. TDC 20-1320” in the patient’s medical record to indicate prescription compliance with this prescription method.

Further, DHCS is revising the Abortion (abort) section of the Provider Manual to ensure flexibilities exist for providing medically necessary abortion services during the COVID-19 public health emergency and to remove requirements for a Medicare denial for certain abortion services.

A separate Medi-Cal Update and NewsFlash will be released in the future once the system has been updated and the revised provider manual section has published.