AzAFP E-news

We will continue to bring you updates on COVID-19 as we are provided with new information. If you receive new information, or if you would like to share info about how your practice is responding, please feel free to share it with us by emailing Thank you!
Free AzAFP COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Tuesday April 7th- 7 pm

TIME: APR 7, 2020 07:00 PM ARIZONA

7:00 pm- WELCOME & Introductions- Gail Guerrero-Tucker, MD, MPH, FAAFP, President, AzAFP
7:10 pm- Overview of COVID-19 Situation as of today-
Gail Guerrero-Tucker, MD, President
U.S. Senator Martha McSally
Dan Derksen, MD, Chair, AzAFP Legislative Task Force
7:30- Open discussion (members will be able to ask questions or comments)
7:55- Wrap up and discussion of next town hall

NO PRE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! If you would like a text reminder 1 hour before the meeting starts just text 602-663-1806 with your name!

+1 669 900 9128 US- (dial this phone number to join via phone only)
MEETING ID: 789 781 830
PASSWORD: 346603
AZ Policy Update
by: Peters, Cannata & Moody plc                           

It was a busy week as Arizona’s statewide elected officials responded to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
 Arizona joined many other states around the nation in instituting a stay-at-home order to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Our order is different than many others, and some local leaders say it does not do enough to prevent more deaths. Governor Ducey, however, believes the “ stay home, stay healthy, stay connected ” requirement will help protect mental and physical health. 
The Governor announced other executive orders this week, as well. He enabled pharmacists to refill prescriptions without a doctor visit, authorized veterinarians to use telemedicine  to examine pets and livestock, and deferred liquor license fees for bars and restaurants.
He asked the federal government to reopen international exports of Arizona’s dairy products  and called on the Trump administration to declare a  Major Disaster Declaration  – a step that would bring additional resources for Arizona’s COVID-19 response.
The Arizona Attorney General determined that law enforcement  can enforce  the state’s instruction to avoid non-essential activities during the public health emergency and outlined how much patient information  can be shared while the state combats COVID-19.
The State Board of Education held a special meeting to provide guidance for schools that will serve students at home for the rest of the school year .
Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs started a national discussion about election security , including the option of all-mail elections – a process that local elections officials believe will help combat contagion and confusion in an unusual election year. The idea has opposition at the legislature, though, where some say all-mail voting will compromise the integrity of the voting process.
Note: You don’t have to wait for legislative action to vote from home!  Click here to receive an early ballot by mail.

What’s Next?
When the Arizona legislature suspended the 2020 session last week, they hoped to resume their work on April 13. House and Senate leaders are conceding, however, that they’ll probably need to wait longer. The House Speaker and Senate President can call for legislators to return to the Capitol with 24 hours’ notice once public health guidelines permit the legislature to gather again.

Legislators Monitor the Economic Impact of COVID-19
While legislators wait to return to the Capitol, they are looking for signs of what the COVID-19 emergency will mean for state finances. It is clear that this will end Arizona’s many months of economic growth , but it is not yet evident how much the state’s cash balance will drop. Some of the state’s top economists are scheduled to meet next week to address some of the many questions facing Arizona’s economy. Their input will help determine whether legislators will have any surplus money for priorities that were not included in the basic budget plan enacted last month.

Arizona Begins Distribution of Federal, State Aid Funding
Governor Ducey announced the first distribution of funding from the $50 million COVID-19 aid package the legislature enacted in the state budget, providing $6.7 million for food and housing assistance. The largest portion of the funding – $5 million – is designated for homeless shelters. The rest will go toward food banks and programs that provide fresh food to those who need it.
The state aid – and much of the estimated $4.2 billion the state will receive from federal aid Congress enacted last week – will be distributed at the Governor’s discretion . The Governor’s office has said he will allocate federal funding to help those who are “hit hardest” during the COVID-19 emergency.  
The federal funding is designated for specific categories , including education, child and family services, and emergency aid for state and local governments.
Federal aid will also go directly to some individuals and will increase unemployment benefits by $600 a week. (Arizona’s unemployment benefits are $240 a week, so Arizonans who qualify for unemployment will now collect $840 a week.) Arizonans who have already used their 26 weeks of unemployment will receive 13 more weeks of benefits, and more individuals can apply for unemployment benefits under the new law the state enacted last month.

Initiatives, Candidates Struggling to Collect Signatures
As Arizonans implement physical distancing standards to help fight the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face interactions are limited – and that’s impacting efforts to collect signatures for political causes.
This week, advocates who hope to put citizen’s initiatives on the November ballot asked the Arizona Supreme Court to allow them to collect signatures online during this election cycle. Some of these initiative campaigns have suspended their efforts ; others turned to sign-by-mail outreach. Now they hope the Court will allow them to access the technology that already enables state-level candidates to collect signatures online.
Other candidates hope to use that signature system, as well: Candidates for local government offices say they’re struggling to find safe ways to get voter signatures during the COVID-19 emergency. This week they called on the Secretary of State to let them use the system state-level candidates use. 
The Secretary of State already has the legal authority to collect online signatures for local candidates, but no one in the office has implemented the technology to do so. State law does not currently authorize online signatures for initiatives.

In the News
The Governor held a virtual Town Hall meeting to answer questions about the state’s response to COVID-19. The Arizona Supreme Court said Phoenix’s fee on shared ride companies is constitutional. Democrats delayed their Presidential convention These teachers are using technology to connect with their students who have special needs. An Arizona-made dog toy is not the Mona Lisa . The Trump administration will not allow a special enrollment period for the Federal Insurance Marketplace, despite Governor Ducey’s request for one. County treasurers want to extend the date that property taxes become delinquent. The COVID-19 crisis will have a big impact on Medicaid. School counselors want everyone in your family to stay sane while your kids are studying from home.

This afternoon, Governor Ducey issued additional guidance that narrows the list of “essential services” that can remain open during the COVID-19 crisis.   The guidance  directs salons, barbers, massage parlors, spas, tanning and tattoo facilities must close by 5:00 p.m. on April 4. The Governor also restricted access to communal pools, swap meets, and public park amenities that do not allow for the physical distancing recommended by the CDC. The revised guidance comes after the Governor received several questions about the broad definition of “essential” businesses during his  Town Hall  last night. He also addressed questions about whether everyone should wear face masks, urging Arizonans to follow CDC guidance on the subject. Today, the CDC issued a new recommendation for the  use of cloth face coverings , especially where community spread is significant.
The Governor also provided more details on  Arizona Enrichment Centers , which will open on Monday to provide child care for the children of first responders, critical health care workers, and essential public sector workers. 

On the Bright Side…
Small businesses around the state – including this small business in Prescott – are getting help from good neighbors , and you can help Arizona thrive just by filling out the census .

April 2020
    The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix had a successful Match Day March 20 with more than 90 students matching into residency programs throughout the U.S. Thirty-seven percent of the Class of 2020 will continue their training in Arizona, where the need for physicians is great, and 33 percent matched into primary care fields such as family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Some graduates will begin their medical careers serving communities hard-hit by the novel coronavirus, including New York, California, Michigan, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

Early graduation is being offered to qualified fourth-year students who wish to serve during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dean Guy Reed, MD, MS, said requests to graduate before the regularly scheduled date of May 11 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A College of Medicine Student Progress Committee will meet April 6 to consider the requests, and the newly-conferred MDs could begin work in a clinical setting by mid-April.
Save the Date
Class of 2020 to be Celebrated with a  Virtual Commencement Ceremony
The coronavirus will not stop the celebration for the Class of 2020. Arrangements for a virtual Commencement for College of Medicine – Phoenix graduates on May 11 are being finalized. Details will be shared via email in the coming weeks, and information will be added to the college’s event calendar as more is known. 
A study conducted by physicians at the college revealed that doctors are spending more time with the electronic health record (EHR) than in face-to-face consultation with patients. The research by Jacob Anderson, DO; Jason Leubner, MD, and Steven Brown, MD, all faculty in the Family Medicine Residency program, was published in the February 2020 journal Family Medicine. The typical office visit in a family medicine clinic lasts between 20 and 40 minutes; yet, on average, physicians in the study spent between 41 and 65 minutes updating the EHR for every patient they saw. They analyzed six months of EHR use.
Fourth-year students presented their longitudinal, hypothesis-drive scholarly projects at the annual Student Research Symposium March 11. The project continues to be an important component of the college’s curriculum. Matthew McEchron, PhD, director of Scholarly Projects, said the project provides students with critical thinking and tools to practice evidence-based medicine, emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning, offers students the opportunity to present their work at national conferences and bolsters a student’s application for residency. Several students were asked to deliver oral presentations of their work at the symposium.

Renowned physician-scientist Michael Fahey, MD, PhD, of Melbourne, Australia, spent three months at the college as a Fulbright Fellow, where he cultivated relationships with institutions throughout the U.S. to advance the work and understanding of cerebral palsy and genetics. Dr. Fahey was hosted by Michael Kruer, MD, an associate professor of neurology and child health, and an international expert on cerebral palsy in his own right.
High school students from underrepresented communities in Arizona participated in a program over spring break that helped them explore careers in health care and learn prevention techniques about heart disease. The Irene H. Bailey Cardiology Academy was organized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and led by Martha Gulati, MD, MS, academic chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD, an associate professor and director of the Women’s Health Microbiome Initiative, and researchers in her lab Paweł Łaniewski, PhD, and Esra Ilhan, PhD, published a review on gynecologic cancer and the microbiome Feb. 18, 2020 in Nature Reviews Urology. The review was meant to increase the understanding and research for new interventions in gynecologic cancer prevention, therapy and quality of life.

Congratulations to Michael Foley, MD, chairman and professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the college and at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, who earned the title of 8th degree Grand Master Black Belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do/The Center for Humane Living. Dr. Foley, who has practiced the karate-based art for more than 50 years, and takes to heart its doctrines of inclusivity, fairness and navigating conflict, was surprised with a rank advancement promotion test Dec. 14. He was tested by Black Belts from around the country — many that he had trained throughout the years.

Second-year medical student  Julie Tran received an Honors Award from the American Society of Hematology (ASH). The award contributes development of the next generation of hematologists by providing research funding for talented medical students.

Amelia Gallitano, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Departments of Basic Medical Sciences and Psychiatry and director of the college’s Women in Medicine group, has been named an Outstanding Woman in Business by the Phoenix Business Journal. An awards luncheon originally planned for April 2 will be rescheduled.
reimagine Medicine Podcast

Class of 2020 Match Day
Virtual Experience Recap

Apr. 6
Apr. 7
Apr. 9

*All these events will be available to attend by Zoom conference.

Risk Management Responses to Coronavirus
To view the latest webinar, recorded March 18, 2020, click "Watch Now".
Local, state, and federal responses to COVID-19 are continuously published and revised. Please check the websites referenced in all of MICA's resources before acting on the information to ensure you have the most current information. Click the link below to access MICA's Coronavirus and COVID-19 related resources.

View more of our Risk Management webinars by logging in at . If you don't have a MICA website login click on "Create an Account" under "My MICA Login". Answer a few questions and select your User Category. The Office Staff category gives you access to MICA Risk Management resources, including Hot Topics and the Risk Advisor newsletter.

New Order Allows Certain Prescription Refills Without Having To See A Doctor
News Release
April 2, 2020

Order Avoids Trips To The Doctor For Elderly And Vulnerable Patients, While Freeing Up Physician
PHOENIX⁠  — Many elderly and at-risk Arizonans are coming up on a dilemma: schedule a potentially risky appointment with a doctor to refill a prescription or go without needed medication. 

An Executive Order issued by Governor Doug Ducey today provides a solution by allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for a 90-day supply and an additional 90-day supply if needed. Under the order, Arizonans would be able to receive a refill on their medication for up to 180 days, while avoiding the trip to the doctor. READ MORE HERE
Small Business Administration Business Loan Program Info:
This program can help businesses keep their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. This interim final rule announces the implementation of sections 1102 and 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act). Section 1102 of the Act temporarily adds a new product, titled the “Paycheck Protection Program,” to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) 7(a) Loan Program. Section 1106 of the Act provides for forgiveness of up to the full principal amount of qualifying loans guaranteed under the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program and loan forgiveness are intended to provide economic relief to small businesses nationwide adversely impacted under the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Emergency Declaration (COVID-19 Emergency Declaration) issued by President Trump on March 13, 2020. This interim final rule outlines the key provisions of SBA’s implementation of sections 1102 and 1106 of the Act in formal guidance and requests public comment. READ MORE HERE

The American Board of Family Medicine thanks all family physicians for their exceptional commitment to caring for their patients and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that these are truly unprecedented times and want to do everything we can to allow you to focus on what is most important: your patients and your families. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve rapidly and the need for family physicians to care for patients during the outbreak increases, ABFM will continue to communicate with you regularly to make you aware of adjustments we are making with respect to certification activity requirements to accommodate these extraordinary times.
Our commitment is that no family physician will lose their ABFM certification because of the extraordinary patient care pressures associated with this pandemic. Additionally, if you are unable to participate in certification activities or Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) in 2020 because of the demands of this pandemic, it will not jeopardize your certificate or your ability to continue your certification. We do not want ABFM requirements to play any role in the decisions you need to make to provide the best personal and public health response to this pandemic. Residents need not be worried about future consequences for their board certification in this regard. We will work with you.
We are working out many operational details. We will communicate these with you in coming weeks. It will take up to a month to reflect these changes in your  Physician Portfolio . We also commit to ongoing review of what is happening as the pandemic evolves and will adjust as necessary going forward.
For specific questions, please look in the links to specific categories below where you can find more information. If what you need is not there, you may contact our Support Center with any questions that you may have. Although our office is working remotely, we will continue to provide seamless service and response times.

Check out ALL of the AzAFP's COVID-19 updates here on our website: AzAFP COVID-19 Resources Page