Member news alert: March 17, 2020
Don't miss the physician-only COVID-19 virtual town hall - tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18
The Colorado Medical Society will host a virtual town hall meeting this Wednesday, March 18, 6-8 p.m., for physicians to engage directly with CMS and other key state stakeholders to get support and answers, and get and share advice with colleagues. Plan to join us live or watch an archived recording on our website. Shortly before 6 p.m. tomorrow, click this link to join (preferred). Alternatively, call in using +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 / Webinar ID: 752 342 730.
Stay up-to-date with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) CMS-member physician discussion board
Join the CMS COVID-19 discussion board on Basecamp, a password-protected discussion and file-sharing platform that is actively moderated by CMS staff. This forum is meant to increase collaboration and problem-solving around COVID-19 among Colorado physicians. It has already stimulated peer-to-peer discussion around provider shortages, access to tests, telehealth, supply shortages and care protocols. Sign up here.
In case you missed it
Advocacy update: Colorado Legislature suspended
The Colorado General Assembly has suspended operations until at least March 30 as a protective measure in response to COVID-19. The legislature will have a limited window before sine die to pass mandatory and priority bills such as the budget. Many bills will likely die on the calendar due to time constraints. Stay tuned.
COVID-19 triggers federal changes to telehealth restrictions
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that, effective immediately, they will not impose penalties on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Read more here.

Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Medicare has expanded telehealth coverage and will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country. Read more here.
ABIM to suspend all spring 2020 assessments of board certifications
The American Board of Internal Medicine announced that they will suspend all spring assessments with no negative impact on physicians' board certification status. Read more here.
AMA announces new CPT code to report novel coronavirus test
The American Medical Association announced that the CPT Editorial Panel approved a new Category I CPT code and long descriptor: 87635 - Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified
probe technique. Read more here.
Federal CMS announces COVID-19 test pricing
Starting in April, laboratories performing the test for SARS-CoV2 can bill Medicare and other health insurers for services that occurred after Feb. 4, 2020, using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001).  Read more here.
CMS calls on governor to take action to support health care workers
The Colorado Medical Society joined other organizations representing health care workers and facilities in urging Gov. Jared Polis to issue a call to the public and measures to support health care workers. The top-line message: Urge individuals in the general public to stay home, avoid gatherings of any size through social distancing, and stay home except for necessities. And provide support for health care workers for their own health and family responsibilities such as childcare, mental health and supporting ill family members.
CMS sends letter to Colorado congressional delegation urging non-profit inclusion in federal coronavirus relief package
The Colorado Medical Society joined seven other state and component physician organizations in sending a letter to the Colorado congressional delegation offering assistance in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and urging non-profit inclusion in the federal relief package in recognition of the economic fallout resulting from COVID-19. Read the letter here.
Coronavirus: What physicians need to know
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working hard to keep guidance up to date for all stakeholders. Click here for CDPHE resources for local public health agencies and health care providers.
AMA COVID-19 resource center
The American Medical Association has created a COVID-19 Resource Center, a curation of comprehensive CDC, JAMA and WHO resources, that will quickly help physicians prepare their practices, address patient concerns and answer the most pressing questions. Access it here.