COVID-19 Update – April 15, 2020
Medicare Payment Adjustment Suspension and Telehealth Services for Injured Workers

As of April 15, there are 962 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County and 36 deaths (including City of Berkeley information). As of April 15, there are 615 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County and 14 deaths. Please check   for the latest updates.   
Medicare 2% Sequestration Payment Adjustment Suspended Through End of 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily suspends the 2% sequestration payment adjustment on Medicare fee-for-service payment. The suspension is effective for claims with dates of service from May 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Since the passage of Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, Medicare payments have been subject to a 2% sequestration reduction. These cuts are the result of a congressional deal to address the debt ceiling crisis.

The suspension of this sequestration cut is a welcome action, and one for which the California Medical Association (CMA) has been advocating. CMA is also urging Congress to suspend the Medicare MACRA payment freeze, and instead replace it with a meaningful payment update.
DWC Will Cover Telehealth Services for Injured Workers

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) on Monday  announced  that it would be covering telehealth services for injured workers. According to the  order , DWC will be covering the same telehealth services as those being  allowed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services . The order is effective for services provided on or after April 15, 2020, and will remain in place throughout the public health emergency.

The changes address the concerns outlined in a  letter sent to DWC  by the California Medical Association (CMA), California Occupational Medicine Physicians and the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, CMA has been aggressively lobbying state and federal leaders to ensure physician practices can provide and be fairly reimbursed for telehealth services during this public health emergency.

According to the DWC order, providers will reimbursed at same rate for telehealth services provided to injured worker as they would for the same services provided in person. When billing for these services, providers should list the same Place of Service that would have been used had the service been provided in person, along with modifier 95 to indicate that the service was provided via telehealth.
Alameda & Contra Costa County Recruiting Physicians for COVID-19

East Bay physicians can support COVID-19 response efforts through paid and/or voluntary service opportunities through the Alameda County, Contra Costa County, or the State of California. Please visit and scrolling to "COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities" for application instructions.
PPE and Supplies - County Request Forms

The following is information about placing orders for PPE and other medical support through County resource allocation processes:

  • Contra Costa County: All Resource Requests should be submitted using the attachedCCCHS Request Form. If requesting PPE, must also complete attached “Medical/Health Items Provider Questionnaire" (found on the first page of the CCCHS Request Form). These forms should be submitted directly to the CCHS DOC Logistics Section at Per CCHS, you should first work within your vendors and systems first before sending requests to the DOC.
Complimentary Peer Discussion Groups
RechargedMD  is offering ACCMA members  complimentary online peer discussion and coaching specifically for physicians. With the guidance of a certified physician coach, physicians can receive and offer support, as well as learn from one another. Small groups will meet beginning on April 25 for 45 minutes per week for three facilitated sessions. Go to
Tips for Physicians to Protect Themselves and Their Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Click here for tips on what to do before going to work, at work, and after work/coming home to protect yourself and your family. Tips include how to create a hot zone (contaminated area) near your home entrance and how to take care of your skin. Courtesy of the TPMG Diablo Health and Wellness Team.    
ACCMA Resources Toolkit
The ACCMA has put together a free toolkit of resources that address the day-to-day needs of East Bay physicians of all career stages and in all modes of practice, from food and grocery delivery services to exercises that can be done at home. Click here to access and download the toolkit.  
Upcoming Webinars
Presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Thursday, April 16, 2020 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | FREE

During this COCA Call, presenters will provide an overview of the importance of mortality data, discuss the NCHS publication and the guidance it provides to clinicians who may need to certify a death involving COVID-19, and present a summary of COVID-19 surveillance through the NVSS.
Friday, April 17, 2020 | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | FREE

Telemedicine is the new normal for patient care through the COVID-19 Emergency. This webinar will focus on using telemedicine to enhance patient-centered care, including exploring new and upcoming technology solutions that will help support physicians in providing optimal person-centered care to patients. To register , please click here and complete the form at the bottom of the page. Please note that completion of the form will register you for the whole Telemedicine series, so if you are interested in attending more than one webinar, please only submit the form once.

Michael Harbour, MD
Monday, April 20, 2020 | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | FREE

With the COVID-19 Emergency requiring physicians to adopt telehealth and position more of their staff to work from home, important patient privacy and security risks emerge. This webinar will address those along with practical tips for compliance. To register , please click here and complete the form at the bottom of the page. Please note that completion of the form will register you for the whole Telemedicine series, so if you are interested in attending more than one webinar, please only submit the form once.

David Ginsberg, co-founder and president of PrivaPlan Associates, Inc. 
Allen Briskin, Senior Counsel, Pillbury Winthrop Saw Pittman LLP 
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 6:00 - 7:00 PM | FREE

This one-hour webinar led by Linda Hawes Clever, MD, MACP, will offer practical, creative, and effective remedies to deal with the crush on personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will start with some strategies, resources, and suggestions and then quickly evolve to questions and answers, as we listen and see the ingenuity, guts, and devotion with which we are addressing the harrowing challenges we all face as a profession, community, and nation. Participants will discover how to r educe personal stress and learn healthy ways to contend with the impact of COVID-19.

You are encouraged to submit questions in advance to help her address the range of clinician concerns and responses to the crisis. And you can also briefly share any personal tips and practices that are helping you during this difficult time. Please send your questions and comments to
Thursday, April 24, 2020 | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | FREE

Join a panel discussion with three physicians who successfully transitioned to using Telemedicine in their practices. To register , please click here and complete the form at the bottom of the page. Please note that completion of the form will register you for the whole Telemedicine series, so if you are interested in attending more than one webinar, please only submit the form once.

Marc Dean, MD 
Uli K. Chettipally, MD 
Richard Thorp, MD

Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or with any questions or concerns you have. Although we may not currently have an immediate answer to all questions, we want to know the information and resources that you need to continue to provide care for our community during this difficult time.  
This information will also be posted online at and will be updated frequently. Please check the ACCMA website regularly for updates.