COVID-19 Update – April 30, 2020
HHS Provider Relief Update, AMA Practice Costs Guide, NIH Guidelines

As of April 29, there are 1,568 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County and 57 deaths (including City of Berkeley information). As of April 29, there are 862 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County and 25 deaths. Please check  www.accma.org/COVID-19   for the latest updates.   
Provider Relief Update: Only Those Who Received Payment in Phase 1 Are Able to Apply for Phase 2

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 23, 2020, announced a $20 billion phase two round of funding for health care providers from the $175 billion  CARES Act Provider Relief Fund . There is, however, conflicting information about whether a provider who has not previously received funding from the Provider Relief Fund in phase one can apply for this second round of funding. 
Since the portal opened, the California Medical Association (CMA) has heard from physicians that they were kicked out of the application if they indicated that they did not receive a payment from the $30 billion phase one direct deposit disbursement prior to April 25, 2020.

CMA and the American Medical Association (AMA) continue to seek clarification on this matter. In the meantime, absent further guidance from HHS, physicians who did not receive a phase one payment should not apply for phase two funding. For those practices that are eligible for phase two funding, CMA wants to emphasize that you need to submit your most recent tax return, revenue losses from March 2020 and estimated revenue loss for April 2020 from all payers. More details on the submission requirements can be found in  CMA’s Financial Toolkit for Medical Practices .

CMA also urges all physicians to read the terms and conditions carefully and make decisions based on their practice circumstances. Practices should also thoroughly document the expenditures from this allocation because they could eventually be audited.

Physicians who did not receive phase one funds and believe they should have been eligible for a payment from the initial $30 billion disbursement should see  CMA’s Financial Toolkit for Medical Practices  for more information.

HHS said it is working to disburse additional funding to providers with lower shares of Medicare reimbursement (such as pediatricians and OB-GYNs) and Medicaid providers.
AMA Releases Physician Practice Employee Costs Guide

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a guide tailored to physician practices, helping physician employers consider their options in controlling practice costs. Key options include redeployment, outside activities, compensation changes, workforce reduction, benefit modifications, legal compliance and stimulus relief considerations. Review the full guide to learn more key options for physicians to consider to limit practice costs.
Expert U.S. Panel Develops NIH Treatment Guidelines for COVID-19 

A panel of U.S. physicians, statisticians and other experts has developed treatment guidelines for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These guidelines look at antiviral and immune-base therapies and provide summary recommendations for both. The recommendations are based on published and preliminary data and the clinical expertise of the panelists, many of whom are frontline clinicians caring for patients during the rapidly evolving pandemic but will be updated to reflect new findings.   
CDC COVID-19 Resource Tool for Clinicians

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s " Prepare to Care for COVID-19" is a resource clinicians can use to care for patients with COVID-19. This resource contains practical tools for treating COVID-19 patients and will be regularly updated to help clinicians adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
ACCMA & CMA COVID-19 Resource Toolkits
 
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.

To help physicians understand the rapidly evolving personnel and other employment-related issues during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the California Medical Association has published the  CMA COVID-19 Toolkit for Physician Employers . This resource is free to all and available on CMA’s COVID-19 resource page,  cmadocs.org/covid-19 .
Intuit Aid Assist - Financial Assistance Resource

Intuit Aid Assist  is a free service that allows businesses, self-employed, contractors, and others to understand and access different business relief programs. Individuals and businesses can complete a loan eligibility assessment to see if they qualify for any federal funding programs.
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 accma.org/COVID-19 and scrolling to "COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities" for application instructions.
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.    
Upcoming Webinars
April 30, 2020 | 12:00 PM PT
Presented by UCSF Department of Psychiatry
April 30, 2020 | 12:15 - 1:15 PM
Presented by the California Medical Association

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many physicians have either closed their practices or greatly curtailed in-person office visits. With the proper safety precautions, physicians may now be in a place to carefully reopen their doors to patients or expand available service offerings. This can help ensure that patients receive needed care and improve practice viability. This webinar will present best practices for physicians who are looking to reopen, in order to keep physicians and their patients safe. The webinar will include a discussion of CMA's “Guidelines and Recommendations for Reopening the Health Care System.”
 
The webinar will also include a case study of a small physician practice that is currently implementing CMA's reopening recommendations.
April 30, 2020 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM

Office Hour calls from the CDC provide an opportunity for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials.
May 01, 2020 | 9:00 AM PT
Presented by Joe Keenan, MBA, CSP with Pioneer Educator

OSHA has released Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, which provides specific action steps employers should take to address the global pandemic. With the virus spreading and disrupting operations throughout the United States, organizations must promptly assess their employees’ exposure risks, adapt their business operations to incorporate social distancing practices, and take steps to protect at-risk employees with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Available On-Demand

This one-hour, on-demand webinar led by Linda Hawes Clever, MD, MACP, offers practical, creative, and effective remedies to deal with the crush on personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains strategies, resources, and suggestions for handling physician wellness, as well as addressing 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. Discover how to reduce personal stress and learn healthy ways to contend with the impact of COVID-19.
Questions/Concerns?  

Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or accma@accma.org 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 www.accma.org/COVID-19 and will be updated frequently. Please check the ACCMA website regularly for updates.