November 2, 2020
Re: COVID-19 Update
Dear CMG Providers,
CMG published its first Covid-19 update on March 10. You can find a copy here. It became a regular publication, peaking with daily emails during the height of what now appears to be our "first-wave". As time progressed and the tide of the pandemic ebbed in Connecticut, we were able to phase out those communications as we equilibrated with our new normal.
Unfortunately, it appears as if a "second wave" is upon us and we will once again begin our regular communications and shift more resources to support our practices’ response to Covid-19. Although it is disheartening to be in this position again, I suspect we all anticipated this surge as we entered the colder months.
Unlike March, however, we are much better prepared to face the coming months together. If you read my first update again, there was not much positive news. There was no testing available, telemedicine services were at best limited, PPE was scarce, and we had yet to understand its effectiveness in protecting against Covid-19. We had little understanding of the best way to diagnose, triage and manage Covid-19, And navigating the complexity of the Paycheck Protection Program, relief funding, and potential staff furloughs was daunting.
CMG directly addressed these challenges and provided support to our practices in all of these areas throughout the initial response and recovery. Whether it was developing Covid-19 treatment guidelines, fighting for fair telemedicine coverage and reimbursement, synthesizing the ever-changing testing guidelines, or helping manage the complex HR issues, we were there for our practices. It was also CMG which sent out shared savings checks early in the pandemic before any other relief had arrived.
We will continue to focus our Covid-19 support on several key areas:
- Clinical Guidelines/Testing /Vaccines
- Practice operations
- Billing/Coding/Payer support
- Human resources
- Clinician and staff wellness
During the last several months, we have also been hard at work on our long-term strategy to provide value and support to our practices. Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, we have negotiated multiple new contracts under our clinical integration (CI) program. When all is completed this year, under our CI model, we will have renegotiated all our fee-for-service contracts with multiple year terms and rate increases each year plus new shared savings opportunities. We have also secured CMG participation in select networks being sponsored by large employers.
Over this time, we have firmly established our place as a high-value, physician-led independent network consistently recognized by payers, employers and health systems as a vital and influential part of the healthcare system. This has allowed CMG to continuously advocate for our independent practices and our patients, which remains our only priority.
Watch for announcements regarding our new contracts over the next several weeks.
Our next Covid-19 communication will be sent out later this week, and we are in the process of updating and organizing the content on our website.
As always, we welcome feedback on areas where we can provide more help and we also welcome ideas that have worked for you so that we may share them with the rest of the group.
Stay safe. Be well. God bless.
Joseph L. Quaranta, MD
Joseph L. Quaranta, MD
President, Community Medical Group