March 26, 2020

Dear Colleagues

We appreciate your compliance with the directive from the AAO, CMS and the Governor of Maryland to treat only urgent / emergent patients at this time. We currently have a shortage of masks, respirators, and test kits. It is imperative that we help to   #flattenthecurve.   

Our deepest sympathies go out to a Maryland Physician practice that had an employee die from COVID-19 on Friday. Please take a moment to reflect on the employee's family and the work our employees do for us and our patients.

Please review the CDC guidelines for healthcare professionals.

If your friends and colleagues are not receiving this email directly, please contact Sophie, so she can add them to the distribution list.

The AMA has provided a high level overview of the most recent stimulus bill. We will continue to provide updates during this fluid situation.

Check the AAO and MedChi websites for the most current information.

Stay Safe & Healthy
Renee Bovelle, MD
MSEPS President
From AMA: Topline Summary of Stimulus Legislation

Here is a high level summary from the AMA of the law that is passing in Washington if you receive calls or emails.

Late Wednesday night the Senate approved a massive $2 trillion stimulus and COVID-19 relief package.

Provisions of particular interest to physicians and their practices include the following:

  • Creates a new loan product within the Small Business Administration for loans of up to $10 million to help cover payroll and overhead costs, with expanded loan forgiveness criteria. Physician practices with not more than 500 employees may qualify.
  • $100 billion in direct financial support to hospitals, physician practices, and other health care providers under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. This support is for costs of treating COVID-19 patients as well as to ease the financial impact on those who lose revenue due reductions in other services as a result of the pandemic. Exact eligibility criteria and application process is not yet defined pending implementation.
  • Suspension of the 2% Medicare sequester in May through December 2020.
  • Limitations on liability for volunteer health care professionals during COVID-19 emergency response.
  • A temporary waiver of the face-to-face visit requirement with home dialysis patients.
  • Authority for the Secretary of HHS to waive telehealth coverage requirements for new patients during a national emergency. Previous legislation provided flexibility only for established patients seen within the past three years.
  • Secretary will also allow for enhanced use of telehealth under Medicare for federally qualified health centers.

Also of interest, the “health extenders” package that was set to expire on May 22 has now been extended to November 30.

House passage is expected on Friday and the President is expected to sign the bill into law.

Congress Rushes to Get a Nearly $2 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Package to President

After days of intense negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House, Congress is poised to pass a nearly $2 trillion  COVID-19 package that would give Americans direct payments and expanded unemployment benefits and help small businesses, including physician practices, with measures to keep staff on payrolls.

Dear MedChi Members and Maryland Physicians:

We hope you are doing well. Here's what we want you to know today:

  • Register here for today's all-physician call at 5:00 pm (Thursday, March 26) with the Maryland Department of Health.

  • Please note that tomorrow's call will be held at 12:00 noon (Friday, March 27). Register here.

  • Unless there are significant news or resources to share, we will NOT send an update email tomorrow (March 27). Please make a note of the call link above for tomorrow.

  • Please take this important and very brief telehealth survey to help us determine how best to help you.

  • Governor Hogan announced additional state loans and grants earlier this week. I wanted to point out the grant program you might have missed. The COVID-19 Emergency Relief $50M Grant Fund offers working capital to assist Maryland small businesses and nonprofits with disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Grant assistance is intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with its bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners. Learn more here.

  • The Maryland Department of Health has issued a helpful checklist and resource guide for primary care physicians to help work through the various issues in addressing patient care, billing, and more.

  • The University of Maryland is requesting donations of N95 masks, surgical masks, goggles, face shields, and disinfectant supplies from medical practices in the area. Donations can be dropped off in the lobby at 714 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 or shipped to that address to the attention of Matthew Fischer. Please reach out to Betsy Krieger with questions.

Please reach out to us if you have questions or if there are specific resources you are looking for. Thank you for all that you do as physicians and healers.

Gene Ransom
MedChi CEO

Governor’s Office
For the latest information regarding COVID-19, case counts, public health resources and other health-related information visit, including live updates from Governor Hogan and the latest from his Newsroom, please visit:  
Maryland Department of Commerce
For the latest information regarding Employer & Worker Assistance, Financial Assistance & Taxes and Licensing & Permitting, please visit:
Maryland Department of Health
For the latest information regarding the Maryland COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard and COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, please visit:
Maryland Department of Aging
For the latest information regarding Frequently Asked Questions for Older Adults, as well as various resources available to the community, please visit: 
Maryland Department of Transportation
For the latest information regarding statewide operational changes, please visit:
Maryland Health Connection
For the latest information regarding emergency coronavirus special enrollment, please visit:
Maryland Department of Education
For the latest information regarding state-wide school closings, please visit:
Maryland Insurance Administration
For the latest information regarding approved COVID-19 emergency regulations and various COVID-19 insurance FAQ’s, please visit:
From the Executive Management of ZEISS
Dear Healthcare Practitioner,

As you focus on protecting the health of your patients and the needs of your practice, we want you to know that ZEISS Medical Technology continues to support you.

We want to ensure that you have access to technologies and solutions to provide the best possible care for your patients.

We continue to be available for you through our regular channels. Please contact your ZEISS representatives who are available to personally assist you as needed.

We are also monitoring recommendations for practitioners from medical associations to identify ways to support you even better in this unprecedented situation. You can find contacts, resources, relevant information and online education at 
Although we may not see you in person due to cancellations of upcoming congresses and limited access to clinics, we look forward to engaging with you on our online channels about solutions that help you provide ongoing care to your patients and your community.

We personally, as well as all our teams globally, would like to thank you for the work that you do and for your trust in ZEISS.
Ophthalmic Devices
Jim Mazzo
Andy Chang
Dirk Brunner
Magnus Reibenspiess
Disclaimer: MSEPS does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites or events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  
Volunteering Opportunities

In just five days, 2,300 people have signed up for the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps. Today, Governor Hogan announced he is directing the MD Health Department to allow medical, nursing, and medical technician students to staff clinics and field hospitals. To register for Maryland Responds, please visit the Medical Reserve Corps here .

For the A-Z resource guide, and additional information on how to help - including Red Cross blood donations, Meals on Wheels, and other ways - you can find it here, at Maryland Unites .
Small Business Relief & Unemployment

Information on Business and COVID-19 can be found here .

Information on the Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Programs for Businesses can be found here .

Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.

If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.

  • Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.

Information on the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund can be found here .

Information on how to file for Unemployment Insurance can be found here .
  • Maryland does not have a delay period before a person can apply for unemployment insurance.
  • The work search requirement has been waved during the State of Employment
Tax Filing Deadline & Payments

Comptroller Franchot and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin just announced the Tax Day for state and federal income taxes is moved from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties. 

The agency has set up a dedicated email address —   — to assist businesses with extension-related questions. Business owners can also call the Comptroller's Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.
Telehealth Resources
Backline from Dr. First is a Telehealth platform used by MedChi's CTO and can be used by any physician.

Online telehealth Course:  Learn how to implement telemedicine into your practice now. Today until March 31, 2020, MSEPS members will receive and $150 discount. Use the promo code MARYLAND to receive the discount.

Maryland Healthcare Commission
Broadening Telehealth During a Public Health Emergency

MedChi's offers telehealth billing and coding guidelines

MedChi Telehealth FAQs
Financial Resources
Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus 

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund
Contact Us:
1211 Cathedral St
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone 410-244-7320
Fax 410-727-5967