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New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: 203-687-4422
Fax: 475-202-6844
PLEASE BE ADVISED OF THE IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW
Dear CMG Members,

Essential updates for 1.07.21:

Happy New Year and welcome back to our weekly COVID-19 updates. Please review carefully for updates that you may have missed given the holiday season.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Updates from DPH:


  • If there are community providers or individuals not affiliated with medical groups, they can register as unaffiliated individuals at this link: https://dphsubmissions.ct.gov/Independent. A small practice experiencing difficulty registering in VAMS can also have each individual register through this link.


  • Click here for locations with available appointment slots (spots filling up quickly, please check multiple locations) 


Cornell Scott Hill Health Center offers COVID-19 vaccine to Phase 1a eligible staff

  • CSHHC has offered to assist in scheduling and vaccinating Phase 1a eligible individuals. Please forward this link to any eligible staff who can use it to request a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through Cornell Scott Hill Health Center: https://forms.gle/Qto7HKtDD9ZA7hJT6

COVID-Testing Update
YNHHS Updates COVID-19 PCR Testing Recommendations

  • On December 29, 2020, Yale provided information on PCR testing in the ambulatory and community-based settings for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Read the one-page handout here.

Attached is a summary of various locations for COVID testing across the state. Some require a provider order and others do not.


*This document was last updated on December 31, 2020.
COVID-19 Pediatric Task Force Updates Guidelines
Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave
On December 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Applications Act was passed, which updated some of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provisions.  This publication focuses on the extension available to employers related to Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) under FFCRA. It is important to note that this extension is voluntary and that mandatory paid sick and EFMLA leave expired on December 31, 2020.

  • Effective January 1 through March 31, 2021, employers can provide paid sick leave and EFMLA to employees for reasons under the Act and still qualify for the payroll tax credit associated with this leave.

  •  After March 31, 2021, employers can choose to provide paid sick leave and EFMLA at their own expense but cannot claim a payroll tax credit.

  •  The Act does not provide an additional paid sick leave allotment; rather, only the timeframe for taking paid sick leave has been extended. If an employee has already used some of the paid sick leave or exhausted the maximum amount of 80 hours, no additional time may be used more than the original 80 hours unless the employer wishes to do so at their expense. 

  • In all cases, employers must apply their paid leave policy in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner for all eligible employees.

  • Depending on how your organization administers Family, and Medical leaves (FMLA), the extension for EFMLA leave may be different. Because FMLA leave recycles every 12 months and paid EFMLA leave under the FFCRA follows the procedures outlined in the FMLA, employees may be entitled to a new allotment of FMLA leave (for COVID-19 childcare-related reasons) starting January 1, 2021, depending on how the employer calculates its FMLA leave year (calendar versus rolling).

For more information or assistance in determining whether providing paid sick leave and EFMLA voluntarily in the first quarter of 2021 is best for the organization and its employees, please contact your HR Business Partner.
Telemedicine
There are many important updates regarding telemedicine. Please review carefully our updated excel sheet with telemedicine billing codes and coverage guidelines. (Please note: This excel sheet is updated regularly and posted on our COVID-19 web page)

If you have any questions or need clarification on telemedicine policies, please reach out to:

*This document was last updated on January 7, 2021.
Weekly CDC and DPH Update
Please see today's summary from the CDC and DPH here. 
COVID-19 Toolkit- Medicare Advantage Plans
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a set of toolkits for providers, states, and issuers to help the health care system prepare to administer the vaccine once it is available.

The toolkits are designed for Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans and issuers of group or individual health insurance coverage. Separate toolkits are available specifically to address partners' needs in their interactions with consumers, providers, and Medicaid state programs here.
Information you may have missed:
COVID-19 resources and links
Stay safe. Be well. God bless.

Best,

Joseph L. Quaranta, MD

Joseph L. Quaranta, MD
President, Community Medical Group