April 2, 2021
Catch My Stride Walk Marches On
Catch My Stride walkers enjoyed sunshine and camaraderie at Cascades Park on March 27. The walk, led by Dr. Rohan Joseph, Andrea Stephens, and Pam Irwin, was a great opportunity to rekindle old friendships, to meet new physicians, and to get to meet physicians’ family members. Stay tuned for the April activity schedule.
We appreciate Florida Blue sponsoring water bottles for the walks.
FEATURED ADVERTISER: Secure Records Solutions
Save the Date for Upcoming CMS Meetings/Events
CME Resources
Wolfson Pediatric CME Webinars - 5.5 CME Credit Opportunity
Wolfson Children’s Hospital is proud to provide Continuing Medical Education opportunities to our partners and referring providers by offering monthly virtual CME sessions at no cost. If you have missed any of our previously offered live webinars and still wish to obtain CME credit for them, we have provided 4 recorded webinars for a total of 5.5 CME credits possible. Please follow the instructions below in order to take advantage of this opportunity!
1.      Open the flyer and choose which education session you would like to watch.
2.      Click the link in the attachment for the desired education session.
3.      Watch the webinar.
4.      Follow the instructions included in the video description to complete the required survey and input the associated activity code.
*Please note, if you are licensed outside of the state of Florida, you must contact the CME office at Kimberly.Branham-Nelson@bmcjax.com to request an official transcript of your participation.

Easy to use web portal makes it easy to find courses and track credits. Accredited activities for over 30 medical specialties; Over 100 active courses at any given time; Activity accreditations include ACCME, ANCC, AANP, ACPE, and more; Content is always current, and always free.
Free 1-hour online CME opportunity!
University of Florida's Department of Epidemiology
Raising awareness for Alzheimer's disease and increasing screening for cognitive impairment. This CME has a focus on primary care physicians but is applicable to all physicians who may encounter patients with cognitive impairments.
Nova Southeastern University To Require COVID-19 Vaccine
Nova Southeastern University on Friday detailed its decision to require students, faculty and administrators to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when they return to campus in the fall.

“We believe that this is the best and safest path forward,” Dr. Harry Moon, the private university’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said at a news conference at the main campus in Davie.

Source: Health News Florida
Beginning April 5, Ages 16 And 17 Can Receive Pfizer Vaccine
Only the Pfizer shot is approved by the FDA for 16 and older. An emergency order says "all Floridians shall be eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration" on April 5.

Florida will allow ages 16 and 17 to begin receiving the two-dose Pfizer coronavirus vaccine April 5.

Parental consent will be required, either in person or by a signed form.

Source: Health News Florida
Homebound Seniors Can Sign Up For Door-To-Door Vaccine Program
More than 5,200 elderly Floridians have been vaccinated as part of the state’s door-to-door effort to inoculate homebound seniors.

The program, which launched in February, was created to help vaccinate seniors who have limited mobility or don’t feel comfortable leaving their homes.

Source: Health News Florida
T cells recognize recent SARS-CoV-2 variants
When variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) emerged in late 2020, concern arose that they might elude protective immune responses generated by prior infection or vaccination, potentially making re-infection more likely or vaccination less effective. To investigate this possibility, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues analyzed blood cell samples from 30 people who had contracted and recovered from COVID-19 prior to the emergence of virus variants. They found that one key player in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2—the CD8+ T cell—remained active against the virus.

Source: National Institutes of Health
Bristol Myers Squibb wins first CAR-T therapy approval in multiple myeloma
The FDA has approved a Bristol Myers Squibb cell therapy made by engineering a patient’s immune cells to target a cancer protein called BCMA. The regulatory decision for Abecma in multiple myeloma gives BMS its second approved CAR-T therapy.

Source: MedCity News
What to Make of That Danish Reinfection Study?
The Washington-based health system has filed a lawsuit against EHR giant Cerner saying it intentionally misrepresented its products and services. Cerner's systems did not operate as promised, leading to severe cash collection issues at Astria Health and forcing it into bankruptcy in 2019, the suit alleges.

Source: MedPageToday
As COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Persist, USF Health Expert Shares The Facts
There is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 vaccines cause death or infertility, according to Dr. Kevin Sneed. He clears up other vaccine misconceptions as well.
Florida is days away from expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to adults of all ages and some teenagers. But months into rollout, there are still some people hesitant to get shots.

Misinformation spread on social media and through word-of-mouth is partly to blame.

Health News Florida's Stephanie Colombini sifts through some popular vaccine myths with Dr. Kevin Sneed, dean of the University of South Florida's Taneja College of Pharmacy, to get the facts.

Source: Health News Florida
Mice That Hear Imaginary Sounds May Help Explain Hallucinations In People
An experiment that induced imaginary sounds in both people and mice could help explain how brain disorders like schizophrenia cause hallucinations.
A technique that induces imaginary sounds in both mice and people could help scientists understand the brain circuits involved in schizophrenia and other disorders that cause hallucinations.

The technique appears to offer "a way to study psychotic disorders in animals," says Adam Kepecs, a professor of neuroscience and psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Source: Health News Florida
Being “complaint proof” on information blocking won’t be easy for providers, vendors
The HHS' information blocking rule goes into effect Monday, and for nearly a year, providers and IT vendors have been racing to prepare. But they have faced several hurdles along
the way, including figuring out how to handle scenarios that could make them non-compliant.

Source: MedCity News
Top 12 Reasons to Buy Disability Insurance as a Resident
Many doctors wonder, “Should I buy disability insurance as a resident?”

Long-term disability insurance protects the most valuable financial asset of a doctor—your ability to trade your time for money at a high rate for the next 30-40 years. There is a reason it is not cheap (expect to spend 2-6% of income protected)—because doctors actually use it. Some estimates are as high as 1 out of 7 doctors will receive benefits from their long term disability policy at some point during their career.

Source: The White Coat Investor
COVID-19 Is Different Now
Trying to remember March 2020 feels like sticking your head into a parallel universe. This time last year, Americans were just going into lockdown—presumably for two weeks—to protect themselves from a mysterious but deadly virus. We disinfected mail but didn’t wear masks. Few of us knew that COVID-19 symptoms could last for months, that you might lose your sense of smell, or that your toes might break out in purple lesions. The possibility that millions would die was real but incomprehensible.

The pandemic today is almost unrecognizably different. In the United States, an acute, terrifying catastrophe has given way to the monotony of lowered expectations. There are no makeshift morgues in the streets. Businesses are opening despite a thousand American deaths a day. This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered New York City employees back to work, regardless of their vaccination status, while case counts in the city are on a high plateau. The pervasive sense is that we can’t wait forever for the pandemic to end.

Source: The Atlantic
State Redistributes COVID Vaccine Doses From Local Sites To FEMA Locations
Florida’s four federally supported COVID-19 vaccination sites will stay open an additional four weeks after receiving extra doses from the state’s supply originally slated for county and local sites.

The sites were expected to close April 28, but will now close on May 26. To keep these sites open, the sites will utilize state vaccine allocations, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

Source: Health News Florida
Swan Song for Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance?
For well over half a century, employer-sponsored health insurance has been central to the U.S. healthcare system. According to recent data from Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 49% of Americans still receive health insurance coverage from employers. However, the relentless escalation in healthcare costs and consolidations in the healthcare industry have increasingly rendered traditional employer-sponsored health insurance "unaffordable" for millions of employers and their employees.

Source: MedPageToday
As Florida’s tourism rebounds, CDC fears a travel-fueled COVID-19 surge
Governor Ron DeSantis says he will take executive action to prohibit “vaccination passports” in Florida.

Florida’s COVID-19 cases are rising again as air traffic reaches numbers not seen in more than a year, sparking concerns that the nation’s wide-open Southern vacation playground could help fuel a fourth surge of infections.
The White House and Centers for Disease Control Prevention called for vigilance on Monday, describing a feeling of “impending doom” with an alarming new uptick in cases nationwide and increased spring break travel.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis continued on his course of fully reopening the state’s tourism sector and downplayed the federal government’s concerns.

Source: South Florida Sun Sentinel
Lawsuit: Cerner systems’ failure drove Astria Health into bankruptcy 
The Washington-based health system has filed a lawsuit against EHR giant Cerner saying it intentionally misrepresented its products and services. Cerner's systems did not operate as promised, leading to severe cash collection issues at Astria Health and forcing it into bankruptcy in 2019, the suit alleges.

Source: MedCity News
ABIM Extends Maintenance of Certification Requirement Deadlines Through 2022
Board-certified physicians are getting another extension on the deadline to maintain their internal medicine credentials.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) once again extended the Maintenace of Certification (MOC) requirements through December 2022.

Source: Fierce Healthcare
Doctor of the Day Program for the 2021 Regular Legislative Session
To: All Physicians and Interested Parties,
We appreciate your past participation in the Doctor of the Day Program. In anticipation of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session, preparations for this program are underway.
The Florida Legislature has implemented COVID-19 protocols, please review the DOCTOR OF THE DAY PROGRAM_COVID memo for details. Please also see the Doctor of the Day Information Packet and the Application Form.
Please contact a member of the Florida Senate or the Florida House of Representatives for sponsorship prior to submitting your Doctor of the Day Application Form.
Thank you and we look forward to your participate in the 2021 Doctor of the Day Program. Please contact me regarding any questions or concerns.
Mavis Knight
Office of Legislative Services
111 West Madison Street, Room 874
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1400
(850) 717-0301
Leon County Mask Mandate Still In Effect
The Leon County mask mandate added to the Leon County Amended Emergency Ordinance No. 20-15 is still in effect. The ordinance states that an individual in a business establishment in Leon County must wear a face covering while in that business establishment.
A business establishment means a location with a roof overhead under which any business is conducted, goods are made, stored or processed, or where services are rendered. The term “business establishment” also includes locations where non-profit, governmental, churches, and quasi-governmental entities facilitate public interactions and conduct business. Also, as part of the requirement, all businesses must post a notice visible to all customers that face coverings are required while indoors. An example sign can be found here.
Facial coverings are not required to be worn by the following persons:
  • Persons under the age of six years;
  • Persons who have trouble breathing due to a chronic pre-existing condition or individuals with a documented or demonstrable medical problem. It is the intent of this provision that those individuals who cannot tolerate a facial covering for a medical, sensory, or any other condition which makes it difficult for them to utilize a facial covering and function in public are not required to wear one;
  • Persons in their private rooms of a lodging establishment, such as a hotel, motel, or vacation rental—however, face coverings must be worn in all indoor commons areas of said establishment;
  • Persons exercising while observing at least six feet of distancing from another person;
  • Restaurant and bar patrons eating or drinking
  • Business owners, managers, and employees who are in an area of a business establishment that is not open to customers, patrons, or the public, provided that six feet of distance exist between persons.

The ordinance will remain in place until repealed. A copy of the ordinance and frequently asked questions are posted to the Leon County Emergency Information Portal at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/ei. For additional questions regarding the mask mandate ordinance, please call Leon County Administration at 850-606-5300.

For additional information on COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health has activated a 24/7 COVID-19 call center at (866) 779-6121. Leon County residents can also call the County Health Department at (850) 404-6300, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, the best resource for Florida-specific COVID-19 information remains the following FDOH website: www.FLHealth.gov/COVID-19.

Source: Office of Economic Vitality
Free Face Coverings Available at OEV
Face coverings are available at the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality (315 S. Calhoun Street, Suite 110, Tallahassee, FL, 32301) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A business with one location is eligible for up to 100 face coverings. Local businesses with multiple locations are eligible for up to 200 face coverings. For FAQs regarding the distribution of masks to businesses, click here

Source: Office of Economic Vitality
Some Days Just Aren't As Bright As Others
No denying that the last 12+ months could have been a bit better and brighter. If your days don't seem as bright, we hope you take advantage of this program. The CMSF's Physician Wellness Program will pay for up to six completely confidential wellness coaching sessions with any of the counselors enrolled in our program (contact information below). Pick up the phone and call any of the resources noted below. Telehealth options available during COVID-19. 
Special thanks to MagMutual Foundation and others who are helping the CMSF fund this program.
Local Wellness Coaching Resources:
  • Paul Deitchman, Ph.D. - 850-878-3571
  • Tracey Morse, Ph.D. - 850-556-7944
  • Debra Weaver, Ph.D. - 850-942-5585
  • Stephen Wright, Ph.D. - 850-222-3045

C. Vincent Dix, Ph.D. has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2021. We appreciate the services Dr. Dix has provided to local physicians since the inception of the Capital Medical Society Foundation's Physician Wellness Program in 2017.

To view Physician Wellness resources, click here.
Coronavirus - Information, Updates, Resources
Updates and Resources

The State-Level COVID-19 profile for Florida. This data is collected from medical facilities in one of two system HHS protect or National Healthcare Safety Network  
 and the White House Coronavirus Task Force analyzes and distributes the report.
The New England Journal of Medicine - A collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary
Epidemiological and Clinical Resources For The COVID-19 Pandemic
CDC Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
CDC Guidance for People at Higher Risk for COVID-19 Complications
CDC PPE Poster
CDC Guidance for Travelers from Countries with Widespread Sustained (ongoing) Transmission Arriving in the United States
CDC Communication Resources
NETEC coronavirus page includes PPE validation checklists and video resource, in addition to many others:
From the Florida Medical Association: Coronavirus Educational Resource Center

Vaccine Updates

See the latest state Department of Health data summarizing the number of people in Florida who have either received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or completed the vaccine series (FMA) 
 (Florida Department of Health in Leon County)
(Florida Department of Health in Leon County) 
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
COVID-19 Pandemic Planning FAQ (dated 11/19/2020) includes important information regarding procurement and handling of costs for vaccine administration. (FEMA) 
What Happens Once There is a COVID-19 Vaccine? Key Challenges to Vaccinating America (12/3/2020) - VIDEO or SLIDES (Kaiser Family Foundation) 

Reporting for Health Care Providers and Laboratories

Notable recent additions to CDC guidance include more detailed infection prevention and control recommendations for health care settings: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/infection-control.html.

Please continue to closely monitor the CDC novel coronavirus website for situation and guidance updates. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

If you have any patients who meet the person under investigation criteria, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Leon County Epidemiology Program at 850-404-6299.
Epidemiology and Disease Control Program
Florida Department of Health in Leon County
2965 Municipal Way,
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Office Number: (850) 404-6299 
Confidential Fax: (850) 921-9855
Public Service Announcement - "Don't Put It Off!"
Capital Medical Society Partners With Local Hospitals and Physicians to Encourage Patients to Seek Needed Healthcare Through Public Service Announcement, "Don't Put It Off!" 
Click here to view the PSA: "Don't Put It Off!" 
Cap Scan Series: "Portraits in COVID-19" - Please Share Your Experience
Capital Medical Society is accepting stories for its Cap Scan magazine from CMS and CMSA members as part of an occasional series called "Portraits in COVID-19," to capture the changes happening in healthcare and our personal lives due to COVID-19 as experienced by physicians and laypeople. These stories can be about your experiences treating COVID-positive patients, supporting patients and coping with families during "no visitation," entering the world of telehealth, concerns about PPE shortages, distancing from your own families, family celebrations by social distancing, newfound time with family, newbie ZOOM meeting experiences worthy of an SNL skit, staycations extraordinaire, or schooling from home. You get the idea. Please try to stay within 800 words, include a photo if it makes sense, and be mindful of HIPAA, if writing about a patient experience. Please send by email to Shannon Boyle at sboyle@capmed.org. All submissions are reviewed by the Cap Scan editor prior to publication.
Not All Superheroes Wear Capes! We Salute Our PPE Donors and Volunteers!
COVID-19 Donations Needed
Rx for Miracles
Florida RX Card has created a new program and resource card to help Children's Miracle Network children and families in need. This card will work just as Florida Rx Card, helping people save on their prescription medications. 

The flyer explains the program and can be used to share/download the app.
Informed Webinar Series: Understanding the CMS Proposed Rule: Reducing Provider and Patient Burden by Improving Prior Authorization Processes
On December 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve the electronic exchange of healthcare data among payers, providers, and patients. If finalized, the CMS rule would streamline processes related to prior authorization with the goal of reducing the burden on providers and patients. Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), and QHP (Qualified Health Plan) payers would be required to build and implement FHIR-enabled APIs that could:
  • Allow providers to know, in advance, what documentation would be needed for each different payer. 
  • Streamline the documentation process. 
  • Enable providers to send prior authorization requests (and receive responses electronically) directly from the provider's EHR or other practice management system.
Start to HEAL - 8-Week Lecture Series
Do you have patients who could benefit from learning how to live a healthier lifestyle? Are you interested in how diet can aid in disease reversal? Dr. Andria Klioze, founder of HEAL (Healthy Eating. Active Life) has 20+ years of data and experience that will help your patients (and you!) become healthier from top to bottom. This is an 8-week virtual series.
Source: HEAL 
PAP Machine Donations Needed!
A PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) machine is an electronic respiratory ventilation device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Capital Medical Society Foundation, Inc.'s We Care Network program assists low-income, uninsured adults, whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level, with obtaining these potentially life-saving medical devices, when prescribed by a pulmonologist. Thanks to our partners at Desloge Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment, Inc., we are able to provide refurbished CPAP, AutoPAP, and BPAP machines for eligible We Care Network patients in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Wakulla Counties. We Care Network also accepts unused, unopened supplies for PAP machines, such as masks, nasal cannulas, and tubing. We Care Network coordinates over $8,000,000 in donated specialty medical and dental care annually.
Machine donations can be dropped off at Capital Medical Society Foundation's office at 1204 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Donations to Capital Medical Society Foundation are tax-deductible within IRS guidelines Federal Tax I.D. #: 59-2104510. For additional information, please call 942-5215 or email dbixler@capmed.org.
You Can Support the CMS Foundation! Sign Up and Shop Today on AmazonSmile!
For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Capital Medical Society Foundation! 
Click here to access AmazonSmile and support the CMS Foundation today!
Check Out the Latest CMS Member Benefits