Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
COVID-19 By the Numbers (as of 8/7/20):

  • Alameda County: 12,136 confirmed cases, 193 deaths (including City of Berkeley data)
  • Contra Costa County: 8,760 confirmed cases, 136 deaths
  • California: 538,416 confirmed cases, 10,011 deaths (as of 8/6/20)
  • US: 4,802,491 cases; 157,631 deaths
Nominate Yourself or a Colleague for the ACCMA Health Equity Task Force

The ACCMA is forming a task force comprised of ACCMA members to guide our advocacy priorities, programs, services, and activities related to health equity, the elimination of disparities, improving cultural competency among physicians, and reducing bias in the delivery of care.
We are currently recruiting ACCMA members with the experience and interest to serve on this task force. The time commitment should be manageable; although meetings may be held more frequently initially, we expect that the task force will meet quarterly in the evening for approximately 1.5 hours. Meetings will be held by videoconference through at least the remainder of 2020. When we are able to convene again in person, we will continue to provide an option for remote participation.
If you or one of your colleagues is interested in getting involved on this task force and supporting our collective efforts to dismantle systemic racism within healthcare and address its adverse impacts on our patients, please take a moment to complete the nomination form, which can be found on the ACCMA Committee webpage.
Pulse Check: COVID-19 Physician Survey

The ACCMA is requesting that members complete a brief five-minute survey to share your perspectives about the COVID-19 pandemic response efforts and the future of medical practice post-pandemic. These major issues will be debated at length over the next several months as part of the CMA House of Delegates policy-making process. Please share your views and experiences by completing this survey so that we can benefit from having a wide range of ACCMA member perspectives in the mix.
We want to hear from you!
County News

The ACCMA along with Napa/Solano County Medical Societies held 3 drive-thru events over the last week to distribute PPE to medical practices. The events were held in Oakland, Pleasant Hill, and Fairfield, involving over 100 volunteers in total. Much needed PPE was distributed to over 700 different practices. The PPE was donated by the State of California, in partnership with the CMA (which coordinated 35 events statewide) and local county medical societies. Although many hands went into making these events a success, we would like to offer a special thank you to our esteemed ACCMA President, Dr. Katrina Peters, as well as Drs. Irina Kolomey and Michael Melewicz, for volunteering. We would also like to offer a big thank you to Dr. Ronald Wyatt, who was instrumental in connecting us with a space in Oakland and with young, strong volunteers for all of our events. 

Contra Costa County Health Services updated its FAQ page, specifically updating the section related to childcare and schools. All Contra Costa County K-12 campuses will reopen with distance learning only. Schools have the option of reopening for in-person instruction once their county has been off the California Department of Public Heath’s COVID-19 county monitoring list for at least 14 days.

Contra Costa County Health Services also released a Mass Isolation Order, requiring that individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately quarantine themselves in their home and tell their close contacts to do the same. Contra Costa Health Services also released updated Isolation Guidance regarding when COVID-19 positive patients may discontinue isolation.

The Alameda County Health Care Services Agency released a statement that Alameda County remains on the California State Data Monitoring List due to a rate above 100 new cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. Schools may not move to in-person learning until the County is off the Monitoring List for at least two weeks, and Alameda County is not accepting any waivers at this time.
COVID-19 Testing and Guidelines

On August 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that includes updates to payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Payment Schedule effective on or after January 1.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidance on youth sports and elementary school waivers. Youth sports may continue but must comply with physical distancing requirements.

The National Institutes of Health has launched the Medical Imaging and Data Resource Center (MIDRC) which aims to create new tools that physicians can use for early detection and personalized therapies for COVID-19 patients through the use of artificial intelligence and medical imaging.
In Other News

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the deadline for physicians to apply for the Provider Relief Fund for both Medicare and Medicaid providers - HHS is now accepting applications until August 28, 2020. HHS also said that Medicare providers who missed the deadline to apply for additional funding from the second $20 billion tranche of the $50 billion general distribution will have a second chance to apply for provider relief beginning August 10, 2020.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies to provide Medicare beneficiaries with more options as far as where they can receive care, as well as lower their out-of-pocket expenses.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is also proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that was signed on August 3. The proposed rule focuses on reducing clinician burden under CMS' Patients Over Paperwork initiative and ensuring appropriate reimbursement for time spent with patients. In addition, the proposed changes also focus on increasing access to care for Medicare beneficiaries, particularly in rural settings.
What We're Reading - COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
Cancer Support Community Offers Emergency Financial Assistance to Patients

Cancer Support Community is offering emergency financial assistance to low-income cancer patients and their families in the Bay Area who are actively in treatment for cancer or will be in active treatment in the next six months. In some situations, the support may be extended to cancer survivors who have completed treatment in the last six months. Individuals should have an income level of $30,000 or less as an individual. A social worker, doctor, or other licensed medical provider must complete the intake form for the patient and make the request. Funds are limited. For more information, call (925) 933-0107. 
FREE | Monday, August 10 | 11:00 - 12:30 PM
Presented by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and the Administration for Community Living

This Spotlight on Health webinar will highlight innovative solutions to address social isolation in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, 43 percent of adults age 60 or older in the United States reported feeling lonely. Social isolation and feelings of loneliness can be heightened during physical distancing and stay-at-home orders. This webinar will highlight local programs that have developed unique solutions to combat social isolation — and that continue to address the diverse needs of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register Now.
FREE | Tuesday, August 11 | 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Presented by the California Medical Association

COVID-19 affects children differently. As schools attempt to reopen, the dynamics of COVID-19 in children is top of mind for clinicians, parents, educators and policymakers. Physicians are being asked to serve as experts in local decisions around reopening schools. The speakers will review the latest data on children and COVID-19, including symptoms, patterns of disease and disease transmission, clinical presentation and management of pediatric syndromes like MIS-C, testing, etc. Register Now.
FREE | Thursday, August 13 | 12:15 - 1:15 PM
Presented by the California Medical Association

The California Medical Association is launching a new 12-part webinar series – Telehealth for Small and Medium Sized Practices. The 12 presentations will take place over the next six months, and will cover all aspects of implementing telehealth in a medical practice – selecting a platform, reimbursement rules and patient interactions. The webinar series will have an emphasis on the use of telehealth in Medi-Cal.
The first webinar in the series will provide a general overview of telehealth, including changes that have been implemented by federal and state regulators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation will also cover proper documentation of telehealth visits. Register Now.
FREE | Thursday, August 20 | 12:15 - 1:15 PM
Presented by the California Medical Association

This webinar will provide an update on federal actions to aid physician practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics will include the latest congressional COVID-19 relief bill, the HHS Provider Relief Fund, and the Paycheck Protection Program.
Participants will also hear about the California Medical Association's federal COVID-19 advocacy. CMA is strongly advocating for additional funding to protect the public health and sustain the financial viability of physician practices. Register Now.
FREE | CME Available | Tuesday, August 25 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM

This session focuses on self-care and understanding self-preservation. Most of us were taught that being self-centered is an undesirable trait. What if the opposite was true? Could being a little more self-centered improve your well-being and restore resiliency? In this presentation we will identify the importance of putting SELF first. We will explore the correlation between improved well-being and practicing the 3S Model: Self-Compassion, Self-Awareness and Self Care. Register Now.
ACCMA's On-Demand Library

FREE | Available On-Demand
On June 13, the ACCMA hosted its first Virtual Telehealth Vendor Fair. Telehealth vendors from across California and the Nation showcased their products and services so members can evaluate what solutions will work best in their practice. Vendors include Decoded Health, Doctorgram, TigerConnect, Updox, and VSee.

FREE | Available On-Demand | CME Available
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. 

FREE | Available On-Demand | CME Available
Telehealth services are expanding rapidly during the COVID-19 crisis. In partnership with Bay Area medical associations, the ACCMA teamed up with experts to develop a comprehensive webinar series to help physicians swiftly ramp up their telemedicine capabilities, from technology to practice implementation to coding. Experts discuss choosing a telemedicine platform; compliance; privacy and security considerations; billing and payment; policies, procedures, and workflow; informing your patients; and malpractice. Physicians who have experience practicing telemedicine share their practical reflections.

FREE | Available On-Demand
Medical offices and practices are essential businesses and were not required to close, but many physicians have faced difficulties with staffing, incorporating Telemedicine into their practices, ensuring waiting rooms are safe, etc. Sessions include "Getting Back Up and Running Safely," "HR and Employment Issues," and "Telemedicine and Reimbursement."
CMA On-Demand Library
FREE | Available On-Demand
Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 oraccma@accma.orgwith any questions or concerns you have.
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.