Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
COVID-19 By the Numbers (as of June 25):

ACCMA May/June Bulletin - Now Available Online
The May/June issue of the ACCMA Bulletin is now available as a downloadable PDF . Print copies will be mailed out in the next week.

This issue of the Bulletin brings together a plethora of resources related to reopening practices and exploring our new normal amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as current advocacy topics, physician wellness resources, and more. Articles include:

  • Guidance and Resources for Reopening Medical Practices
  • Wellness Tips
  • Strategies to Optimize PPE
  • ACCMA's Leadership Series on Effective Leadership in Crisis
  • Specialty-Specific Tips for COVID-19
  • CMA's Care 4 Caregivers Now
  • Maintaining Patient Safety as Practices Reopen
California: State of Unrest

On June 25, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation of a budget emergency in response to COVID-19, making room for the passing of legislation that will allow California to draw from their rainy-day fund. Additional funds will be available for PPE, medical equipment, and other resources necessary to prepare for hospital surges.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring that all California residents wear face coverings while in public. Since the requirement was rolled out last week, county sheriffs and police chiefs across the state have announced that they don’t plan on enforcing the order.

This week, Newsom threatened to punish CA cities and counties who “thumb their nose” at state COVID-19 guidelines. The budget deal with legislative leaders that was announced earlier this week ties county and city funding to local governments’ compliance with COVID-19 state requirements. “If counties that have submitted that they need more state money to address this pandemic but are unwilling to enforce the rules and laws related to mitigate that pandemic, it seems not only counterintuitive that you would continue to provide those resources, but actually harmful to the broader effort,” said Newsom.
Business as Usual (ish)

If you’ve been waiting to take your Medical Licensing Examination, you’re in luck. The Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is once again available at select centers , including UCSF School of Medicine. Prometric, which administers the test, had previously suspended all testing due to COVID-19. The UCSF testing center will only be serving students from a select number of medical schools.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that physicians can choose to either opt-out completely or partially from Medicare’s 2020 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program. Physicians who want to opt-out should submit a hardship exemption on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website and indicate that they’re requesting an exemption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New In: "This Just Isn't Working"

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) released a statement about the use of temperature screenings alone as a means of testing for COVID-19. Temperature screening as a measure of COVID-19 detection is becoming increasingly popular in the community, particularly at businesses where employers require regular temperature checks of employees, however, there is little evidence that temperature screening is actually effective in reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently decided to halt the clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine , a malaria drug frequently touted by President Trump as a potential treatment to COVID-19. The NIH determined that hydroxychloroquine was very unlikely to provide any benefit in treating COVID-19.
On the Bright Side (Thanks HHS!)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opened a new “Medicaid Targeted Distribution” portal through which Medicaid-dependent physicians can apply to receive a portion of the $15 billion “targeted distribution” for Medicaid providers. Physicians must apply for the funding before July 20, 2020

The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) recently announced that the Morehouse School of Medicine will be receiving funding for a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities. Morehouse School of Medicine will work with OMH to distribute COVID-19 related information to communities that have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic.

HHS also announced a total of $750,000 in prizes that will be awarded for the development of a user-friendly online system to connect users with their communities. The MENTAL Health Challenge winning system will be announced in January 2021.
What We're Reading - COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
FREE | Monday, June 29 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by the California Medical Association

CMA Physician Services has partnered with Aledade to help  independent primary care physicians  and  health centers  successfully pursue value-based care. Adelade does this by working with independent primary care physicians and health centers to build and lead Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that allow them to remain independent and thrive financially by keeping people healthy. Through value-based care, practices can diversify their revenue streams while improving patient outcomes. By way of example in the 2019 Medicare Shared Savings performance year, physicians practices that partnered with Aledade are projected to receive an average of $380,237 in shared savings bonuses. In this interactive webinar, CMA Physician Services and Aledade will give and overview of value-based care and Aledade's partner services. Register online .
Guide to Resilience: A Four-Part Series
FREE | Thursday, July 16 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Sponsored by the SCMS/NCMS Together in Medicine Program

A four-part series providing tools and guidance to physicians as they navigate through the biggest crisis we have faced. Information about future sessions coming soon.

To cope with the stress of the present and the future, doctors will need new resilience in the face of suffering, expanded capabilities to pay attention in more complex environments, and greater emotional intelligence in their relationships to care for others while also caring for themselves. This presentation introduces physicians to a positive psychology framework for promoting resiliency, grit, and self-care to ultimately increase their effectiveness and satisfaction at work and at home. Physicians actively pursuing their own resilience may be better equipped to handle the many challenges presented throughout their medical career and less likely to experience burnout, even in the COVID era. View the full program flyer .
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 or accma@accma.org with 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.