Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
June 18, 2021
COVID-19 Updates

Labor Department officials announced last week a temporary emergency standard to protect health care workers, saying they face “grave danger” in the workplace from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The new standard would require employers to remove workers who have COVID-19 from the workplace, notify workers of COVID exposure at work, and strengthen requirements for employers to report worker deaths or hospitalizations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
 
Although California has lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions, new guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) indicates that masks are still required in health care settings, including for fully vaccinated individuals. The requirement for masks aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Updated Health Care Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccinations.
 
With California’s reopening on June 15, the CDPH released helpful guidance:
 
For more information about California’s reopening plan, you can refer to CDPH’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors document. 

Contra Costa County Health Services updated their COVID-19 FAQ page to account for California’s new COVID-19 safety guidelines that went into effect on June 15.
 
Contra Costa Health Services is now bringing their mobile COVID-19 vaccination van to workplaces, community centers, and other locations where five or more members of a group want to receive a vaccine. Any business or organization can request a mobile vaccination clinic using an online form.
 
On Monday, June 21, Alameda County will be hosting an event for employers and business owners who are interested in learning about Cal/OSHA requirements, workplace safety measure recommendations, and what it means to return to usual operation after the reopening. The event will be held via Zoom from 6:00 – 7:00 PM.
 
Contra Costa County reported on Thursday that 77% of residents 12 years and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose, and 70% are fully vaccinated.
 
Alameda County reported on Thursday that 79% of residents 12 years and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose, and 66% are fully vaccinated. 

Alameda County reports that it has administered more than 2,001,000 doses as of June 17. As of June 17, ICU capacity in the county is at 35% with 11 confirmed COVID patients hospitalized.

Contra Costa reports that it has administered more than 1,406,000 doses as of June 17. As of June 17, ICU capacity in the county is at 20% with 8 confirmed COVID patients hospitalized.

As of June 17, Statewide ICU capacity is 2,255 beds, a 1% decrease from the day before.
SF Physician Jack Resneck, Jr., MD. Wins Office of AMA President-Elect
 
This week the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates elected Jack Resneck Jr., MD, a dermatologist and health policy expert from San Francisco, as the association’s president-elect. Following a year-long term as president-elect, Dr. Resneck will assume the office of AMA President in June 2022. He is the vice chair and professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, and an 18-year member of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society and CMA.
HHS Revises Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revised reporting requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments. The new requirements expand the amount of time providers will have to report information, reduces burdens on smaller providers, and extends key deadlines for expending provider relief fund payments.
UHC Delays Rollout of ED Facility Review Program
 
Based on concerns from numerous medical societies and physician organizations, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has delayed the rollout of its planned emergency department facility review program to the end of the national public health emergency. The new program, originally scheduled for implementation on July 1, 2021, would have implemented a post-service review of emergency department (ED) facility claims for commercial enrollees to determine if the visit was emergent in nature. CMA co-signed a letter expressing grave concerns about the retroactive denial of coverage for emergency care and is urging UHC to rescind the program permanently.
How are Health Experts Handling California’s Reopening?
 
Dr. Bob Wachter, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine, who was flying back to California Tuesday, said he’s only dropping the mask if “I’m sure that everyone is vaccinated or, if there are unvaccinated there, that they’re all wearing a mask. Since there is virtually no way to be sure of the latter, I’m still masking indoors,” Wachter added, when he goes to places like stores. To view the full article, please click here.
CMA HOD to Address Health Equity and Corporatization of Health Care
 
The 150th Annual Session of the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates (HOD) will tackle two major issues when it convenes October 23-24, 2021, in Los Angeles. CMA physician delegates meet annually to establish broad policy on current major issues that have been determined to be the most important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine. This year’s major issues are Racism and Other Barriers to Health Equity and Corporatization of Health Care. Members are invited to comment on these major issue topics. The testimony provided will help guide the CMA councils in the development of their reports. 
WEBINARS & EVENTS
Available on demand
Member $29.00 | Non-member $79.00

Now available! Current and new staff can receive on-demand training on HIPAA, OSHA, and customer service. Intended for all staff encountering patients in person or by telephone, this course covers customer service techniques, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). For questions, contact Jenn Mullins, Education and Event Associate, at jmullins@accma.org.
 
Click here to register. 
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 12:15 – 1:15 pm
FREE for Members; $99 for Non‑members | Presented by CMA
 
This webinar will answer some of the most common questions employers have about returning to work issues, including whether the employer can inquire if the employee is vaccinated; if vaccination is or can be required for returning employees; whether the employer is required to accommodate employees who want to continue telecommuting; what obligations, if any, will employers have to accommodate employees not vaccinated; and what issues should employers address once employees return to work. This one‑hour webinar will address all these issues, as well as provide information on how employers may go about addressing and documenting them.
 
Presenter: Oscar E. Rivas, Esq., Partner, Landegger Rivas Verano & Davis
 
Click here to register. 
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | noon-1:30 PM
FREE | CME Available | Presented by CMA 
 
Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency in California, Mark Ghaly, MD, is a pediatrician by training and has long worked in the safety net systems of California with a focus on caring for vulnerable patients in our state who fall through the cracks, from children with complex care needs to residents of our jails and prisons and those experiencing homelessness. Dr. Ghaly will share his experience as a key decision-maker and leader during these unprecedented times. 

We will also welcome back Erica Pan, MD, California State Epidemiologist, who will give us updates on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic nationally and in California, review the progress of the vaccine rollout, and the evolving story of COVID-19 variants.
 
Moderator: Kimberly Newell Green, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, UCSF
 
Click here to register.  
Friday, July 16 | 8 AM –12:15 PM
CME Available | Presented by the Riverside County Medical Association
 
Topics to be covered at this year’s virtual conference include aging physicians, safe and legal monitoring of physicians in a treatment program, physician well-being committee roles and responsibilities, and more. The conference is open to anyone involved or interested in improving the health and well-being of physicians.
 
Speakers: David Bazzo, MD; Kai McDonald, MD; Ajeet Singhvi, MD; and Elizabeth Snelson, Esq.
 
Register here
Thursday, August 26 | 6:15–7:30 PM
FREE | CME Available
 
Using data and stories, together in conversation, we will focus on yourself, as well as your potential new directions and skills, and your “team,” whether at home or professionally.
 
Speaker: Linda Clever, MD, MACP
 
Click here to register.
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