Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
April 8, 2022
COVID-19 Therapeutics Updates and Resources

The Alameda County Public Health Department released an updated health advisory on March 31, detailing changes to COVID-19 treatment guidelines including: FDA amended the EUA for Sotrovimab due to decreased efficacy against the BA.2 Omicron subvariant. Access the on-demand COVID therapeutics webinar from ACPHD here. ACPHD also released a letter to Physician Specialists detailing treatment and management of COVID-19 in high-risk patients. Access the test-to-treat locator to find pharmacy-based clinics here.
HRSA to Reopen Period 1 Provider Relief Fund Reporting

If you received more than $10,000 in provider relief funds for period 1 and missed the reporting deadline due to extenuating circumstances, you now have between April 1 and April 22 at 8:59 pm PST to submit a late Reporting Period 1 report request. HRSA lists six extenuating circumstances, including failure to click submit and internal miscommunication or error.
CURES Updates to Begin April 11

The California Dept. of Justice is making changes to the CURES database including improved user interface and new system features, and expanded functionality through which delegates will be authorized to access data in CURES. Click here to learn more about delegate eligibility and changes to CURES. Be aware that CURES will be inaccessible from April 8 at 5 pm until April 11 at 8 am, and that beginning April 11 the Internet Explorer web browser will no longer be allowed to access the CURES web application.
Share Your Prior Authorization Story

Insurance company prior authorization red tape creates serious and dangerous delays in care for many California patients. CMA is currently supporting bills that impact prior authorization requirements and working to introduce new legislation. Share your unique experience to explain to lawmakers how prior authorization policies harm patients.
Medicare Patients Can Get Up to 8 Free COVID Tests Per Month

As of April 4, each person with Medicare Part B can get up to 8 OTC COVID-19 tests per month. This coverage continues until the PHE ends. Click here to see a list of participating pharmacies. Encourage patients to call the pharmacy to ensure they are a participating location and remind them about the federal program that will ship 2 sets of COVID-19 tests to their home.
State Launches Campaign to Help Californians Retain Health Coverage

When the COVID-19 continuous coverage requirement expires at the end of the PHE, California will need to conduct a full redetermination for all beneficiaries who use Medi-Cal or CHIP to access health care. DHCS has launched a customizable Medi-Cal Continuous Coverage toolkit and webpage to help trusted entities and individuals act as DHCS Coverage Ambassadors to push communications to Medi-Cal beneficiaries to encourage them to update their contact information with their counties to ensure they receive important information about keeping their Medi-Cal coverage.
Return of Medicare Sequestration

On April 1, 2022, physicians receive only partial relief from Medicare sequestration as a 1% Medicare sequester goes into effect for the next three months. Then on July 1, there will be a return of the full 2% Medicare sequester. The AMA and other stakeholders sent a letter to Congress asking that sequestration relief be extended through the end of the public health emergency. 
CMS Releases Guidance on Virtual Credit Cards and EFT/ERA Payments
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new guidance on Virtual Credit Cards (VCC) and electronic funds transfer (EFT)/electronic remittance advice (ERA) payment transactions, as well as business associate compliance with the HIPAA Administrative Simplification requirements. Physicians should review the new guidance and talk to their health plans about any services they are currently receiving that they do not want. 
Bill Aims to Lower Barriers to Entry for Incoming Medical Workforce

Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) today announced AB 2132, the California Future Physician Fund, to address California’s shortage of physicians and medical professionals. CMA is sponsoring AB 2132 to establish the California Future Physicians Fund, which would create a pilot program to provide scholarships to students in underserved communities from undergrad through medical school. Click here to read more.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers

Bill S.3828 has been introduced to provide student loan forgiveness to health care workers who are on the frontline response to COVID-19. Unlike CalHealthCares, student loan forgiveness would be awarded to many types of health care workers: physicians, physician assistants, nurses, interns, home health workers, and EMTs. Click here to read more. 
WEBINARS & EVENTS
Tuesday, April 19 | Held virtually in coherence with CMA’s Legislative Day 
 
CMA’s Legislative Advocacy Event usually hosts more than 400 California physicians, medical students, and CMA Alliance members as they lobby legislative leaders in Sacramento. ACCMA will be hosting all meetings virtually in coherence with CMA’s in-person Legislative Day. 
 
Register here
Tuesday, April 19 | 10:00 to 11:00 am 
FREE | Online | Presented by AMA 
 
COVID-19 has put extraordinary stress on health care workers. Clinician well-being has never been more important. Join the American Medical Association (AMA) at noon CDT on April 19 to learn about insights from the 2022 national burnout benchmarking report. Highlights will include current trends in burnout, stress, and job satisfaction in addition to other key drivers of burnout that have emerged during the pandemic. The AMA will also share key strategies to address ongoing burnout and how health systems can reset as we emerge from the pandemic. 
 
Register here
Wednesday, April 20 | 8:00 to 9:00 am 
FREE | Online | Presented by AMA and ACEP 
 
This interactive session will provide participants with an overview of the innovative ways that telehealth is currently being used in emergency medicine. This event is co-hosted by the American Medical Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), a Telehealth Immersion Program collaborator. 
 
Register here
Thursdays, April 21 and 28 | 9 am to noon 
FREE | CME Available | Online
 
Physicians passionate about wellness from medical groups, health clinics, medical staffs, residency programs, and other physician organizations throughout the Bay Area are invited to this free online conference over two half-days on April 21 and 28. Keynote speakers are Marie Brown, MD, AMA Director of Practice Redesign; Paul DeChant, MD, Healthcare Consultant; and John Chuck, MD, Former TPMG Regional Chair for Physician Health and Wellness Leaders. Three panel discussions will cover practice improvements in action; developing evidence-based interventions; and transforming leadership for a culture of wellness. 
 
Register here
Friday, April 22 - Sunday April, 24 | St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco 
$499 for Non-CAFP Members 
 
The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) is very excited to announce that physicians are coming together again, face-to-face, at our 2022 Family Medicine Clinical Forum, a 2.5-day event in San Francisco that includes over 20 clinical sessions, procedural workshops, a practice management track, community service event, 5k FundRun, Resident poster contest, Jeopardy CME and so much more. 
 
Register here.
Tuesday, April 26 | 12:15 to 1:15 pm 
Free for members | Hosted by CMA 
 
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many practices implemented telehealth for the first time. Now, physicians and their patients are starting to think about what happens to telehealth if and when the public health emergency comes to an end. With recent developments at the state and federal level bringing the future into focus, join CMA Vice President of Health Information Technology, David Ford, to hear what the future holds in store for telehealth. 
 
Register here
Leadership Reading and Discussion Group 
Wednesday, May 4 | 6:00 to 7:30 pm  
FREE | CME Available | Online  
  
Physicians are free to join any meeting of the Leadership Reading and Discussion Group; reading the book is not required. Doctor Hilary Worthen, course director of the Physician Leadership Program, facilitates the discussion group that is held on Zoom. “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life,” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.

Email Mae Lum, Deputy Director, at mlum@accma.org to get the Zoom/videoconference link. 
Thursday, May 5 
FREE | Hosted by Physicians for a Healthy California 
 
The GME Leadership Summit aims to develop and sustain new GME programs in medically underserved areas and specialties by convening subject matter experts and thought leaders to provide insight and expertise. All GME champions are invited to attend, especially physician workforce development leaders and those looking to start new GME programs, as well as newly designated institutional officials, program directors and program coordinators. 
 
Register here
ACCMA's On-Demand Library

To access all on-demand programs, go to https://www.pathlms.com/medical-society/courses 
 
QUESTIONS/CONCERNS?
Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or accma@accma.orgwith any questions or concerns you have.