Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
COVID-19 By the Numbers (as of June 5):

  • Alameda County: 3,725 confirmed cases, 101 deaths. 82 patients are currently hospitalized (including City of Berkeley data.)
  • Contra Costa County: 1,547 confirmed cases, 38 deaths. 15 patients are currently hospitalized.
  • California: 122,901 confirmed cases, 4,485 deaths. 4,625 patients are currently hospitalized with positive or suspected COVID-19 (as of June 4).
  • US: 1,862,656 cases, 108,064 deaths.
PPE Guidance for Independent Practices

The ACCMA has developed PPE Guidance for Independent Practices , bringing together resources and information regarding PPE requests and PPE use . If you have any questions or any additional information to add to the document, please contact the ACCMA by calling 510-654-5383 or emailing accma@accma.org .
Prop 56 - California Budget Update

The Senate and Assembly recently reached an agreement on the 2020-21 Budget . Included is a restoration of all of Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenue provider payments and programs , as well as all future years of the Physician and Dentist Loan Repayment Program.

The ACCMA would like to thank our members for all your work in urging legislators to reject Governor Newsom's May Revise Budget Proposal. ACCMA will work with CMA staff over the coming weeks, prior to the June 15 budget deadline, to ensure Proposition 56 is protected and will continue to increase access to care for Medi-cal patients.
On the Front Burner

The California Medical Association (CMA) President, Dr. Peter Bretan, released a statement regarding the recent death of George Floyd and institutionalized racism in America; "As physicians dedicated to healing, we cannot choose to ignore the consequences of hatred and discrimination because we know they contribute to disparities in health outcomes for communities of color. They also negatively impact every facet of our lives from public safety and criminal justice to economic opportunity and public health."a

Congress will soon be faced with a bill - the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act - that would provide health care professionals with protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits . The bill will help protect health care professionals from lawsuits related to care given or care suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In licensing news, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has extended DCA Waiver DCA-20-13 , which defers any CME or examination requirement for the renewal of physician licenses . It also allows physicians up to 6 months after the state of emergency declaration is lifted to make up the required CME or examination for renewal.
Policy Developments

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the first set of COVID-19 nursing home data. CMS plans to update the data regularly as nursing homes continue to send in their information. Review the current COVID-19 Nursing Home data .

Bay Area Health Officers released a Joint Statement regarding reopening and resuming activity while continuing to prioritize community safety . As additional sectors open, Bay Area Health Officers are relying on businesses to maintain social distancing protocols and other safety measures in their establishments. Bay Area residents are still encouraged to wear face coverings in public and stay home as much as possible .

Contra Costa County will be relaxing more restrictions on businesses and social activities over the next few weeks. Review the press release for details regarding which businesses may reopen.

Alameda County has worked to open a free COVID-19 testing site at the West Oakland Health Center , located at 700 Adeline Street. This site will be open for four weeks.

The California Medical Association (CMA) has published templates to guide communication between physicians and patients regarding resuming routine and non-urgent medical visits .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is planning to collaborate with state and county health departments to conduct community-level testing for COVID-19 antibodies .
Funding, Funding, Funding

Not much new is happening in the world of funding, however, Congressional leaders did recently write to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar , demanding answers about the delay in provider relief fund disbursement to Medicaid-dependent providers. Providers who depend on Medicaid for a large source of their income haven't yet received any meaningful allocation from the promised HHS funds.
What We're Reading - Resources and Guidance
Virtual Telehealth Vendor Fair
FREE | Saturday, June 13 | 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Let us bring the Telehealth vendors to you!

Telehealth vendors from across California and the Nation will showcase their products and services so members can evaluate what solutions will work best in their practice. Participants will have the opportunity to join Q&A sessions with individual vendors following the main session.

To register for the Vendor Fair, please complete the online form . To view the full flyer, including vendors attending, please click here .

For questions about the Vendor Fair, contact Mr. David Lopez, Associate Director of Advocacy and Policy at dlopez@accma.org, or by calling 510-654-5383.
ACCMA's On-Demand Library

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
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."
Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or accma@accma.org with any questions or concerns you have. Questions can also be directed to the ACCMA Slack channel , where physicians can respond to and receive feedback from other physicians.
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.