Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
COVID-19 By the Numbers (as of 8/28/20):

ACCMA Nominating Committee Report for 2020 Elections

The ACCMA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce its nominees list for this year's elections. In accordance with the ACCMA Bylaws, the Nominating Committee is appointed annually by the ACCMA Council and is comprised of a representative of each ACCMA Councilor District.

ACCMA Bylaws also provide that any Active ACCMA member may submit additional nominees, which would then trigger a contested election between that additional nominee and the person nominated by the Nominating Committee. To make an additional nomination, please submit the nomination form (linked below) to the ACCMA by September 12, 2020. See eligibility requirements on the nomination form.

View the nominee list and nomination form here.
County News

Last Friday, Alameda County issued modifications to its Shelter in Place Order to allow limited lower-risk outdoor activities as permitted by the State. Alameda County remains on the California State Data Monitoring List for a continued case rate trend of more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days. A summary of activities allowed as of this Friday, August 28th, including outdoor pools and outdoor personal services at hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons is available on their website. Whenever and wherever there are smoke and air quality concerns, we ask that you take precautions as indicated for the Air Quality Indicator range in your area.
 
This week the Alameda County Social Services Agency, in partnership with Health Care Services Agency, launched an economic resiliency program to address the pandemic. The Alameda County Responsibility to Community Health (ARCH) Program is curbing the spread of COVID-19 by providing financial assistance to self-isolating County residents in high-risk communities who have tested positive. ARCH will distribute approximately $10M in economic assistance to an estimated 7,500 County residents who have tested COVID-19 positive and need support due to economic instability. The pilot program funding and development was unanimously approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors during their August 4 meeting. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Heat and Air Quality

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in California due to wildfires, following President Trump’s major disaster declaration for the state. The public health emergency declaration and related waiver give the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services beneficiaries and their healthcare providers and suppliers greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs created by the wildfires.

To check your local air quality, visit AirNow and enter your zip code. Visit COVID-19 Considerations for Extreme Heat and Unhealthy Air Quality.

When possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside and if temperatures allow. AC or car vents should be set to recirculate. Cloth and surgical masks used to protect against COVID-19 provide very little protection against smoke and are not a replacement for staying inside. Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless team recently distributed more than 4,000 non-medical N95 masks to unsheltered people across the County who are unable to get inside to safer air.
 
The Alameda County Office of Emergency Services (OES) issues AC Alerts and all residents are encouraged to subscribe. OES also publishes lists for cooling centers and clean air facilities. CAL FIRE maintains an online evacuation map and posts updates to the @calfireSCU Twitter feed.  
 
 To stay safe during wildfire season and the pandemic, please:
  • Stay in cooler locations away from smoke,
  • Wear non-medical N95s when unable to stay indoors during times of unhealthy air quality, 
  • Wear face coverings when in public and within 30 feet of others,
  • Maintain at least six feet distance from others, 
  • Sanitize or wash hands frequently, 
  • Stay home when sick, and 
  • Help spread the Mask On Alameda County message in your community.
COVID-19 Testing and Guidelines
The Trump Administration awarded a contract for $760 million to Abbott for, Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Point of Care (POC) SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests to expand strategic, evidence-based testing in the United States. Testing will be potentially deployed to schools and to assist with serving other special needs populations. The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card recently received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, which does not require instrumentation, and will deliver COVID-19 test results in 15 minutes or less.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised testing guidance indicated that many people who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through close contact with someone who later tested positive “do not necessarily need a test” if they are not experiencing symptoms." It was then revised for a second time this week to state, " If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms: You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one."

Updated COVID-19 testing guidance was issued for Alameda County and prioritizes to reflect the CDC guidance:
  • Tier 1: people with COVID-19 symptoms who are hospitalized and in skilled nursing facilities and those in outbreak investigations. 
  • Tier 2: all other people with symptoms, close contacts of cases, and higher risk essential workers and those in congregate facilities who are asymptomatic.
Contact Your Senators to Oppose AB 890

AB 890, the Nurse Practitioner bill, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by one vote. This bill will now be heard and voted on by the Senate. Please contact your Senator now to ensure patient safety is protected! As a reminder, AB 890, introduced by Assemblymember Jim Wood, DDS, grants full practice authority to nurse practitioners (NP). This bill would remove critical patient protections by allowing NPs to practice without physician supervision. To contact your Senator by email, please click here.
In Other News

The Trump Administration, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced it has now distributed almost $2.5 billion of a planned $5 billion distribution to nursing homes to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. This funding allocation was made through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a targeted distribution from the $175 billion Provider Relief program funded through the bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

In addition, to combat the recent N95 mask surge and an all-time high in cases of Coronavirus in nursing homes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of 1.5 million N95 respirators from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) for distribution to approximately 3,336 nursing home facilities across the United States.

On Wednesday, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) distributed the first-year funds of its two-year State Opioid Response (SOR) and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grant programs. The two programs will award nearly $3 billion over two years, to help states and tribes provide community-level resources for people in need of prevention, treatment and recovery support services.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced over $117 million in quality improvement awards to 1,318 health centers across all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia. HRSA-funded health centers will use these funds to further strengthen quality improvement activities and expand quality primary health care service delivery.

Lastly, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued amended guidance on how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule permits covered health care providers (e.g., hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories) and health plans to contact their patients and beneficiaries who have recovered from COVID-19 to inform them about how they can donate their plasma containing antibodies (known as "convalescent plasma") to help treat others with COVID-19.

Click here for more information about HIPAA regulations during COVID-19.
What We're Reading - COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
WEBINARS & EVENTS
FREE | CME Available | Tuesdays in September| First Session Tuesday, September 3 |12:00 - 1:00 PM

ACCMA is pleased to partner with Santa Clara Medical Association, in collaboration with four other Bay Area medical associations, to promote the following FREE CME Diversity and Inclusion Webinar Series aimed at arming you with the skills to facilitate better, more inclusive patient outcomes. 

FREE | CME Available | Tuesday, September 8 | 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Presented by the California Medical Association

As a result of this activity, participants should be able to: 
  • Discuss and disseminate information on the importance of masking to patients and communities
  • Utilize behavior change strategies to encourage patients' adoption of best practices for face coverings
  • Choose the appropriate tests for patients and interpret test results based on the current state of COVID-19.
  • Make test recommendations based on test shortage issues and state testing priorities
  • Recommend protective equipment to use in clinical settings and community settingsTo

ACT 2020 : Advocating for Children Together
Saturday, September 12| 9:00AM - 1:15 PM

ACCMA is pleased to sponsor AAP-CA1's second annual Advocating for Children Together Conference – a collaborative effort between pediatricians across the Bay Area organized by California Chapter 1, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAPCA1) and sponsored by:
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • San Francisco Marin Medical Society (SFMMS)
  • Sean Parker Center at Stanford for Allergy & Asthma Research
  • Center for Care Innovations
  • ACCMA
This year's theme is COVID-19 & Health Equity. Topics will include structural racism, health disparities, poverty, educational equity, voting access, and much more!

FREE | Peer Group| Tuesday, September 22 | 6:30 - 7:20 PM (PST)

As women physicians, we face unique challenges over the course of our careers: from frequent microaggressions to overt differences in salaries, promotions, and leadership roles.

Join the ACCMA and RechargedMD for an interactive introduction to the RechargedMD Women Physician Peer group! We’ll explore our experiences as women physicians, discuss how to overcome these barriers together, and make use of tools to make strides in our personal and professional development. 

CME Available | Eight Evening Sessions | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

The Physician Leadership Program, from the ACCMA, is an innovative program developed in 2016 by physician leaders in collaboration with faculty from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Haas School of Business. It addresses the fact that physicians are, and should be, placed in roles with organizational responsibility, but have limited formal opportunities to learn the concepts, skills, and tools of leadership. 

Each virtual session provides an intense, experiential learning experience led by nationally recognized faculty using a dynamic interactive online format. The NEW format provides additional opportunities: 
  • Enjoy collaborating and networking with colleagues in breakout rooms
  • Additional CME opportunities with supplemental materials in each session
  • Interact during sessions with digital collaboration tools
  • Apply new practices and share in discussion boards with your peers
  • Attend online office hours with the Course Director for Q & A

Saturday & Sunday November 7 & 8 | 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Presented by UCDavis Health: Center for Advancing Pain Relief

This two-day event will feature expert presentations, 20-minute hot topic talks, and engaging panel discussions on the latest issues in pain management. Primary care clinicians and all other health sciences professionals with an interest in pain management are encouraged to attend. This event will be held exclusively online. Zoom information will be provided closer to the date.

Registration coming soon!
ACCMA's On-Demand Library

FREE | Available On-Demand | CME Available
This one-hour, on-demand webinar led by Angela Trapp  MSW, ACC, 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? This presentation identifies the importance of putting SELF first and practicing the 3S Model: Self-Compassion, Self- Awareness and Self Care to continue on the pathway to well-being.

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
QUESTIONS/CONCERNS?
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.