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COVID-19 Resources - Updated 5/20 with Reopening Updates

Friday, March 20, 2020  
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Dear Members,

The Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology is continuously monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). As we monitor guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, we invite you to do the same. 

The following resources are designed to streamline the flood of COVID-19 Coronavirus information circulating and offer tips to help you and your practice move forward in this challenging environment. Click on the links in blue below to access the full information.


  Telemedicine Resources 


Teledermatology Toolkit
 | American Academy of Dermatology

With COVID-19 spreading widely in the U.S., you may wish to use telemedicine to treat your Medicare patients without putting their health, or your own, at risk. Telemedicine may be of particular use for patients at higher risk of infection (the elderly and those with other health issues) and for non-urgent appointments. 



Coding a Telehealth Visit | American Academy of Dermatology 

UPDATED 4/1/20 - Medicare has clarified its prior guidance regarding the proper way to bill for telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous guidance indicated that place of service (POS) code 02 should be used for telehealth visits with patients; the new guidance instead says to bill these visits with POS code 11 and modifier 95. Medicare says this change is intended to pay for visits that would have taken place in-person if not for the pandemic at the same rate as if they had been furnished in person. Teledermatology services can be performed in one of two ways: Store and forward (asynchronous): Patient submits an image or pre-recorded video for the physician to review and provide advice, e.g., a patient sends a digital image of a lesion to the physician. Live interactive (synchronous): Real-time two-way interaction between the physician and patient e.g., patient initiates a video chat with the physician to discuss a rash.



Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice | American Medical Association

In an effort to keep our health care workers and patients safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Association (AMA) has designed this quick guide to support physicians and practices in expediting the implementation of telemedicine, so care can continue to be provided to those who need it most.


Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet | Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Under President Trump’s leadership, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. These policy changes build on the regulatory flexibilities granted under the President’s emergency declaration.

 

Telemedicine Vendor Options | Massachusetts Medical Society 

The attached list reveals the key functionality of the various telemedicine products as reported by the vendors on their own websites.

 

Governor's Telehealth Order | Commonwealth of Massachusetts

To protect the Public's health and to mitigate exposure to and the spread of COVID-19, the GIC, all Commercial Health Insurers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, In.c, and Health Maintenance Organizations regulated by the Division of Insurance, are hereby required to allow all in-network providers to deliver clinically appropriate, medically necessary covered services to members via telehealth. 


  Practice Management Resources 


NEW!
Reopening Advisory Board - Reopening Plan (5.18.20)
| Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

On May 18, Governor Baker's Reopening Advisory Board, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, and comprised of representatives from thebusiness community, public health officials, and municipal leaders from across the Commonwealth, published their initial report for re-opening Massachusetts. Read the full report by clicking the link above.

 

NEW! Reopening Health and Human Services in Massachusetts | Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

As of May 18th, the Commonwealth is issuing new guidelines to hospitals and health care providers in accordance with the state’s four-phase reopening plan, to allow some non-emergency procedures or deferred care that may now need attention. Hospitals and Community Health Centers may begin this reopening starting on May 18th, and all other providers may begin starting on May 25th. Find more information on reopening plans and resources for healthcare providers at the link above, or DOWNLOAD THE ONE-PAGER HERE.


NEW! Treasury Releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Application 

To apply for forgiveness of your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, you (the Borrower) must complete this application as directed in these instructions, and submit it to your Lender (or the Lender that is servicing your loan). Borrowers may also complete this application electronically through their Lender. This application has the following components: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form; (2) PPP Schedule A; (3) the PPP Schedule A Worksheet; and (4) the (optional) PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form. All Borrowers must submit (1) and (2) to their Lender.

 

How to Keep Your Physician Practice Going During COVID-19 Pandemic | American Medical Association 

In this rapidly evolving situation, it is imperative for physicians and their practices to focus on their business and financial operations in order to sustain the practice and care for patients in the long term. 

As part of this guide, the AMA created two template letters for physician practices that can be tailored to each practice’s specific needs and situation. The employee essential business certification letter is for practice employees to show if they are stopped by authorities on the way to work. The essential critical infrastructure notice letter is for the practice to send to employees to help explain how their work is considered an essential service and why they should report to work.


Reopening Your Dermatology Practice
 | American Academy of Dermatology

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many dermatology practices have closed to non-essential patient in-person visits. These recommendations should help you prepare your practice for when you are ready to reopen to all patients. Based on the CDC definition of COVID-19 risk exposure, dermatology practices would fit into the low risk category.

 

COVID-19: A Physician Practice Guide to Reopening | American Medical Association

As public health experts determine that it is safe to see patients and stay-at-home restrictions are relaxed, physician practices should strategically plan when and how best to reopen. Download the complete physician practice guide for reopening for best practices that should be in place at the federal, state and local levels before reopening

 

Financial Resources for Practices During COVID-19 | Massachusetts Medical Society

This guide addresses important financial resources including the Paycheck Protection Program and other loan programs covered under the CARES Act, federal and state tax relief, and other funding options for medical practices. 

 

COVID-19 Resources for Physicians | Massachusetts Medical Society

This page includes comprehensive resources related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as practice and payer information and resources. Clinicians are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health (MA DPH) below concerning current epidemiology, prevention recommendations, and clinical management for patients with COVID-19 infection.

  

COVID-19 Information for Mass. Medical Office Practices | Betsy Lehman Center, Mass. Board of Registration in Medicine & Massachusetts Medical Society

This publication synthesizes current COVID-19 recommendations, guidance and tools of particular relevance to medical professionals who practice in office settings. It draws from resources published by government agencies and professional and industry associations at the state and national levels, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Massachusetts
Medical Society, and includes information about: I. Preparing for modified office practice; II. Managing urgent on-site patient visits; and III. Supporting the emotional needs of patients, clinicians and staff.

 

Managing Your Practice through the COVID-19 Outbreak | American Academy of Dermatology

The AAD has developed downloadable recommendations for dermatology practices based on CDC and WHO guidance. These recommendations focus on screening patients prior to arrival, disinfecting practice surfaces, and using the proper products for sanitization.

 

Coronavirus Relief Options | US Small Business Administration 

Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses, some of which can be used by dermatology practices. 


  Other Resources 


Extension of Physician License Renewal Dates |
Massachusetts BORIM 

All physicians whose licenses have or will come up for renewal during the State of Emergency, which was declared on March 10, 2020, shall have their renewal date extended until 90 days after the end of the Emergency.

  

Immunity for Healthcare Professionals & Facilities | Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

Legislation was passed and signed by Gov. Baker on April 17, 2020 granting health care professionals and health care facilities immunity from suit and civil liability for damages alleged to have been sustained by an act or omission occurring in the course of providing health care services during the period of the COVID-19 emergency, so long as the health care services were provided in good faith and damages were not caused by gross negligence, recklessness, or conduct with an intent to harm or discriminate. Amongst those afforded these protections are physicians. 

This civil liability immunity is retroactively effective from March 10, 2020 and lasts for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency. You may few the full legislation here.

 

Action Alert: Tell Congress How COVID-19 is Affecting Your Practice and Patients | American Academy of Dermatology 

Tell your Representative and Senators how the COVID-19 crisis has affected your practice and patients through a letter from the AADA Grassroots Action Center. Click here to contact your members of Congress! Contacting your members of Congress and sharing your perspective on the COVID-19 crisis will educate legislators on how dermatology practices and patients are uniquely affected by the pandemic. Your input could impact future legislation. It can also help build relationships in Congress and increase awareness of the specialty. Sending a letter takes only a few minutes and can make a big difference. Thank you for taking action on this important issue.  

 

Are your Dermatologists Struggling to Stock PPE? American Medical Association

The AMA recently wrote a letter to FEMA and Vice President Pence concerning PPE shortages and its impact on reopening physician practices.

The AAD/A Ad Hoc Task Force on COVID-19 would like to know if dermatologists in your state are experiencing PPE shortages. If so, please contact AADA staff Lisa Albany, lalbany@aad.org, by Thursday, July 23


If you have any questions, concerns, or other information you'd like to share with our members, please email our office .


Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology

4 Lan Drive, Suite 310, Westford, MA 01886

Phone: 978-577-5408 | Fax: 978-250-1117 | Email: info@massacademyofdermatology.org

Copyright (c) 2018 by the Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology