Member Alert April 6: COVID-19 and Healthcare Providers: Relief, Business and Employment Concerns Online Enduring CME Activity

An online CME opportunity is now available from KMA and McBrayer, PLLC for physicians that provides a comprehensive explanation of the provisions of the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The activity details how these two new laws and guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Labor affect healthcare organizations as businesses, employers, and providers of healthcare and emergency response.

For more information and to complete the activity, click here.

In Your Own Words: Emily Miller, M.D.

KMA is sharing the first-person accounts of physicians from across the state as they prepare for and battle the COVID-19 pandemic. These stories will also be published at kyma.org/covid19. If you are interested in submitting an account, please email Emily Schott, schott@kyma.org

I mentally prepare for my first hospital shift since the pandemic started. My hands skip over the neatly hung professional clothes and quickly pull scrubs from a pile. I tie my hair back into a ponytail. This feels so foreign. I try to calm the anxiety as I kiss everyone goodbye. I drink my coffee quickly; I don’t want to risk taking it into the hospital. I mute WFPL’s morning report – I feel like the weight of it will break me this morning. I recall the last few week’s events in silence.

As a Neonatal Medicine fellow just three months from graduation, my family of six was gearing up for big life changes – new job, new city, new house – when my husband and I suddenly found ourselves homeschooling our older two children and our income cut in half due to my husband’s abrupt furlough. With daycare also closed, I found myself hoarding moments with my children, time that had been precisely rationed for sports practices, Girl Scout meetings, and birthday parties. But now the moments are abundant – early morning coffee on the back porch with my rosy-cheeked eleven-month-old; a front-yard bouquet of flowers from my rambunctious three-year-old; watching my anxious six-year-old ride her bike without training wheels for the first time.

I take one last, deep breath. I won’t take my mask off for the next twenty-eight hours as I rush premature infants away from their intubated mothers. Some families will be separated for weeks due to quarantine restrictions. I pray there will be no deaths. Tomorrow I will be exhausted, but content. I am unspeakably grateful to be part of this battle. I am terrified for the day I lose a colleague in the fight. I am overwhelmed with the magnitude of it all. And I am ready and willing pull out another pair of scrubs and do it all again the next day.

CARES Act: Programs and Resources for Physicians

The recently enacted “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” includes several significant programs and resources that benefit physicians and physician practices. The American Medical Association has provided information and links to resources about programs that are or will soon be available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury, as well as some additional tax provisions intended to assist physicians immediately. More information on how to apply for a small business loan is available on the SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources website and at the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website.

The CARES Act established or expanded several loan programs intended to provide liquidity to businesses, including physician practices: (1) the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses; (2) the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act (CESA), which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to make loans, loan guarantees, other investments, and subsidies to provide liquidity for mid-size businesses between 500 and 10,000 employees for losses incurred as a result of coronavirus; (3) Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL); and (4) the Small Business Debt Relief Program.

More information, as well as applications for these programs, is available here.

New Video Available from CMS on Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a video providing answers to common questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Click here to view the video.

MagMutual Offers New Benefits to Support Policyholders Amid COVID-19

Healthcare providers across the country are facing unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus outbreak. To help them during this critical time, MagMutual is offering medical professional liability policyholders two new benefits: the option to defer their premium payment for nine months and reimbursement for hotel stays. Additional support is available on the MagMutual COVID-19 Resource Center. To learn more, contact Scott Atkins at 470-631-0812 or email satkins@magmutual.com.