COVID-19 Update March 30, 2020

March 30 is National Doctors Day: We Salute Our Physicians Today and Everyday

Thank You flyer to doctors

Today, National Doctors Day, we take a moment to salute our physician heroes for their tireless commitment to the health of all New Yorkers. We are especially proud of our physicians during this time of national crisis, but heroes–our physicians–need support.

From what we are hearing from the front, in order to do the job that they’re being called on to do, physicians require the necessary equipment, especially the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to continue to serve our patients in need. Please take a moment to remember those who risk it all to take care of you.

New Yorkers are all stronger together.

Art Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

Latest New York Coronavirus Statistics

  • 59,513– People who have tested positive for coronavirus in New York, as of March 29.
  • 57% – The percentage of those positive tests – 33,768 – in New York City.
  • 143,532 – The number of positive tests for coronavirus across the United States, as of March 30. 42% of U.S. cases are in New York.
  • 965 – The number of people who have died of coronavirus in New York state, as of the morning of March 29. The New York Times, compiling city and state figures, reported that the death toll now exceeds 1,000 in New York state.
  • 50% – The percentage of victims, at least in New York City, who are 75 years old or older.
  • 6,481– The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in New York, as of March 27. 1,583 of them are in the intensive car unit.
  • 140,000 – The number of hospital beds Cuomo expects New York will need at the apex of COVID-19 in the state. As of March 27, the state had a capacity of just 53,000.
  • 50% – How much Cuomo is mandating hospitals to increase their capacity – and asking them to go further, increasing capacity by 100% and doubling the number of hospital beds available.
  • 30,000 – How many ventilators Cuomo says New York will need at the apex of COVID-19, with 15,000 just for New York City.
  • 400 – The amount of ventilators the federal government, through FEMA, sent to New York on March 24. After complaints, the government sent 4,000 more.
  • 76,000 – The number of health care workers – including retirees and students – who have signed up to volunteer as part of New York’s surge health care workforce, as of March 29.
  • $1 billion – How much the New York state government had spent fighting coronavirus, as of March 25, with Cuomo expecting to spend “several billion dollars when we’re done.”

Stimulus Package Passed by Congress Provided Several Programs to Aid Physicians Through this Crisis
As reported in an AMA summary of the $ 2 trillion stimulus package enacted into law last Friday, here are some of the key provisions to benefit physicians:

Small business loans. Small businesses, including physician practices, with no more than 500 employees are eligible to apply for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) section 7(a) Payroll Protection Program. For more information how physicians can access this program, click here.

This allows a small business to apply to an SBA-approved lender for a loan of up to 250% of the business’ average monthly payroll costs to cover 8 weeks of payroll as well as help with other expenses like rent, mortgage payments, and utilities. The maximum loan amount is $10 million. Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals are eligible.

A loan can be forgiven based on maintaining employee and salary levels. For any portion of the loan that is not forgiven, the terms include a maximum term of 10 years, a maximum interest rate of four percent. Small businesses and organizations will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program is retroactive to February 15, 2020andare available through June 30, 2020.

Emergency loans.  Moreover, there was also Authorization for $10 billion in “emergency” Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to eligible entities with not more than 500 employees. Allows an eligible entity that has applied for an EIDL loan to request an advance on that loan, of not more than $10,000, which the SBA must distribute within 3 days. Advance payments may be used for providing paid sick leave to employees, maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs to obtain materials, making rent or mortgage payments, and repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses

Financial support for hospitals, physicians, and others. Provides $100 billion through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to provide immediate financial relief by covering non-reimbursable expenses attributable to COVID-19. Health care entities, including physician practices, that provide health care, diagnoses, or testing are eligible. Non-reimbursable expenses attributable to COVID-19 qualify for funding.

Examples include increased staffing or training, personal protective equipment, and lost revenue. HHS is instructed to review applications and make payments on a rolling basis to get money into the health system as quickly as possible. HHS is given significant flexibility in determining how the funds are allocated and is expected to release guidance on the application process shortly.

Advance Medicare Payments to Help Physicians Through this Period
Moreover, CMS announced over the weekend a process for physicians to receive 100% of predicted Medicare payments for a 3-month period (Fact Sheet: Advanced Payment Program During COVID-19 Emergency).  Here is a recommended process for applying for these advanced payments shared with MSSNY by a medical practice, as well as some of the particulars of this program:

1. Go to your National Government Services (NGS) website and fill in, sign, and submit an Accelerated / Advance Payment request form for your practice.

2. Can request up to 100% of Medicare payment for a 3-month period.

3. Check box 2 (“Delay in provider/supplier billing process of an isolated temporary nature beyond the provider’s/supplier’s normal billing cycle and not attributable to other third-party payers or private patients.”); and

3. State that the request is for an accelerated/advance payment due to the COVID-19 pandemic

4. Will receive payment within 7 calendar days from the request.

5. Recoupment will begin 120 days after payment issuance date.


1.     Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days immediately prior to the date of signature on the provider’s/supplier’s request form,

2.     Not be in bankruptcy,

3.     Not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and

4.     Not have any outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

For further information, contact Regina McNally, VP of MSSNY’s Socio-Economic

Division at 516-488-6100 ext.332 or email