MSSNY COVID-19 Update – Aug. 7, 2020 (Latest Alerts, SBA Loans, Health & Safety)

Physicians are required to report suspect cases to their local department of health.

Jump to: Alerts; Health; Finance; Volunteering and Donations; Testing; Telehealth; Patient Information; Statistics; Webinars; Fraud; Research; Additional Information;


Coronavirus Magnified

Alerts and Notifications

Revised Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care 
Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure or Infection


Please Take the AMA Survey on Telehealth Impact (on) Physicians


Please take the Personal Protective Equipment Survey


SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program


COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Hospital Operators Regarding Visitation


Contact Tracing Opportunities in NYS

Interim Guidance for Reopening the Health Care System & Best Practices for Reopening From COVID-19

COVID-19 update for healthcare providers (Recorded)

Physician’s Resource Page (Updated)


Health and Safety

Interim Guidance on Executive Orders 202.17 and 202.18 Requiring Face Coverings in Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public

COVID-19 and the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Ensuring the Safety of Our Direct Caregivers

Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Self-Assessment Checklist

Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Hospital Operators Regarding Visitation

Advance Care Planning Recommendations During COVID-19


Finance

Applications for SBA Loans

FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing

CMS Approves Approximately $34 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week

Request for Accelerated/Advance Payment

With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds

Social Security Benefits Will be Paid on Time and Other Updates Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Trump Administration Provides Financial Relief for Medicare Providers

Trump Administration Approves 34th State Request for Medicaid Emergency Waivers

Special Coding Advice During the COVID-19 Crises

Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extends filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed


Volunteering and Donations

Healthcare Workers! New York City Needs You Now!

Nasopharyngeal Swabs Urgent Appeal!

Do You Have Medical Services or Equipment to Donate?

PPE shortage – How to make a request, and steps to preserve equipment

Additional Qualified Health Professionals Needed


Testing

Protocol for COVID-19 Testing Applicable to All Health Care Providers and Local Health Departments

Guidance for Private Physician Practices Operating Specimen Collection Sites

Should ibuprofen be Used to Treat COVID-19?


Telehealth

HHS Telemedicine Hack on Telemedicine (One Hour per Week) Begins on July 22
This course is a free 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers. It is a learning collaborative from the US Department of Health and Human Services and others addressing telemedicine. Questions should be directed to: c19ECHO@salud.unm.edu

How to Set Up Free Telemedicine for Your Patients (Video)

If you’re using Zoom for teleconferencing, read this FBI report on “zoom-bombing” which is on the increase.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Use of Telehealth Including
Telephonic Services During the COVID-19 State of Emergency

Humana Telehealth Update

Emergency Medical Aid and Telemedicine

Comprehensive Guidance Regarding Use of Telehealth 

Expansion of Medicare coverage for telehealth (so it is no longer limited to rural areas)

Assuring physicians can use Facetime and Skype for telehealth without worrying about HIPA

COVID-19 Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Telehealth

Telehealth Insurance Circular Letter No. 6 (2020)
Reminder that private insurers must cover telehealth services for patients (including those provided through a smartphone) and without patient cost-sharing.

COVID-19 Telephonic Communication Services
Since Medicare still requires telemedicine to be provided only to patients in a rural setting, you should look at “virtual check-in” services under codes  G2010, G2012, 99421, 99422 and 99423.

State regulated insurers re: required telehealth coverage for all health care services without patient cost-sharing “including technology commonly available on smartphones and other devices”.

Telehealth Benefits in Medicare are  a Lifeline for Patients During Coronavirus


August 7, Statistics

New York State: 418,225 confirmed, 32,432 deaths. New York City: 223,473 confirmed cases; 18,938 deaths.


SBL Frauds and Scams 

FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Small Business Scams and Fraud

New funding for Coronavirus SBA loans attracts scammers


Research

Authorization of Licensed Pharmacists to order COVID-19 Tests

Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Temporally Associated with COVID-19 Interim Case Definition in New York State

Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Children


Webinars/Podcasts

Re-Opening Your Medical Practice in COVID-19 Era (Prerecorded)


Veterans Matters Podcasts
Check out MSSNY’s Veterans Matters podcast series on Veterans’ healthcare topics including PTSD in Returning Veterans, TBI in Returning Veterans, Substance Use in Veterans, Suicide in Veterans, The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans and Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients.

Click here to listen to Part 1 of PTSD in Returning Veterans with Dr. Frank Dowling.

Click here to listen to Part 2 of PTSD in Returning Veterans with Dr. Frank Dowling.

Click here to listen to TBI in Returning Veterans with Dr. David Podwall.

Click here to listen to Substance Use Disorders with Dr. Thomas Madejski.

Click here to listen to Suicide in Veterans podcast with Dr. Jack McIntyre.

Click here to listen to The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans with Dr. Malene Ingram, Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves and Retired Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Marcelle Leis.

Click here to listen to Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients with Retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Lance Allen Wang and Retired Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Marcelle Leis.


Additional Information

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 on 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.


Business Loan Forgiveness Included in CARES Act
Within the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act that President Trump signed yesterday is a $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program that will allow businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees to apply for loans up to $10 million each to cover losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What makes this relief even more significant is the possibility of loan forgiveness, which is available to employers who retain their workforce levels through the crisis. If you follow the guidelines carefully, you can essentially convert your business loan to a grant – even if you’ve already laid off employees.

Loan Forgiveness Requirements

Loans may be forgiven if businesses use the money to pay for payroll costs, salaries, benefits, mortgage interest, rent and/or utilities.  The forgiven amount would be equal to the amount actually paid for these expenses during the eight weeks following disbursement of the loan. Additional wages paid to tipped employees under Section 3(m)(2)(A) of the Fair Labor Standard Acts may also be forgiven.

Forgiveness will be scaled back if the business has a reduction in employees, salaries or wages. Reductions in workforce, salaries and wages that occur from February 15, 2020 to April 26, 2020 will be disregarded for purposes of reducing the forgiveness amount, as long as the reductions are eliminated by June 30, 2020.

For purposes of the loan forgiveness, a reduction in workforce and salary or wages will be calculated as follows:

  • Workforce reductions will be calculated by the initial forgiven amount multiplied by the quotient of average full-time equivalents (FTEs) during the eight-week period, divided by the average FTEs for the period from February 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019 or January 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020, as determined by the loan recipient.
  • Salary or wage reductions will be determined by the amount of any salary or wage decrease in excess of 25 percent of the total salary or wages during the most recent full quarter such employee was employed before the eight-week period. Only employees who did not receive, during any single pay period during 2019, wages or salary at an annualized rate of pay in excess of $100,000 are included in this calculation.

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:
Process:

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 seven calendar days from the request.

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

 Eligibility:

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 rmcnally@mssny.org.



Questions:

• NYS has a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
• The New York State Department of Health has established a provider email account for physicians to ask questions about COVID-19: Covidproviderinfo@health.ny.gov