|Subject: Covid 19 Updates/Resources.Our COVID-19 Note|
In the face of this pandemic, please lean on Kalamazoo Medical Society and the Michigan State Medical Society and know that you are not alone. We are committed to serving you and continue to advocate for your professional needs with decision makers around-the-clock. Thank you for all that you do. Our COVID-19 NoteIn the face of this pandemic, please lean on Kalamazoo Medical Society and the Michigan State Medical Society and know that you are not alone. We are committed to serving you and continue to advocate for your professional needs with decision makers around-the-clock. Thank you for all that you do.
Quick Update of Your Membership Profile
Help make sure KAM and MSMS have the most up-to-date contact information for you. Log-in to your MSMS membership profile to fill in and save your latest email, mailing, and phone information.
Having problems accessing your profile? Contact MSMS Membership Relations at (517) 336-5719or email Heather Foster at email@example.com.
Safe Reopening of MI Physician Practices
Last week Governor Whitmer and MSMS President Bobby S. Mukkamala, MD announced MI Safe Start plans with new executive orders: 2020-97, lifts the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures, and 2020-96, reopens retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment. Businesses maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers. They must, among other things, provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.
MSMS has developed Workplace Safe Practice Recommendations to guide physician practices. Click here to access the checklist.
Additionally, practices can access this PPE website, launched by MSMS and the Foresight Group, to purchase essential medical supplies, including respirators, face shields, goggles, and gowns.
New COVID-19 Stimulus Package Clears the U.S. House
H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion COVID-19 response bill for additional economic relief cleared the U.S. House this week. The vote overwhelmingly followed party lines and is not expected to move through the U.S. Senate to reach the President’s desk in its current form. Follow the action alert featured in this e-update to ask the Senate to preserve the viability of physician practices.
The HEROES Act:provides FY2020 emergency supplemental appropriations to federal agencies;provides more than $13.4 billion in aid to Michigan local governments to prevent layoffs of first responders, health and sanitation workers, and other critical personnel;provides additional direct payments of up to $1,200 per individual;expands paid sick days, family and medical leave, unemployment compensation, nutrition and food assistance programs, housing assistance, and payments to farmers;modifies and expands the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations, by extending from eight to 24 weeks the time that businesses have to spend the funds in order to have their loan forgiven; and by increasing flexibility on what the PPP funds can be used for;establishes a fund to award grants for employers to provide pandemic premium pay for essential workers;expands several tax credits and deductions;provides funding and establishes requirements for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing;eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments;extends and expands the moratorium on certain evictions and foreclosures; andrequires employers to develop and implement infectious disease exposure control plans.
Take Action: Alerts to Legislators
Ask Your Legislators to Preserve the Viability of Physician Practices in COVID-19 Relief LegislationThe U.S. Senate is considering how it will approach “phase four” coronavirus relief legislation. The American Medical Association strongly urges legislators to support legislation that: continues the expansion of and add flexibility for Medicare accelerated and advanced payments to give physicians greater ability to deal with the current crisisbetter addresses Medicare and Medicaid payment policy to account for the lack of positive updates to further assist America’s doctors caring for patients during the pandemicincludes direct financial support to help sustain physician practices through the COVID-19 crisis including access to small business loans recently authorized by the Small Business Administrationcontinues support for the expansion of telehealth by requiring ERISA group health plans to provide the same telehealth services being covered by Medicareincreases support for resident physicians and students through federal loan forgiveness and tuition relief, including third and fourth year medical studentsinstitutes broader liability protection for physicians and clinicians as they continue their front-line fight against COVID-19Click here to tell legislators that “phase four” coronavirus relief legislation must include the physician and patient protections as outlined above.
Ask Your Michigan State Representative to Support S. B. 899, COVID-19 Provider Immunity ProtectionsClick here to ask your legislator to support S.B. 899. The legislation ensures that physicians and other health care providers responding to the coronavirus pandemic are provided immunity protections while working through these extremely challenging and nearly unprecedented times. It’s long been public policy to provide immunity to health care providers working to deliver health care during disasters and states of emergency. S.B. 899 establishes and codifies that policy specific to the COVID-19
The Physician Support Line is a nation-wide service available for US physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The line offers free and confidential peer support telehealth by volunteer psychiatrists. The line is available without appointment from 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM, 7 days a week. To start, call (888) 409-0141. For more information, follow this link.
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