COVID 19: Resources for Physicians and Patients
The following guidance is drawn primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) resources for health care professionals on COVID-19. Additional information is provided based on resources from the American Medical Association, MedChi, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), Maryland Health Care Commission, and the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. We recommend always referring to both MDH and CDC guidance for the most recent information clinical information. We have resources for your business from the Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration. You will find a resource list below with reference links.
Resources for Physicians
MedChi coronavirus resource center has information for physicians on a multitude of clinical, business and regulatory concerns from Federal government relief, American Medical Association direction, Maryland Department of Health advice, HIPAA concerns, Human Resources, and novel coronavirus clinical advice and FAQs.
Road to Reopening Your Medical Office
With the Govenor Hogan’s announcement allowing the resumption of elective surgery on the morning of May 7, 2020, you will want to read the Maryland Secretary of Health’s amendment and order regarding various health matters and elective surgery resumption, including how a to certify that conditions for resumption of elective and non-urgent medical procedures have been met prior to resuming operations.
Template for self-certification for reopening your office.
For additional advice on full reopening of your practice, please refer to the AAD’s website for the six steps and checklist to reopening your practice during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Roadmap for Resuming Elective Surgery after COVID-19 Pandemic
Requesting Emergency Equipment and Supplies: The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is working closely with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to organize emergency suppliers of equipment and services that will help respond to the COVID-19 crisis. To request PPE supplies, fill out this request form, or this Emergency Medical Material request form on pages 3 and 4 of this document, then send it to LBSS@baltimorecountymd.gov. There is no online form to submit a request. The Baltimore County Department of Health has this list of vendors on their site. Harford County requests are supposed to go to the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org and use this Harford County PPE request form.
The following are vendors referred to us from the Montgomery County Medical Society that still have stock of some PPE items:
- Sunrise Hitek – Faceshields, masks, and hand sanitizer
- Hatch Exhibit – Faceshields, respirators, and latex gloves
- Medical Mega – Latex gloves, hand sanitizer, and swabs
- Lost Ark Distilling, Co (Columbia, MD) has begun production of hand sanitizer.
- BlueDyer Distilling, Co (Waldorf, MD) also is producing hand sanitizer. To order, email Walker Dunbar.
- Project N95 is a national clearing house for PPE procurement. Learn more.
- Maryland Primary Care Program PPE Supplier List
- Maryland Manufacturing Network Supplier Portal – Please note that any vendor may add their organization to this portal without vetting.
- Medicare Telehealth Coding/Billing Guidelines – March 26, 2020
- Telemedicine FAQ’s – Updated March 18, 2020
From the American Medical Association (AMA)
- AMA Quick Guide to Telehealth Implementation & COVID-19
- The AMA has created a Digital Health Implementation Playbook that is a thorough guide on the key steps, best practices and resources to help physicians and their practices integrate technology efficiently and effectively.
- March 17, 2020 – AMA applauds Medicare telemedicine policy change during pandemic
From the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Key Update – 5.1.2020 – In response to efforts by organized medicine, CMS will increase payments for audio-only telephone visits between Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians to match payments for similar office and outpatient visits. This would increase payments for these services from a range of about $14-$41 to about $46-$110, and the payments are retroactive to March 1, 2020. Learn more.
- General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit
- FAQs on Telehealth and HIPAA during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency
- Medicaid Telehealth Guidance
- Medicaid State Plan Fee-for-Service Payments for Services Delivered Via Telehealth
- Clinician Letter – 4.8.2020
From Private Payors
- An overview of How to Get Paid for Telehealth and their Telemedicine 101 Overview
- MCMS Webinar with SimpleVisit on Rapid Implementation of Telehealth
- Backline Overview: Telehealth Care Coordination in Real-Time
- In response the COVID-19 crisis, DrFirst, a Maryland-based company is offering their Backline Telehealth platform to Maryland providers free of charge for 30 days. To register for this service, please click here. Please contact Colleen George with questions.
Remote Patient Monitoring Vendors
This list summarizes the key functionality of the various remote patient monitoring products as reported by the vendors on their own websites. Please note, the BCMA has not vetted these companies; this information is provided as a reference document for physicians seeking to implement remote patient monitoring into their practice. The listing is divided into companies who provide multi-condition remote monitoring functionality and those focused on monitoring a specific condition (e.g. diabetes, cardiac output, pain management).
From the Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
- March 26, 2020: Telehealth – Maryland State of Emergency – COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
- Notice: RE: COVID-19 #1: Temporary Expansion of Medicaid Regulations to Permit Delivery of Telehealth Services to the Home to Mitigate Possible Spread of Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”)
From the Maryland Healthcare Commission (MHCC)
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Telemedicine Webinars – American Telemedicine Association
The ATA has a regular new webinar series on a variety of topics relating to telehealth, virtual care, and COVID-19.
Questions about telehealth
The use of Telehealth during the coronavirus outbreak is highly encouraged and any physician that needs assistance setting that up for their office can contact Colleen George with the MedChi Center for the Private Practice of Medicine email@example.com.
Important update from CMS about telehealth from home
3/26/20 Physicians can provide telehealth services from their home. The AMA has received clarification from CMS that physicians do not have to add their home to their Medicare enrollment file. We expect CMS to update FAQ #11 (PDF) soon.
Other helpful telehealth information
- 3/19/20 MedChi Telehealth Billing and Coding Guidelines
- 3/18/20 MedChi Telehealth FAQ
- CPT has released new billing codes for COVID-19 related care.
- Maryland Medicaid has expanded coverage of telehealth services, as has Medicare.
- From DrFirst Backline Overview: Telehealth Care Coordination in Real-Time
- In response the COVID-19 crisis, DrFirst, a Maryland-based company is offering their Backline Telehealth platform to Maryland providers free of charge for 30 days. To register for this service, please click here. Review any contract with your attorney. Staff can provide a referral to an attorney. Please contact Colleen George at MedChi with questions.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or requests for more information.
COVID 19 Business Relief Resources – Both of these programs are closed due to depleted funds and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.
Read Updated Progam Information: What you need to know about the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant (EIDL) – Both of these programs are closed due to depleted funds and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.
The BCMA has created a page to discuss these two programs and give you directions and links where appropriate on how to apply. You can read that information here.
Additional Assistance for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants
- COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide The Small Business Survival Guide listed above is being actively updated by Maryland SBDC consultants, and should remain an up-to-date, informative resource even as new information is released.
- SDBC website overview of Covid-19 resources for Maryland businesses.
- March 27, 2020 – MedChi Transportation and Child Care Essential Employee Letter (Fillable Document)
- March 25, 2020 – Order of the Governor of the State Maryland – No. 20-03-25-01 Amending and Restating the Order of March 13, 2020, Controlling Child Care Access
- March 23, 2020 – Montgomery County Medical Society in Collaboration with The Law Firm of Paley Rothman – 2020 Rapid Implementation Webinar Series on COVID-19 Employment Law Q&A
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) One pager from Department of Labor – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020
- MedChi website has a comprehensive and organized resource site on Covid-19 for physicians and patients.
- American Medical Association Covid-19 Resource Center for Physicians
- Maryland Department of Health has comprehensive and easy to navigate information about the novel coronavirus outbreak in Maryland.
- The Maryland Department of Health has issued a flow chart providing guidance on surgical procedures
- 3/18/20 CMS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Partner Toolkit
- 3/18/20 MD Primary Care Program information on the novel coronavirus for primary care practitioners.
The MDPCP Program Management Office is working closely with the primary care practices across the state to prevent and treat Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. The MDPCP supports the overall health care transformation process and allows primary care providers to play an increased role in prevention, management of chronic disease, and preventing unnecessary hospital utilization
The program contains updated information regarding Coronavirus to provide guidance, protocols, and to hold a daily webinar with MedChi.
- 3/14/20 MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, hosted a Q&A session with Howard Haft, M.D. from the Maryland Department of Health . Click here to stream or download the audio.
- Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): Guidance for diagnosis and treatment, updated on a rolling basis.
- CDC information for providers including on guidance on the pandemic.
- World Health Organization
- Map of COVID-19 Global Cases (Johns Hopkins University, ESRI, Garmin, FAO, and NOAA)
Handouts for your patients
The CDC has created a handout for medical practices to make available for concerned patients. Visit the CDC’s web page of printable handouts and posters.
As a Baltimore County resident, you are encouraged to protect yourself and your loved ones from respiratory viruses like the novel Coronavirus by practicing good hygiene. Everyday actions include: washing your hands thoroughly, covering your cough, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and staying home from work or school if you are not feeling well. If you have the symptoms below call your physician first. Do not go to your physician’s office or travel to a hospital emergency room.
COVID-19 is thought to be able to spread like the cold or flu through:
- Coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
- In more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)
The vast majority of people recover from this infection. Most people will have mild or moderate symptoms. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for more serious illness.
Other patient resources
- Maryland Department of Health has a comprehensive and easy to navigate information about novel coronavirus outbreak in Maryland.
- Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services Press and Resources
Hotline: Patients may call the county Hot Line for any coronavirus related calls. The Hot Line is open seven days a week, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 410-887-3816 with your coronavirus-related questions.
- CDC information for patients including on guidance on testing