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COVID-19 Update: CARES Act podcast, new federal and state resources

Financial Relief Available: CARES Act Podcast

While circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 virus are putting immense financial strain on physician practices, a major new source of federal aid is beginning this week. The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (CARES) Act is the single largest relief package ever passed by Congress and there are a number of provisions that can help physician practices. In a previous update, we provided an overview of the CARES Act. Today, we are supplementing that information via a podcast discussion with Dan Murray, Kansas State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business. This 10-minute discussion provides a succinct outline of what physician practices need to be aware of in considering whether to apply for relief under the CARES Act. This is a time-sensitive federal program, so we hope you will take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with its provisions.

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COVID-19 Update: New state and federal guidance

A message from KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo:

Thank you for continuing to share your experiences with us, as well as your questions and concerns so that we may work to address issues you are facing. We have taken your stories and concerns directly to the governor and legislative leaders, particularly regarding the immense financial impact on physician practices during this pandemic. Also in response to those concerns, we will be hosting a podcast this week to outline newly available opportunities for practices to obtain financial relief—please watch for forthcoming details via email. We know you are continuing to show up for your patients—with or without COVID-19 infection—and we are working hard to support you in the ways you need most.

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COVID-19 update: CARES Act becomes law — what physicians need to know

The CARES Act was signed it into law by the President, following Congress’ swift action on the massive coronavirus relief bill. The following information via the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) provides a few key highlights related to the new loan program which will be available to physician practices.

It is expected that most small businesses will be interested in this opportunity—if your physician practice is looking to take advantage of the small business loan, you should get in contact with your financial institution as soon as possible.

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COVID-19 update: Financial resources, PPE, and telehealth

A message from KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo:

We heard from many of you about financial strain, lack of PPE, testing concerns, and questions around telehealth. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us. It helps us focus our advocacy on those things that are most important to you. We hope this update provides quick access to some of the answers and resources you need. We are talking to policymakers at every level, every day. Sharing your stories is powerful and timely. In addition to the resources from government at the state and federal level, your local communities are looking for ways to support you. As an example, the Kansas Farm Bureau—which has local chapters throughout rural Kansas—has reached out and encouraged physicians to call upon their members for help with childcare and homemade protective equipment, and has pledged to partner with us in conversations with our congressional delegation to ensure these needs are met.

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Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) updates amid COVID-19

KMS has received numerous inquiries regarding Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) during shortages amid the COVID-19 response. We are working with federal, state, and local officials to address your questions and provide accurate responses given rapidly changing circumstances. We will post the latest PPE information here and in our periodic COVID-19 updates as we receive it, as well as respond to your individual questions by email.

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COVID-19 update: March 24, 2020

A message from KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo:

KMS is here to support you as you work to care for your patients, to protect your own health, and to ensure your practice is best equipped to navigate the many changing circumstances ahead due to COVID-19. To that end, we want to hear from you about the challenges you are experiencing and how we can better advocate for the resources you need at this time. We are in constant communication with federal, state, and local leaders to collect, distill, and disseminate COVID-19 information for our members as well as to report your needs back to policymakers.

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Telehealth and other payor updates

On March 17, the Trump Administration announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage that will enable beneficiaries to receive a wider range of health care services without having to travel to a health care facility. This temporary broadened telehealth access to Medicare patients (under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act), is effective March 6, 2020.

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COVID-19 update: March 20, 2020

Today the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA) extended temporary licensure provisions for inactive health care providers seeking to help care for COVID-19 patients. The KSBHA is offering a temporary emergency license available for all health care professions regulated by the Board. Those who hold an emergency temporary license are limited to engaging in the practice of their profession for health care services relating to COVID-19 response efforts and/or mitigating any effect of COVID-19. The KSBHA is also waiving licensing fees for such licenses. Please refer to the full release on KSBHA's website for more details.

COVID-19 update: March 19, 2020

COVID-19 developments accelerated this week at a pace that can be difficult to keep up with. We are monitoring issuance of guidance and government action at the state and federal levels in order to provide you with succinct periodic summaries, knowing your time and focus is largely consumed with caring for your patients.

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Suggested Resources for Maintaining Your Mental Health During COVID-19

As we continue to face challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, KMS seeks to support our membership with a variety of resources. The Federation of State Professionals’ Health Programs (PHP) and the KMS PHP has compiled the following list of free resources available that will hopefully assist you in maintaining your own health. If you need additional resources or emotional support, the KMS PHP staff can be reached 24 hours a day at (785) 235-2383.

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COVID-19 update: March 17, 2020

Nearly every aspect of our nation’s activity has been impacted by the novel coronavirus. States, communities, businesses, and schools are implementing strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Resources for Kansas

As developments surrounding COVID-19 rapidly evolve, it is more critical than ever to rely on trusted resources for the latest, accurate information. We recognize Kansas physicians are on the front lines of this pandemic and we intend to be available to support you however we can.

Working in conjunction with state and federal agencies and others, KMS will be distilling and disseminating information for Kansas physicians here.

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Thank you for your interest.