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COVID-19 Update: Liability protection, Medicaid rates, further federal support urged, payor policy changes, updated guidance

KMS urges Gov. Kelly to implement financial and liability actions
Today, KMS again requested specific measures from Governor Laura Kelly regarding liability protection and financial support for Kansas physicians. To offset the financial strain facing most practices, KMS urged the state to implement long overdue increases in the Medicaid physician fee schedule. Physicians’ fees under Kansas Medicaid have for the most part been frozen since 2006, and in several cases have actually decreased. KMS believes Medicaid payment rates should be increased to have parity with Medicare payment rates. KMS also urged the Governor to extend liability protections to health care workers during the COVID-19 state of emergency.


Congressional leaders urged to enact additional federal support
As you may know, the first round of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been entirely expended.

Congress is currently considering appropriating more funds to the program. KMS has signed on to a letter from the American Medical Association in support of doing so. If Congress approves more funding, the loans will likely be exhausted even more quickly. If you haven’t already applied or been approved for a PPP loan, we will let you know as soon as they are to become available again. We encourage you to be ready to apply. More information at SBA.gov.

Updates from BCBSKS
In response to discussions with KMS, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) has implemented a number of policy changes to reduce the administrative burden for providers and allow them to focus on the medical and clinical needs of their patients. These policy changes include temporarily expanding telehealth technology use, improving the credentialing process, and changing admittance requirements. For more information, contact your professional relations representative or Provider Network Services in Topeka at 785-291-4135 or 800-432-3587.

CDC issues updated guidance for infection control
The CDC has updated its guidance for infection control based on currently available information about COVID-19 and the current situation in the United States—which includes community transmission, infections identified in healthcare personnel, and shortages of facemasks, N95 respirators, eye protection, gloves, and gowns. Access the updated guidance here.

KAAP issues protocol
The Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a protocol for testing and reporting suspected COVID-19 cases. Download the protocol here.

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If you have questions about this update or other matters, please contact KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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