AAFP

Family physicians and other primary care physicians remain a critical part of our nation’s response to COVID-19, yet the virus has exposed critical shortcomings in our primary care safety net across the country. Last week, the AAFP called on congressional leaders to prioritize the needs of the primary care workforce and patients and take “bold steps” to address this pandemic. The April 13 letter urges Congress to stabilize our primary care system and increase patient protections during this uncertain time. Join us in telling Congress that relief to family physicians is essential for any comprehensive COVID-19 response action plan. Use this pre-written letter to speak out now!

AAFP/KAFP

The KAFP continues to update the COVID-19 web page for you to easily find all resources in one location. We hope you will find it useful. Bookmark https://kafponline.org/COVID-19

In addition, don’t forget AAFP has a daily update for you to bookmark and check each day to eliminate sifting through the flood of news.

And lastly be sure and tune in each Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. for AAFP’s weekly COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall. Members are invited to participate via:
AAFP Facebook
AAFP Twitter or
AAFP’s YouTube channel

If you miss an AAFP’s Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19, you can watch it anytime, anywhere on demand. Each session is approved for 1 AAFP Prescribed credit. Watch a session. Earn up to 2 additional AAFP Prescribed credits when you complete the Translation to Practice® (t2p®) process. Learn more.

AAFP

Yesterday you received a letter from AAFP about relief, both administrative and financial for you as a member. There have been several developments aimed at providing much needed relief, both administrative and financial, to you as a member:

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed and signed into law. This bill aims to provide financial relief to small businesses, support health care workers, get medical supplies to the front lines, fund research for vaccines and stimulate the U.S. economy.
  • CMS announced the expansion of the accelerated and advanced payment program to fast track cash flow to Medicare providers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.  This particular announcement was very congruent with the direct request to HHS Secretary Azar in the AAFP letter to him last week.
  • The AAFP’s board of directors approved the following provisions around CME reporting/requirements and dues:
    • Any members whose CME re-election cycle ends on Dec. 31, 2020 and who have not yet met the CME requirement will have an additional year to do so.
    • Members whose three-year cycle ended on Dec. 31, 2019 will now have until Dec. 31, 2020 to report their CME to remain eligible for membership (original deadline was May 5, 2020).
    • Any members who have not yet paid their 2020 dues will now have until July 14, 2020 to submit payment
AAFP

Family physicians continue to play an essential role in our nation’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus spreads, the pressures on family physicians will only increase. Many practices are facing severe shortages of equipment and supplies, and most are starting to feel the financial strains of the pandemic. It is critical that congressional leaders take action to support America’s frontline physicians by ensuring they have the equipment, supplies and financial resources needed to keep them operating.

Please join us in urging lawmakers to do their part to provide family physicians the support we need to be successful in responding to COVID-19. The AAFP SPEAK OUT tool is a valuable tool for all family physicians to use. The pre-written message may be edited as you see fit.

Most recently the AAFP joined the AMA, ACP, ACS and MGMA in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership calling for increase support to physicians. The legislative requests included in the letter are:

Require all payers, including ERISA plans, to provide coverage and payment for audio-only telehealth visits with patients, at the same level as in-person visits.

  1. Provide dedicated and direct financial support to physicians and their practices on the front lines of testing, diagnosing, and treating patients at risk of COVID-19, recognizing the increased costs they are incurring in the care of such patients.
  2. Provide dedicated financial support to all physicians and their practices who are experiencing adverse economic impact on their practices from suspending elective visits and procedures.
  3. We also strongly urge that Congress take all possible actions to ensure that every physician, and every health care worker, has access to critically needed PPE.
KAFP/AAFP

Under the new executive orders issued by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts is blocked from enforcing any law, rule or regulation that requires in-person examinations in order to issue a prescription or administer medication.

Out-of-state doctors may provide telemedicine services in Kansas if they are licensed in another state. All physicians are encouraged to utilize telemedicine, including those under self-quarantine.

This expansion of telemedicine is to deliver relief for COVID-19. As of March 22, 66 Kansas residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and two have died. See detailed map.

 The AAFP recently updated its guidance on using telehealth to specifically address caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tips included in that guidance address how to quickly implement telemedicine in a practice, how to get reimbursed for virtual visits and what codes to use for COVID-19. Additionally, there is specific guidance on Medicare payment requirements for these telehealth sessions.

Read more on how family physicians are using telehealth as a tool to care for patients.

AAFP

Recently, the AAFP President Gary LeRoy, MD, FAAFP and AAFP SVP Julie Wood, MD, MPH, FAAFP hosted the AAFP Virtual Town Hall to discuss the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak. You can view the video here. The next AAFP Virtual Town Hall is set for Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. live on the AAFP Facebook page. Mark your calendars.

AAFP/KAFP

KAFP has created a dedicated COVID-19 page for you to find all resources in one location. Bookmark https://kafponline.org/COVID-19

In addition, don’t forget AAFP has a daily update for you to bookmark and check each day to eliminate sifting through the flood of news.

And lastly be sure and tune in each Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. for AAFP’s weekly COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall. Members are invited to participate via:
AAFP Facebook
AAFP Twitter or
AAFP’s YouTube channel: The weekly events will be archived on the Academy’s YouTube channel, and will also be available for viewing on the AAFP’s website later.

AAFP

Please read this public statement by AAFP: Coverage and Payment for Telemedicine and Virtual Care that addresses the need for new policies that will enhance coverage and payment for telemedicine and virtual care. The statement calls on all health plans – public, private, ERISA and Medicaid – to expand their policies in four key areas. We encourage you to email to your United States Senators and share with your local insurance company contacts.

AAFP

If you haven’t already submitted your 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data, the deadline is Tuesday, March 31, 7:00 p.m. CST for MIPS-eligible clinicians.

Failure to report will result in a negative 7% adjustment to 2021 Medicare Part B payments.

To submit data, clinicians need to follow these steps:

  • Go to the QPP website.
  • Sign in with your QPP access credentials. (See directions below.)
  • Submit 2019 MIPS data (or review the data reported on your behalf by a third party).

Unsure whether you are required to participate in the QPP?  Check your eligibility status using the QPP Participation Status Lookup Tool.

Support is available at no cost for clinicians in small practices, health professional shortage areas and medically underserved areas through the QPP’s Small, Underserved and Rural Practices initiative.

For personalized help, contact QPP’s experts by email or by phone at 1-866-288-8292.

AAFP

Preparation and prevention are now the focus as the number of COVID-19 cases grows. To support your practice as the situation evolves, the AAFP is continually collecting resources that address family physician needs that are aligned with CDC. If you have not already, please bookmark this page for reference: https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/emergency/2019-coronavirus.html. This information is updated regularly and intended to help you prepare your office for possible cases, respond to patient questions, conduct screenings, and recognize and manage cases.