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Financial Relief for Surgeons: CARES Act Information

ACS Washington team has identified information regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on Friday, that provides some pathways for physicians to obtain financial assistance for their practices.

We know many of you want to apply for this assistance if you are experiencing financial strains on your practice related to COVID-19.  Below are resource links and additional information.

Small Business Administration
Relief for small businesses, including those run by physicians, was included in the $2 trillion CARES Act legislation. The provisions include the appropriation of $562 million for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to ensure that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has adequate resources to assist businesses in need.
 

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program

provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support designed to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners in all fifty states, Washington, DC, and U.S. territories are eligible to apply.

The CARES Act clarified that eligibility would be for those businesses of 500 employees or less at each business location.

Fellows may learn more about Economic Injury Disaster Loans and find the appropriate applications here.

CMS Accelerated and Advanced The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) has recently expanded the Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program.

Surgeons and others may request advanced Medicare payments to address cash flow issues based on historical payments.

More information about this program can be found on the CMS website and in this fact sheet.

New York City Financial Resources

New York City Employee Retention Grant Program

NYC is offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Businesses must be located within the five boroughs of New York City and demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue.

> Learn more

New York City Small Business Continuity Fund

If your business has fewer than 100 employees, you can get up to $75,000 in interest-free loans from the city to cover revenue losses. Businesses within the five boroughs that have experienced at least a 25% reduction in revenue can qualify.

> Learn more 

Governor Announces Medical Malpractice Relief

On March 27, 2020 the Governor announced that for a 60 day period, consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance, including auto, homeowners, renters, workers comp, medical malpractice, livery and taxi. No late fees will be assessed and no negative data will be reported to credit bureaus during this time, and late payments will be payable over a one-year period.  More details are forthcoming.

Additionally, you may call your malpractice carrier to ask about their additional accommodations for relief, such a reduction to part-time status:

New York Chapter ACS Alerts the Governor

The New York Chapter of the American College of Surgeons continues to mobilize efforts to assist in caring for New Yorkers and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

Recently the Chapter sent a letter to Governor Cuomo and shared with officials in the New York State Department of Health, New York Department of Financial Services, and the New York State legislature alerting them to the following items:

  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Interpretation of Immunity
  • Crisis Standards
  • Maintenance of Emergency Access to Critical Medical and Surgical Care as Essential Public Health Services
  • Liability Relief    
  • Volunteer Immunity

    Telemedicine Services

    Both the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Department of Health (DOH) have sent out notifications relating to the Covid-19 outbreak reminding health insurers, physicians and hospitals that New York law requires coverage for telemedicine in the same manner as if care had been provided in an office setting. 

    • To read the NYS Department of Financial Services circular letter, click here
    • For NYS Medicaid guidance click here
    NYS Workers Compensation has issued amendments to allow telemedicine in some circumstances for social distancing purposes due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The text can be found here

    Moreover, Congress passed a law last week that reduces current restrictions on Medicare coverage for telemedicine. A fact sheet can be found here. The table includes a Summary of Medicare Telemedicine Services.   Source: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheetNortheast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC): Provides FREE technical assistance, education and information on telehealth. Service area includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, but accept calls no matter where you are located. NETRC is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, which is part of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

    New York State Resources

    NYS DOH
     
    Legal and Practice Support

    ACS Resources

    Our Strategic Partners Will Help You

    Physician Wellbeing

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is here to help and has put together the following resources to support the challenges you may face as a surgeon.

    Headspace is offering all US healthcare professionals, who work in public health settings, free access to Headspace Plus through 2020.

    You can redeem your subscription using your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and email address.
    https://www.headspace.com/health-covid-19

    Federal Resources

    CDC Website for Healthcare Professionals 

    Free Patient Communication Resources  
    CDC offers free resources including video, fact sheets, and posters.

    CDC Resources for Business and Employers

    AMA - A Physicians Quickstart Guide to COVID-19 (PDF) Website

    AMA - Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice (new)

    World Health Organization - Coronavirus

    Environmental Protection Agency - Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against COVID-19

     

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    New York Chapter American College of Surgeons
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