Contact Us | Print Page | Report Abuse | Sign In | Join
Public Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Healthcare Professionals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that was initially detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

The CDC now expects the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to begin spreading within the U.S. and is urging the public and the healthcare community to prepare.

MSNJ's Response to COVID-19 Presentation

24-Hour Public Hotline

1-800-222-1222

Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer questions about coronavirus. The call is free.

MSNJ COVID-19 Impact Survey

MSNJ is conducting a survey to determine the impact of COVID-19 on physician practices. Answer survey questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on staff reductions, the need for PPE, education, and telemedicine issues so it can be brought up with legislators and government administrators and used to help us get medical practices reopened. Please note: this survey was previously fielded by Rockpointe in partnership with MSNJ. If you have already responded to this survey, there is no need to respond again. Take the survey.

General Allocation Fund

Last week, HHS announced it will begin distributing the second wave of funds from the $100 billion in funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers impacted by the pandemic. The funding will be used to support healthcare related expenses or lost revenue attributed to COVID-19. HHS announced that $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution to facilities and providers which billed Medicare in 2019, and are impacted by COVID-19, based on providers' 2018 net patient revenue. Of this $50 billion, the initial $30 billion was distributed between April 10 and April 17, and payments to providers from that $30 billion were calculated based on providers’ portion of Medicare fee-for-service revenue. Starting on April 24, a portion of providers will automatically be sent an advance payment, based off the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports. Providers without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to the General Distribution Portal for additional general distribution funds. Anyone who has a Billing TIN (including a pediatric or obstetric practice) who lost revenue in March and/or can estimate lost revenue in April due to the COVID-19 crisis, should be filling out this portal. Read AMA’s guidance and a fact sheet .

HHS Provider Payments Survey

MSNJ would like to hear about your overall experience with the HHS provider portal to receive payments. Please take our short survey .

Emergency Fund Disbursements - Attestation Portal

The first $30 million of the emergency fund created under the CARES Act to physicians and other providers are being disbursed via direct payment. HHS has opened the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal . Physicians who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment. Read the terms and conditions .

HHS partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to deliver the stimulus payments. Contact UHG at 866-569-3522 about eligibility, whether a payment has been issued, and where it was sent. Note, if a physician or practice did not already set up direct deposit through CMS or UHG’s Optum Pay, they will receive a check at a later date. If a physician or practice would like to set up direct deposit now they can call the UHG Provider Relations number.

Guidance on Reopening Healthcare

Executive Order 145 Guidance - Reopening of Elective and Invasive Procedures

The NJ Department of Health and NJ Division of Consumer Affairs issued guidance today on Executive Order 145 , resumption of elective procedures. MSNJ provided consultation to both agencies to ensure our physician members are being represented properly for a safe and proper reopen of our economy.

·     NJ DOH Guidance for Resumption of Elective Surgeries for Hospitals

·     NJ DOH Guidance for Resumption of Elective Surgeries for Ambulatory Surgical Centers

·    NJ Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Consumer Affairs Administrative Order and Notice of Rule Adoption Pursuant to Executive Order No. 145 | DCA Administrative Order No. 2020-07

Guidance on Reopening Elective Surgeries

The American College of Surgeons released a new guidance document to help health care facilities best prepare for resuming elective surgery. Read the  guidance  . Read a joint statement from the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of perioperative Registered Nurses, and the American Hospital Association on:  Roadmap for Resuming Elective Surgery after COVID-19 Pandemic .

CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of COVID-19

CMS issued updated guidance to physicians “on providing essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms of COVID-19 in regions with low and stable incidence of COVID-19.” This is part of Phase 1 in the transition to re-open healthcare systems and the economy.

The guidelines “recommend a gradual transition and encourage health care providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials, and to review the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capacity when making the decision to re-start or increase in-person care.” Before entering Phase 1, CMS indicates that “states or regions need to pass gating criteria regarding symptoms, cases, and hospitals.”

CMS encourages physicians and patients to continue to use telemedicine when services can be managed via remote appointments, to limit the risk of exposure and spread of the virus. Read the press release and updated recommendations .

Masks and PPE

KN95 Masks

MSNJ has compiled some resources for purchasing KN95 masks. Please note: The following companies and its manufacturers have not been vetted by MSNJ. These are simply resources available. Please use your own judgment when placing an order.

US Ophthalmic:

KN95 Masks: Packs of 10

  • 1-30: $29.50
  • 31-100: $27.00
  • 101-500: $25.00
  • 501-1000: $24.00
  • 1001+: $22.00

This item comes China. US Ophthalmic will have availability in 2 weeks. See specs sheet . View more PPE products .

AdvoWaste Medical Services

KN95 Masks:

  • $195 per box 50 masks/box
  • 2 box min per order

Full line of PPE gear in stock and ready to ship. Click here to see the available PPE products and order form.

MSNJ Counterfeit Masks Reporting Portal

MSNJ is trying to help get PPE distributed to physician practices throughout NJ. We would like to hear from you if you have purchased fraudulent masks and if you have paid more for masks since prior to COVID-19. Report here .

New Directives and Guidelines Passed by NJ DOH & NJ Attorney General's Office

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is pushing healthcare systems to their limits. Providers may soon be forced to make very tough decisions when it comes to cares – whether to withdraw or withhold certain types of treatment, take treatments from some patients and provide them to others, etc.

MSNJ's Bio-medical Ethics Committee created a framework in late March and submitted the document for review to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH).

New Jersey DOH then convened a panel of medical experts to advise the State on the difficult ethical questions that New Jersey may face during this pandemic. Those efforts resulted in DOH’s publication on April 11, 2020, of Allocation of Critical Care Resources During a Public Health Emergency, a model policy for health care facilities that may confront those difficult questions.

On April 11, 2020, the following directives and guidelines were ordered:

  1. All health care facilities in New Jersey that possess mechanical ventilators for the care of all patients requiring use of such ventilators must determine whether to adopt a written policy to govern the allocation of mechanical ventilators during the public health emergency arising from COVID-19. Such a policy may, in addition, govern the allocation of other scarce medical resources.
  2. A health care facility that adopts the Department of Health's model policy Allocation of Critical Care Resources During a Public Health Emergency, as well as the health care facility's agents, officers, employees, servants, representatives and volunteers, shall not be civilly liable for any damages arising from an injury to a patient caused by any act or omission pursuant to, and consistent with, such policy. Such immunity supplements any other immunities and defenses that may apply.

Retired Medical Doctors and Medical Students Urged to Volunteer - CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE FORM

Emergency Statewide Restrictions to Combat Drug Shortages

As demand has increased for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine since being tested as possible treatments for COVID-19, there are concerns of shortages caused by the inappropriate prescribing and hoarding of these medications. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced statewide restrictions for prescribing and dispensing of these drugs. Effective immediately, any prescription for a drug in short supply due to its use in possible treatment of COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, must include a diagnosis or diagnostic code and should be supported in the patient’s record. Prescriptions without this information are invalid and may not be filled by pharmacists. Read more about the Administrative Order .

Financial Assistance & Support:

Call for Assistance Applying for Federal Disaster Relief Loans

Are you having trouble navigating any of the relief program application processes? Our Member Resource Center can help!  Contact us at 609-896-1766 x0, email  info@msnj.org or fill out our  contact form .

Emergency Fund Disbursements 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the immediate disbursement of the first $30 billion out of the $100 billion that Congress allocated to hospitals, physicians and other health care providers in the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The distribution policy adopted by HHS reflects the recommendations from organized medicine made to Secretary Azar by the AMA and 137 medical societies, MSNJ included, earlier this week. However, it is not exactly what was initially proposed - in part, the difference stems from the administration's approach of first disbursing $30 billion and later determining how the remainder of the funds will be allocated.

This initial $30 billion is being directed to hospitals and physician practices in direct proportion to their share of Medicare fee-for-service spending. All facilities and health professionals that billed Medicare FFS in 2019 are eligible for the funds. These are grants, not loans, and do not have to be repaid.

Additional details about the allocation are available here.

NEW Paycheck Protection Program Assistance (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provides cash-flow assistance to employers who maintain their payroll during the coronavirus emergency. If employer maintains their payroll, up to eight weeks of loans would be forgiven.

Some Requirements:

  • Funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage, lease, and utility payments; excludes: individual employee compensation above $100,000 per year, prorated for the covered period
  • The applicant does not have any other application pending under this program for the same purpose; and
  • Available from February 15, 2020 until December 31, 2020
  • Application is 2 pages requires Tax Forms and Financial Documents
  • Interest Rate is 4%
  • Read more - US Chambers of Commerce Checklist
  • Paycheck Protection Program FAQ's
  • Eligible businesses may apply now. The loan form is found here .

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

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 to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA and U.S. Treasury Department additional guidance for PPP loans - Click here to read more. 

Other loan resources.

Department of Labor Resources

The New Jersey Department of Health has resources available on their website  regarding employee benefits. Please view this  chart  on COVID-19 scenarios and benefits available to employees. 

MSNJ Daily News Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19:

Telemedicine Resources:

Payment Issues for Telehealth/Telemedicine Services - If you experience difficulties in getting paid for telehealth or telemedicine services, please contact DOBI’s hotline at 1-800-446-7467 (8:30AM TO 5:00PM EST Monday-Friday), or visit their Consumer Assistance – Inquiries/Complaints webpage .

MSNJ has identified several video conferencing platforms members can access to continue to see patients during the crisis:

Medici Connect (Formerly DocbookMD) Now Offering Virtual Care

DocbookMD, now Medici Connect, is now offering a virtual care platform that lets physicians consult with patients via secure voice, video and text. To access this product you will need to update from DocbookMD to Medici. If you are previously registered for DocbookMD, your account is already verified. An email was sent to physicians already registered with a unique link. Follow the instructions in the email from DocbookMD. Not registered? Click here .

New CMS Toolkits on Telehealth

Other Telehealth Guidance

Medical Malpractice Update

Click the button below to find your carrier and the information they are providing to help physicians during COVID-19. Please note: This link will be constantly updated, so please keep checking back.

Executive Order 112, relieving physicians, hospitals and front line healthcare workers from liability during the declared state of emergency in New Jersey. MSNJ thanks the Governor for this leadership that will ease concerns of those that are providing healthcare services to our communities.

CDC Clinical Guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19):

For a comprehensive roundup of health care professional information and resources, visit the CDC's dedicated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpages

NJ Department of Health (COVID-19) Resources:

The NJ Department of Health’s website on coronavirus has helpful information for patients and physicians in New Jersey. 

AMA (COVID-19) Resources:

The American Medical Association offers a useful roundup of professional resources on their website, including CME opportunities. 

  • The AMA just released a resource to help physicians and practice staff track the rapidly evolving prior authorization policy changes health plans and PBMs are making in response to COVID-19.  The AMA will be regularly updating this resource to stay current with payers’ policy changes.
  • The AMA has updated its COVID-19 coding guidance document to reflect the most recent information released by CMS. The document has been expanded to now outline 18 different treatment scenarios and recommended coding for each.
  • National Address from the AMA President Watch the recording.
  • Resources for health care leadership
  • A physician’s guide to COVID-19

CMS (COVID-19) Resources:

Payer Guidance:

    Aetna

    Horizon BCBSNJ

    UnitedHealthcare

    Cigna

    Other (COVID-19) Articles/Guidance:

    When should I return to work after being infected with COVID-19? Check out NJHA’s Staffing Resource Toolkit which includes a policy on when you should return to work after being infected with COVID-19.

    (COVID-19) Education:

    Rockpointe and the Potomac Center for Medical Education (PCME), in collaboration with MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, developed an online course to help physicians identify, diagnose, and act on potential cases of COVID-19. This free, hour-long webcourse has now been archived and is available to all clinicians:

    Webinar Recordings