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Category: COVID-19

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PFS Proposed Rule Series, Part 3: Changes to Supervision Rules

This is the last installment in our three-part series covering physician-focused proposals in recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed regulations. In this edition, we will discuss two proposals in the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule. These proposals are relevant for physicians practicing in outpatient hospital settings who receive Medicare payments.

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A Presidential Mother’s Perspective

I am proud to say that the initiatives I had hoped to share with the 2,000+ registered attendees in NOLA have not been delayed. I am grateful for the support, dedication and collective energy of the ACOFP Board and staff in adapting to our new circumstances. I am looking forward to continuing these efforts and hoping that one day soon we get the chance to share an osteopathic hug. I am hopeful that our country can forge a path that includes empathy, peace and good health.

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An Update on COVID-19 Student Loan Relief

Congress is currently negotiating a new COVID-19 package to stimulate the economy and provide financial relief for individuals and families. For many members of Congress, continuing to provide student loan relief is a major priority although it currently is unclear how this important issue will be addressed in this legislation.

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The 411 on PRF

So, you got a payment from the Provider Relief Fund—now what? Most ACOFP members will have received a General Distribution payment, which generally consisted of two payments. Providers have to take several steps to accept and retain the money received.

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Developing a Team-Based Approach to Telemedicine

Over the past two months, many family medicine physicians have seen their practices develop or expand telemedicine capabilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift towards telehealth virtual care delivery has created equally great opportunities and challenges. Rapid modification of traditional outpatient workflow processes to support the provision of care in a virtual environment has been critical during the pandemic to maintain patient health care access and ensure medical practice viability. Although the changes in workday procedures has been profound for physicians and patients, we must consider that the impact of these changes has also been seismic in scale for support staff.

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The Racist Virus

We have a racist among us and it is not a person. It has no particular involvement with any political party. This racist has crept in an insinuated itself into our homes, our schools, our workplaces and where our most vulnerable live, like nursing homes. Health disparities can be caused by economic status, race, close living conditions, limited access to continuous health care, geography, lack of green space and a paucity of healthy food access.

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Howling for Health Care

People were howling, setting fireworks off and celebrating at 8:00 pm to honor and support health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This filled me with a sense of pride and hope that I and fellow health care workers are not in this alone but are supported by our neighbors and community that we serve.

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An Osteopathic Approach to Telemedicine

COVID-19 has emerged and infected every aspect of our lives and well-being. With changes in billing and HIPPA regulations, utilizing telemedicine has allowed us to adapt in a short period of time, to protect our most vulnerable patients. It also offers protection for our safety on the frontlines as primary care physicians. Of course, as a wife and mother, I was relieved to protect my family. However, I can’t help but wonder, why did it have to take a global pandemic to protect our most vulnerable populations?

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Small Victories

Discharged: Alive. That is the best thing I have read all week. My entire office celebrated. Our first COVID-19 patient fell ill quickly, became hospitalized, was transferred to intensive care and then intubated. I suppose in the bigger picture this may not seem like the biggest victory against the pandemic, but it was for our clinic.

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Uncertain Times Unite Us

Wow! What a weird time it’s been. As physicians, as humans, as citizens of our local communities and work families, as parents, as children, as partners, as business owners; we have had to decide how we will show up in the face of uncertainty.