Alameda County COVID-19 Vaccination Information: Click here.
Alameda County Public Health Department of Communicable Disease Section: (510) 267-3250 from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM on weekdays. After-hours calls should be directed to (925) 422-7595 and ask for the public health duty officer on call.
Contra Costa County COVID-19 Vaccination Information: Click here.
Contra Costa Public Health Department: Coronavirus Call Center: (844) 729-8410.
Berkeley COVID-19 Information: Click here.
Berkeley Public Health Division: (510) 981-5292 from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM on weekdays. After-hours calls should be directed to (510) 981-5911 and ask for the Health Officer on call.
CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s "Prepare to Care for COVID-19" is a resource clinicians can use to care for patients with COVID-19. This resource contains practical tools for treating COVID-19 patients and will be regularly updated to help clinicians adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
A comprehensive list of specialty-specific COVID-19 guidelines, compiled by MIEC.
This one-hour recorded training provides private practice physicians with the information needed to manage the COVID-19 crisis while maintaining your practice. Learn how to handle layoffs with a labor law expert, manage the cash flow in your practice, and learn more about telemedicine codes as you navigate your practice through this challenging time.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, physician practices are confronting operational and business challenges as they continue to deliver high-quality care to their patients. Medical practices will need to make difficult choices about whether to make significant changes that could include changing how they deliver care or even closing their practices. CMA has compiled a financial toolkit for medical practices:
Intuit Aid Assist is a free service that allows businesses, self-employed, contractors, and others to understand and access different business relief programs. Individuals and businesses can complete a loan eligibility assessment to see if they qualify for any federal funding programs.
The federal economic relief law includes nearly $350 billion in funding to create a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. Up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. Principal and interest are deferred for up to a year and all borrower fees are waived. This temporary emergency assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury can be used in coordination with other COVID-financing assistance established in the bill or any other existing SBA loan program. The bill requires the SBA Administrator to set a cap on how much a bank can earn to process loan applications and prioritize underserved borrowers, including those in rural communities, minorities, women, and veterans. You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Click here for more information about the program. Click here for an information sheet for borrowers.
SBA will work directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 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 federal economic relief law includes $10 billion in grant funding to provide an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) within three days of applying for the loan. EIDLs are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75% for companies and up to 2.75% for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to 4 years. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses. The new $10,000 EIDL grant does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EIDL, and may be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintaining payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments. Eligible grant recipients must have been in operation on January 31, 2020. The grant is available to small businesses, private nonprofits, sole proprietors and independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses.
A business that receives an EIDL between January 31, 2020, and June 30, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 disaster declaration is eligible to apply for a PPP loan or the business may refinance their EIDL into a PPP loan. In either case, the emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000 would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the payroll protection plan. To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue and can be term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
Physician practices managing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic are confronting new and unique operational and business challenges. This checklist provides high-level guidance for practice owners and administrators. Check out the AMA COVID-19 checklist to stay up to date.
Small businesses in Alameda and Contra Costa counties are eligible for disaster relief loans from the US Small Business Administration as a result of COVID-19:
The ACCMA and the California Medical Association (CMA) are continuing to provide PPE at no cost to physician practices and clinics in Alameda and Contra Costa counties for a small shipping fee. N95 masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns, face shields, vinyl gloves, goggles, coveralls, and hand sanitizers may be ordered through the PPE Relief Portal (click here for specs). PPE supplies are shipped directly to medical offices. This program will run as long as supply lasts. Please contact the ACCMA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 654-5383 for more information.
The ACCMA has developed PPE Guidance for Independent Practices, bringing together resources and information regarding PPE requests and PPE use. If you have any questions or any additional information to add to the document, please contact the ACCMA by calling 510-654-5383 or emailing email@example.com.
Please see the attached table with contact information for organizations that are able to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, medical equipment, and cleaning/disinfecting supplies.
The California Department of Public Health has released guidelines on resuming California’s deferred and preventive health care for physicians, hospitals, dentists, and skilled nursing facilities.
Click here for a comparison grid showing a side-by-side rundown of CMA’s guidelines for reopening the health care system in California vs. the guidelines released by the California Department of Public Health, as they pertain to physicians.
Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) and Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) each issued Orders for all Licensed Facilities and Other Agencies, as well as their staff, contractors and any essential visitors entering those sites to comply with guidance to control the spread of COVID-19. The Orders become effective at 12:01 AM on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
New guidelines for licensed facilities include:
The Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association is closely partnering with the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD)'s Long-Term Care Facility Task Force. This new order aims to keep patients safer by making compliance mandatory. Review the full order here.
Contra Costa Health Services has issued a similar order, outlining the same guidelines above.
Telehealth services are expanding rapidly during the COVID-19 crisis. In partnership with Bay Area medical associations, the ACCMA teamed up with experts to develop a comprehensive webinar series to help physicians swiftly ramp up their telemedicine capabilities, from technology to practice implementation to coding. Experts discuss choosing a telemedicine platform; compliance; privacy and security considerations; billing and payment; policies, procedures, and workflow; informing your patients; and malpractice. Physicians who have experience practicing telemedicine shared their practical reflections.
To access these on-demand webinars, visit accma.org/Telemedicine-Series.
Early in the pandemic, ACCMA recorded the following interview regarding "How to Get Telemedicine Up and Running Quickly":
CMA is working to obtain information on payor reimbursement policies related to COVID-19 and telemedicine/telephone appointments. As of now, the ACCMA is aware of the following policy announcements:
CMS added to the list of services that can be provided via telehealth to include additional hospital services, home visits, and domiciliary services. Additional services that are temporary additions to the services that may be performed via telehealth include care planning for patients with cognitive impairment, psychological and neuropsychological testing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. These services can be provided to new or established patient visits.
In order to bill office visits or any of the services mentioned above, you must have interactive, real-time audiovisual with the patient. If phone only, look at the phone codes that are now covered.
To view a full list of payment for phone calls and a list of Medicare Telehealth Services, please review the attached article, written by Mary Jean Sage of The Sage Associates.
Medicare issued another change to telehealth rules on April 30, 2020 with an interim final rule with comment period (IFC). The rule outlines changes to a number of issues including: 1) Advance practice providers ordering and furnishing diagnostic tests; 2) Hospital outpatient departments; and 3) Hospital based clinics billing an originating fee. However, the most significant change for physicians is the new rule regarding payment for Telephone Calls. Medicare will now reimburse telephone calls (99441 - 99443) at the rate of an in-person office E/M service. Read more about the new rule in the article by Mary Jean Sage of The Sage Associates.
For physicians in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, click here for enrollment instructions and for enrollment assistance.
In anticipation for a greater surge of COVID patients, Alameda County is collecting information from those who work in medical and health care settings, who are willing to work shifts in alternate patient care locations within the county. We are looking for: Doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, medical assistants, phlebotomists, respiratory techs, ER techs, X-ray techs, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, social workers, registration clerks, nutrition staff, housekeeping, IT, security, maintenance, etc. There may also be need for translation services.
If you are available and willing to work in any of these capacities, please complete these two required steps:
For those who already registered in the DHV System/California Health Corps, please update your profile.
As a reminder, we are only gathering information on the prospective workforce. Currently, there is no specific mission/assignment, nor established schedules or locations. As the situation evolves and planning takes more definitive shape, we will contact you to see if you are still available. You will not be contacted if you did not complete the two required steps above.
Contra Costa is making effort to extend its health care workforce (HCW) through the hiring of new HCW staff through both our county personnel and through statewide efforts to deploy HCWs at the state level as both paid and volunteer staff. Below are the links to submit applications for this work:
Interested in supporting COVID-19 medical response? California needs licensed healthcare professionals and operational staff to sign up and assist in the fight against COVID-19.
Sponsored Psychotherapy Sessions
Physician Mental Health Consultations
Wellness Resource Library
Advisory Committee on Physician Wellbeing
Litigation Stress Program
Medication Adherence Can Improve the Health of Your Patients and Save Time
Statistics from a JAMA study indicate that, for every two patients you see, one of them isn’t taking their medicine as prescribed.
Patients may have extenuating reasons for not taking their medications, but if you help them identify and address the root cause of their nonadherence to medications without judgment, you’ll build trust – and you may be able to address medication-related issues faster. Work to create a blame-free environment to discuss medication adherence with your patients.
Check out these additional resources:
Podcast: Podcast: Medication Adherence with Marie T. Brown, MD
Online Resource: Medication Adherence (Practice Improvement CME module)
From the American Medical Association, Burnout Management Tip of the Week, 5/4/21