Louisiana State Medical Society
COVID-19 Bulletin #12 (4/13/2020)
April 13, 2020 by Chris LeBouef

Immediate Infusion of $30 Billion Into Healthcare System

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. Recognizing the importance of delivering funds in a fast and transparent manner, $30 billion is being distributed immediately – with payments arriving via direct deposit beginning April 10, 2020 – to eligible providers throughout the American healthcare system. These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.  The distribution policy adopted by HHS reflects the recommendations from organized medicine made to Secretary Azar by the AMA and 137 medical societies, including LSMS, last week.

Additional details about the allocation are available by clicking here.

LA Attorney General Jeff Landry Opinion to LSBME: Potential Immunity for Doctors Who May Prescribe Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax for The Treatment of COVID-19

The question has been asked whether doctors prescribing Hydroxychloroquine and Zithormax to patients in Louisiana are entitled to immunity. Should any doctor prescribe Hydroxychloroquine and Zithormax to patients in Louisiana in connection with the current COYlD-19 epidemic and in accordance with the FDA's clinical approval, the doctor's actions may fall within one or more Louisiana immunity statute that currently exist. Specifically, La. R.S. 29:771 (B)(2)(c) provides immunity for health care providers acting during a public health care emergency for civil claims concerning the death of or injury to a person or damage to property, except in the event of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Webinars offered from LAMMICO Insureds Now Open to All LSMS Members

The two below webinars have been archived and available complimentary for LSMS members even if you're not a LAMMICO Insured. To gain access, please email LSMS Sr. Director of Administration and Member Services, Terri Watson, at terri@lsms.org. Please include the subject of the webinar you wish to access in your email.

1. COVID 19 CARES Act – How to Minimize the Impact and Maximize the Financial Benefits to Your Healthcare Practice

Following the nationwide outbreak of COVID-19, Congress passed three pieces of recovery and stimulus legislation culminating with the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, an 880 page multifaceted law with a number of beneficial provisions for healthcare providers, their practices, and small businesses. However, sorting through the legislation and finding what is relevant to you is not easy.
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 12 p.m., CPAs Kathleen Zuniga, Bryan Hall, Jean-Paul Tujague and Jose Aponte partners from Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, presented a 90-minute webinar to help LAMMICO insureds navigate the relevant financial aspects of the new legislation that are applicable to your practice. The presentation provided an overview of the types of assistance available for small business with particular emphasis on the healthcare specific provisions included in the CARES Act.
This is a complimentary webinar for LAMMICO insureds and now available to all LSMS members.
A summary of the topics presented include: SBA loan programs (PPP, EIDL and others): Overview and latest updates, Business interruption updates, Tax Incentives and Credits , Healthcare specific funding provisions, and Frequently asked questions.

2. COVID-19 Response Act: Key Employment Issues for Healthcare Practices

Keeping your practice up and running during the current pandemic is hard enough. Responding to various employment dilemmas and complying with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can make it feel impossible. The challenges you must overcome are unprecedented.

On Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 12 p.m., employment attorneys A. Kevin Troutman and Lariza Hebert presented a 90-minute webinar to give LAMMICO insureds the employment-related answers you need to make it through. Through this webinar, you will receive easy-to-follow advice that will help your practice continue to see patients and have confidence that you are complying with important employment-related rules, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that went into effect April 1, 2020. 

This program has been tailored to meet the unique needs of healthcare practices. LAMMICO insureds who manage, own or operate a practice that employs any number of people should participate in this complimentary webinar. Regardless of your practice size, location or specialty, this expert-led webinar will provide you with the front line, practical advice necessary to help you avoid innocent mistakes that could lead to costly outcomes.

By attending this webinar, you'll get answers to essential questions related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Here are some of the questions that will be covered during this expert-led 90-minute session: Are you responsible for paying employees that are unable to work due to being infected with COVID-19? As a small practice, do you have to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Are you required to let your practice employees work from home, regardless of their position? Is your practice required to pay employees who stay home with their children due to school closures? Are you required to compensate non-full-time employees even if you don't have work for them to do? How long are you required to hold an employee position open at your practice? What are the specific reasons that require your practice to pay sick leave? Are you required to pay employee time off at the full-rate of pay? Are brand new employees eligible to receive full pay if they can’t work? And many more.

LSMS Survey Results

Thank you to all LSMS members who participated in our first survey with needed feedback to pass along to the various departments and elected officials in the state. We have posted some results on our social media chanels but wanted to also share in this bulletin. Thank you again for your partipation.

LSMS Resources

The LSMS COVID-19 Resources are offered for all physicians. They are not behind a members-only section. We encourage you to share our information, newsletters and links with your peers as it is to everyone's advantage to have any information available.

You can find this information on our website, here.

Please recognize it remains a work in progress that we will continue to update as information becomes available. Additionally, at the bottom of the page is a form for you to share information with us or ask questions to which we may be able to help you get answers.
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