Physician Partners COVID-19 Content and Updates

April 8, 2020

Physician Partners has created content and resources relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This page will be updated as new content is made available.

CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)

The bill addresses the economic impacts of, and otherwise responds to, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. The bill authorizes emergency loans to distressed businesses; with respect to health care, the bill -provides additional funding for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19;

  • limits liability for volunteer health care professionals;
  • prioritizes Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of certain drugs;
  • allows emergency use of certain diagnostic tests that are not approved by the FDA;
  • expands health-insurance coverage for diagnostic testing and requires coverage for preventative services and vaccines;
  • revises other provisions, including those regarding the medical supply chain, the national stockpile, the health care workforce, the Healthy Start program,
  • telehealth services, nutrition services, Medicare, and Medicaid.

 

CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) Webinar Presentation & Forms

Please find attached the slideshow presentation and supplemental SBA Loan spreadsheet referenced during the CARES Act webinar. Please note, the spreadsheet shows Employee 1 and Employee 2 as samples with formulas in place.

Please find attached the slideshow presentation and supplemental SBA Loans / Employees Data spreadsheet referenced during the CARES Act webinar. Please note, the spreadsheet shows Employee 1 and Employee 2 as samples with formulas in place.

Download Slideshow.pdf

Download SBA Spreadsheet.xlsx

 

Telehealth

Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have communicated many reasons to self-quarantine and reduce travel as much as possible due to the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, many patients are concerned about traveling to and from a physician’s office because of exposure risk.

Providing telehealth services is crucial to protect caregivers, not just patients. Preserving the health of our doctors and staff is paramount so they can continue to provide the much-needed care for our communities.

 

Telehealth Webinar Presentation & Forms

Please find attached the slideshow presentation and supplemental documents referenced during the Telehealth webinar. We have included a sample patient Telehealth consent form in both PDF and Word Doc, in addition to an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) document.

Download Slideshow.pdf

Download Telehealth Consent Form.pdf

Download Telehealth Consent Form.docx

Download ABN Form.docx

 

Overview

A Telehealth Consult is defined as a “Two-Way” live audio & visual interactive communication between a patient and his or her health care provider. This interaction does not require direct patient contact; however, the patient must be present and be engaged throughout the consult aka – “e-Visit”.

More information can be found regarding Telehealth consults and the recently announced 1135 waiver by visiting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website – Click here to learn more

Please note – The use of audio-only telephone, facsimile machines, texting, or e-mail does not constitute a Telehealth consult. There may be differences in reimbursement and coverage between CMS and commercial carriers.

 

Reimbursement & Billing

Physician Partners recommends each provider’s office contact the insurance carrier to determine if a patient’s current policy will cover Telehealth services. The office may also obtain a signed waiver from the patient prior to the Telehealth consult, acknowledging the patient’s financial responsibility should the insurance carrier refuse to cover the service.

Most insurance payers will reimburse using the visit code, along with the modifier (95), and place of service Telehealth (02).

CMS has created a list of services that are payable under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule when furnished via telehealth. Click the button below to visit the CMS website and download a file that lists covered telehealth services and their corresponding codes.

View Telehealth Codes

 

Recent Changes in HIPAA Policy for Telehealth – via Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Effective March 6, 2020

CMS has made drastic changes to its HIPAA policy which allows for Telehealth consultation and treatment for nearly any type of outpatient encounter.

A covered health care provider in the exercise of his or her professional judgment may request to examine a patient exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms using a video chat application connecting the provider’s and patient’s phone, tablet, or desktop computer in order to assess a greater number of patients while limiting the spread of infection.

Likewise, a covered health care provider may provide telehealth services in the exercise of his or her professional judgment to assess or treat any other medical or mental health condition, even if not related to COVID-19.

Under the recent notice provided by CMS, covered health care providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Zoom, to provide telehealth services without the risk of a penalty for noncompliance with HIPAA rules. Providers are encouraged to notify patients that these third-party applications potentially introduce privacy risks and providers should attempt to enable encryption and privacy modes when using such applications. 

Under this Notice, however, Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, and similar video communication applications are public-facing, and should not be used.

Covered health care providers who insist on additional privacy protections while conducting telehealth consultations should utilize a paid service with one of the recommended vendors noted below and enter into a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with them.

 

Secure & Non-Secure Technologies

(Allowed by CMS & OCR during COVID-19 Pandemic)

 

Web Cameras

All Telehealth technologies will work on mobile devices, including iPhones and Androids. This is the easiest way to get up and running.

A stationary camera connected to a computer provides the best viewing experience for patients. Currently, many online retailers are either out of stock or back-ordered due to the recent high demand. It is not a requirement that you wait to purchase or use a web camera to begin providing telehealth services to your patients. Using your mobile device is, again, the easiest way to get started.

If you would like to search the internet for a USB capable web camera, click here.

If you elect to use your mobile device or tablet to conduct a Telehealth consult, consider using a workspace stand to hold your phone or tablet in place during the consult — click here to view stands.

Technology Services – Contact Information

Zoom Healthcare – To view Zoom’s website and begin setting up your healthcare provider account, please visit their website at https://zoom.us/healthcare. Please note – You may use the temporary promotional code “PORTFOLIOPARTNER-ZOOM” to save up to $399.80 on your annual subscription fees.

Vsee Telehealth – To learn more about Vsee and their services, please visit https://vsee.com/. Please note -Vsee offers other valuable features, such as patient intake, consent, and a virtual triage queue.

Apple Face Time – To learn more about using Apple Face Time video meetings, please visit Apple’s website by clicking here.

Google Hangouts Video – To learn more about using Google Hangouts video meetings, please click here. Please Note – You will need to download the Google Hangouts app to your Android device first, which can be found by clicking here.

***Using Apple Face Time or Google Hangouts Video may share your personal mobile phone number or personal contact information with patients. It is recommended that you review your settings in advance.

 

Affiliate Resources

If you have any questions about instituting & billing for telehealth services at your practice, please contact Absolute Solutions at (858) 251-0351 or email them directly at info@abs-sol.com. Their company, a trusted member of our Physician Resource Center, has developed a comprehensive telehealth training program that has been discounted for Physician Partners members.

If you need assistance setting-up a virtual office or a remote workspace, contact Edge-tech Solutions, another trusted affiliate partner in our Physician Resource Center. You may reach them by phone at (619) 535-6911 or via email at support@edgetechsolutions.com. Their company also extends preferred services and pricing to Physician Partners members.

 

CMA Resource Guide | Financial Assistance for Medical Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The California Medical Association has provided a resource guide of financial assistance available to medical practices during and after this difficult time so physicians have the information they need to make the right decisions for their businesses and families.

View CMA Resources Guide

Dr. Ted Mazer Prepares for Big Changes as CMA President-Elect

December 12, 2016

 

The health care landscape undoubtedly faces big changes under a new administration. Read an edited version of Dr. Mazer’s talk with the UT-San Diego about health policy and his new role as president-elect of the California Medical Association.

Read the U-T San Diego article: Dr. Ted Mazer becomes state leader amid changing health care landscape

 


 

Dr. Ted Mazer becomes state leader amid changing health care landscape

By Paul Sisson | December 11, 2016

Dr. Ted Mazer knew for some time that he would likely become president-elect of the California Medical Association this fall and then president a year later.

What he couldn’t foresee was the high potential for major changes in federal health-care policy that would affect California and other states. That possibility is indeed high as President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress look to reshape the Affordable Care Act.

Click here to read more…

Original Post By: U-T San Diego

The Rose Group Launches TRG Workplace Investigations

June 22, 2016

The Rose Group APLC is pleased to announce that we have launched TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS, as a division of The Rose Group, APLC.

Over the years, The Rose Group has conducted numerous workplace investigations for private, public and non-profit employers of all sizes, throughout California or elsewhere in the United States. We are routinely hired by employers directly, or as the result of referrals from their go-to employment litigation defense firms (who do not conduct investigations for their clients to avoid disqualification from defending any related litigation). Our investigations allow employers to make informed decisions which may reduce the likelihood of litigation, and could significantly limit an employer’s liability for the underlying conduct.

As the demand for our investigation services has expanded, we have given much thought to how to best position ourselves to meet this growing interest in our investigative services.

Through TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS, The Rose Group is enhancing our capabilities to conduct thorough and unbiased internal workplace investigations for private, public and non-profit employers of all sizes, in any location in California or elsewhere in the United States. As an added plus, TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS is able to conduct investigations in both English and Spanish.

The principals of TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS are employment law specialists Ken Rose and Robert Rose. Ken and Robert undertake high-level sensitive investigations that are best handled by independent seasoned employment lawyers. They are experienced investigators who understand the issues and employment laws, and they can obtain the facts objectively without the emotional involvement. Ken and Robert gather and analyze detailed facts through interviews and document review and provide sound, reasoned conclusions. Their legal training, interpersonal and interview skills, temperament, extensive employment law knowledge, and experience litigating employment lawsuits, provide the framework for investigations that are impartial, objective, thorough and prompt.

We conduct investigations covering a broad scope of workplace issues:

  • EEO COMPLAINTS: TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS will investigate whether unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation has occurred.
  • EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT: TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS will investigate whether there is a reasonable, good faith, and honest basis, to believe that misconduct occurred and that “just cause or “good cause” exists for taking adverse employment actions.
  • WHISTLEBLOWER AND SARBANES-OXLEY COMPLAINTS: TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS will investigate complaints by internal whistleblowers who report alleged illegal activity occurred within their company.
  • UNETHICAL CONDUCT: TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS will investigate whether employees have engaged in alleged or suspected unlawful and/or unethical conduct for which the employer or management officials can be held responsible.
  • WAGE LAW COMPLIANCE AND COMPLAINTS: TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS will investigate claims that an employer has violated California and federal wage and hour laws including claims for overtime, for failure to provide mandated meal and rest breaks, and charges of employees being misclassified as independent contractors.

Our investigations are unbiased, unemotional, comprehensive and structured to allow employers to make informed decisions which may reduce the likelihood of litigation, and could significantly limit an employer’s liability for the underlying conduct. Our investigation reports are of excellent quality and written with the expectation that the employer may need to present our report as evidence at a potential trial. In the end, we provide the employers’ decision-makers with information critical to make the hard decisions.

Employers who retain TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS’ independent investigators eliminate the appearance of impropriety and minimize the likelihood for accusations of a pre-determined outcome being made by the complainant or subjects of the investigation. We structure our investigations to avoid actual conflicts of interest, minimize perceived conflicts of interest, and preserve attorney-client and work product privileges.

We take pride in being available 24/7 when necessary. Our investigators have a track record of conducting investigations on short notice and otherwise accommodating time sensitive requests from the employers who engage their services.

We structure our engagement agreements with employers to preserve attorney-client and work product privileges, leaving the employer with latitude to determine whether and when to waive those privileges.

TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS recognizes that there are many considerations facing employers when choosing an investigator. Through the article below, we share our thoughts on the legal and practical reasons as well as the strategic advantages for hiring an employment lawyer experienced in conducting workplace investigations.

For an in depth breakdown on the importance of well executed, unbiased workplace investigations, we recommend you read our newest article, entitled WHEN SHOULD EMPLOYERS USE INDEPENDENT EMPLOYMENT LAW SPECIALISTS TO CONDUCT WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS?

For more information about TRG WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS, please visit our new website, http://www.rosegroup.us/workplace-investigations

ABOUT THE ROSE GROUP

The Rose Group, APLC was founded in June 2006 by San Diego, California-based employment law specialist Ken Rose. The Rose Group is a boutique firm dedicated to providing cost-effective, practical advice and counsel to employers and employees on domestic and international employment law matters and in related litigation. The Rose Group is often called upon to conduct sensitive workplace investigations. In addition, through Rose Mediation www.rosemediation.us, Ken Rose serves as a neutral mediator and arbitrator in employment law and other civil litigation matters. Ken Rose is listed in the 2014 Who’s Who Legal: Management, Labour & Employment, as well as the 2015 San Diego Super Lawyers. The Rose Group recently added attorney Robert Rose to the practice, and moved its San Diego offices to 10021 Willow Creek Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92131.

Sheila Hendry Named SDCMS Office Manager of the Year 2014

January 21, 2015

Each year, San Diego County Medical Society recognizes one nominated Office Manager or Practice Administrator who has gone above and beyond his or her job description. Again, Physician Resource Center and Physician Partners are very proud to say that we have the privilege of knowing and working with this year’s recipient.

Join us in congratulating Sheila Hendry of IGO Medical Group San Diego for winning the SDCMS’s Outstanding Medical Office Manager of 2014!

Please see below for IGO Medical Group’s nomination letter explaining why Sheila Hendry has been such an important part of their practice.


Congratulations, Sheila A. Hendry, PhD, SDCMS’ 2014 Office Manager of the Year!

Nominated by Dr. Wendy M. Buchi, SDCMS-CMA Member Since 1995

December 2014

I honestly cannot imagine a better person to run a medical office. Period. I hesitate to call her an office manager since she is really so much more than a manager: administrator, clinical laboratory director, research coordinator, mediator, friend, and she can put her jeans on and scrub the floor with a Brillo pad if that’s what needed at the moment.

Sheila Hendry came to IGO Medical Group in 1986 shortly after finishing her post doc training in cellular immunology at UCSD. She set up the andrology program and clinical laboratory and started the vitro fertilization lab when we moved to our current location in 1988. Under Sheila’s guidance, IGO had the first IVF pregnancy in San Diego.

Click here to read more.

Original article by – San Diego County Medical Society

 

Archive: Pat Russell Named SDCMS Office Manager of the Year 2013

 

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