COVID-19 Update: Relief Bill, Federal Stimulus Package, AAO News & Use of Ventilators
Ohio: Governor Signs Relief Bill
Federal: President Gets Stimulus Package
Use of Ventilators
Governor Signs Coronavirus-Related Bill
Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday signed an emergency package containing a host of provisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These provisions will remain in place until the conclusion of the state emergency or December 1, 2020.
Among the measures in House Bill 197 pertaining to healthcare, the state Medicaid director can seek support for physicians and medical practices suffering significant financial losses due to fewer patient visits and recent nursing graduates can obtain temporary licenses to practice prior to passing a licensure exam.
The bill also allows certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) to order and administer tests, drugs and fluids during the pre-op and post-op time periods pursuant to a facility’s protocol and with approval of the supervising physician. This change will remain permanent in law beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
Other measures in HB 197 address child care services, education, taxes, primary elections, and public and governmental services.
Federal: COVID-19 Stimulus Package
President Trump is expected to soon sign a massive $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package that will contain $130 billion for healthcare. Items in the package of particular interest for physicians, medical practices and hospitals, include:
- Small Business Administration loans of up to $10 million to help cover payroll and overhead costs, with expanded loan forgiveness criteria, for practices with up to 500 employees.
- $100 billion to reimburse hospitals, physician practices, and other health care providers for costs related to treating COVID-19 patients and the financial impact of lost revenue due to reductions in other services as a result of the pandemic.
- Waiving of telehealth coverage requirements for new patients during a national emergency; previous legislation allowed flexibility only for established patients.
Many key details, such as, how the reimbursement support will be disbursed, are still to be determined. This information will be updated next week.
Academy: Regeneron to Extend Payment Terms for EYLEA Injection
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Regeneron will temporarily extend physician payment terms for EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection purchases from authorized distributors to 150 days. This has no impact on current EYLEA return policies.
Physicians may be temporarily eligible for payment terms of up to 150 days (previously 100 days), subject to distributor qualification. Ophthalmologists are urged to verify the timing and specific dating terms that apply to their offices with their authorized distributors of record.
Regeneron aims to implement these new temporary terms by April 1, 2020 and to have these new terms apply retroactively for EYLEA (vial or prefilled syringe) purchased on or after March 1, 2020.
Guidance for Using Ventilators, Respiratory Devices
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided guidance to expand the availability of ventilators and other respiratory devices and accessories.
You have a voice in this crisis. Please contact OOS Director Reginald Fields to share your experience with how this crisis is impacting you and your ability to practice medicine and to pose any questions you would like to have answered. We’ll continue to provide COVID-19 updates several times each week via email and on the OOS website. Thank you.
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