Covid 19 (Novel Coronavirus) Resources

member questions & private forum




Recent Covid Forum Updates

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Updated March 31, 2020

March 25 2020 ACMS Member COVID roundup call RECORDING (55 min)

centralized tele-triage

Q Can ACMS organize a centralized teletriage process to allow retired or idle physicians to step up into the gap and take the load off of those who are overwhelmed?

A ACMS won't be organizing this but we do have some members that are. Here is the description of an idea in the works by one local physician (3/31)

As we navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, physicians around our state would like to be available to Idahoans via video-conferencing to provide accurate information, answer questions, allay fears and help people determine next steps if they or their household contacts have symptoms of Coronavirus.  We would also like to provide tele-health services to help patients manage non-critical symptoms of Coronavirus at home.  A robust network of physicians providing tele-triage could reduce ER/Urgent Care visits, conserve PPE and decrease exposure and infection.  This is especially important for people who do not have family physicians or those with family physicians who are overloaded or not available for tele-health.  Each physician in our network would bill separately and a sliding scale would be available for those who do not have insurance/means.  We may even be able to arrange for coverage for these services in another way.  If you would like to participate, please reach out to Deb Roman at drdebroman@finding-health.com.


PRIOR AUTHORIZATION

Q I still am trying to make my one practitioner healthcare office work virtually - NOT EASY! but I don't I want to let thousands of my patients flounder without any resources available except the hospitals. My office has been closed for 3 weeks now as we had a potential exposure and were asked by H&W to close. The worst of irritants currently for me with a very limited staff of myself and one other now (down from 5) is prior auths for medications. I know this is a insurance issue but is any one raising this issue?

A Yes, this is an area that is being worked on by the Idaho Medical Association who is advocating with all insurance companies in Idaho and with state authorities. It of course is something they have been pushing on all legislative session and updates will be provided by the IMA to members and on its resource page.

personal protective equipment (PPE) acquisition

Q How do we make requests for PPE that comes from the Strategic National Stockpile or local donation drives.

A  This is a slowly developing process (and not as rapid as we wish.) In a call on March 25, a Central District Health representative provided IMA/ACMS with the official Idaho Department of Health and Welfare guidance for the prioritization of PPE resource requests. Minutes before the call he received additional information and the guidance will be modified and clarified. We are awaiting a link for how to make resource requests to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

We understand that there is a local PPE drive on Saturday March 28 1-4 PM through Hands of Hope Northwest. This equipment will be distributed via District Health prioritization.


Physician Assistants During State of Emergency

Q Is there any direction you can help APPs?  I reviewed the Idaho Board of Medicine on 'state of emergency' but it would be nice to have it confirmed that  PAs and NPs are covered (within the law) and not practicing out of our scope before we are in the middle of the mess. For example, I work in a surgical sub-specialty and there is discussion of canceling elective cases and pulling APPs to other needs of the hospital.

A  From Anne Lawler, Executive Director, Board of Medicine, Updated 3/18/2020 BOM Proclamation

The Idaho State Board of Medicine (“Board”) is actively monitoring the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.  The Board is dedicated to fulfilling its primary mission of protecting the public during this time, while continuing to ensure that Idaho has the health care workforce it needs to treat and care for patients throughout the state.  The following are some of the steps that the Board implemented in its effort to optimize the ability of Idaho’s physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and respiratory therapists (RTs) to provide safe, effective care to Idahoans during the COVID-19 emergency:

  • Expediting temporary licensing and waiver of associated fees for retired and inactive physicians, PAs, and RTs seeking temporary licenses to treat patients with COVID-19 in Idaho. Providers eligible for temporary licensure must have had a license in good standing in Idaho or another state in the past 5 years or have an inactive Idaho license in good standing. The temporary license will last 120 days.
  • Temporarily waiving registration requirement for physicians willing to supervise PAs in the state. Physicians seeking to supervise PAs will not be required to register with the Board but may simply complete the COVID-19 Response Modified Supervising Physician Attestation form (“Attestation”).
  • Temporarily increasing flexibility in documenting physician-PA supervisory relationships to enable practitioners to respond quickly to changes in the clinical setting. This will include removing the limit on the number of PAs supervised (for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis only), along with allowing the supervising physician to complete and maintain onsite an Attestation and COVID-19 Modified Delegation of Services (“DOS”) form (a roster of PAs supervised).
In addition, state law and the Board’s administrative rules provide for the following during a declared state of public health emergency:
    • A person authorized to practice medicine in another state or country while rendering medical care in a time of disaster or while caring for an ill or injured person at the scene of an emergency and while continuing to care for such person is not considered practicing without a license. Idaho Code § 54-1804(1)(d).
    • A physician assistant or graduate physician assistant licensed in this state or licensed or authorized to practice in any other state of the United States or currently credentialed to practice by a federal employer who is responding to a need for patient services created by an emergency or a state or local disaster (not to be defined as an emergency situation which occurs in the place of one’s employment) may render such patient services that they are able to provide without supervision as it is defined in this chapter, or with such supervision as is available. Any physician who supervises a physician assistant or graduate physician assistant providing patient services in response to such an emergency or state or local disaster shall not be required to meet the requirements set forth in this chapter for a supervising physician. Board Rule, IDAPA 22.01.03.031.

    The Board will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Idaho and may further adapt its operations as necessary to meet the emerging needs of the public and its licensees.  Please be advised that, although the Board is currently operating under business-as-usual procedures, the Board is also dedicated to the safety of its employees. Normal processing of licenses, prelitigation screening panel requests, and disciplinary complaints may be impacted as the severity of the outbreak in Idaho increases.

    implementation and reimbursement of telehealth visits.

    Q I would love information on implementation and reimbursement of tele-health visits.

    A Tele-health policy changes made in the face of addressing COVID-19 have been rapidly developing and changing on an almost daily basis.  The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) has developed a fact sheet summarizing the developments thus far as they relate to tele-health policy on the federal and state level.  Keep in mind, that this document is a living document as new developments take place and to check the “Timestamp” to ensure you have the latest version.  Watch the Idaho Medical Association's COVID resource page for updates.

    Medicare Expanded TeleHealth Benefits

    Centralized location for evaluation of patients at high risk 

    Q Will there be a centralized place for evaluation of patients that are high risk. Our office called Central District Health this am about a patient that needed to be tested for COVID 19 and her response “aren’t you testing?”  and after we said no, she said send them to urgent care or the ER.

    A  Our local health systems have now stood up some in-car screening sites. Please refer to the following websites for the most up-to-date information.

    St. Luke's Boise, Meridian, Elmore, and Wood River Valley Call the Triage Hotline first at 208-381-9500

    • Wood River: Drive-up tent screening and specimen collection for testing is available at St. Luke's Wood River Hospital, 100 Hospital Dr, Ketchum, ID 83340, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Map of screening area.

    • Meridian: Drive-up tent screening and specimen collection for testing is available at St. Luke's Meridian Hospital, 520 S. Eagle Rd, Meridian, ID 83642, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Map of screening area.
    • Boise: Drive-up tent screening and specimen collection for testing will be available Thursday, March 19, on the north side of St. Luke's Plaza campus building, 720 E. Park Blvd., Boise, ID 83712, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please call your primary care provider (PCP) for screening if you need assistance before March 19. Map of screening area.

    Saint Alphonsus Health System - COVID Hotline 208-302-2683

    Saint Alphonsus is now offering COVID-19 assessments at the Meridian Health Plaza, at 3025 W. Cherry Lane. The respiratory screening will be available every day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Saltzer Medical Group

    From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saltzer Health’s Nampa facilities, at 9850 W. St. Luke’s Drive and 215 E. Hawaii Ave., are also offering curbside COVID-19 screening.

    Primary Health Medical Group (updated 3/26)

    Primary Health Medical Group has successfully developed “Respiratory Clinics” at its Garden City, Meridian Crossroads and Nampa offering car-side services for patients with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or diarrhea) while keeping them separate from the general patient population and reducing the risk of exposure to health care workers. Staff and providers at the Respiratory Clinics have received extra training in order to safely evaluate patients and minimize exposure.

    Primary Health has 15 additional clinics that remain open, clean and safe for patients who have regular urgent care and appointment-based needs. They also offer telehealth visits for qualifying patients who have upcoming appointments scheduled with family medicine and pediatric providers. 

    medical volunteer opportunities

    Q Are there ways to get involved in any state of emergency volunteer activities?

    A There are existing and emerging opportunities for both medical professionals and lay volunteers. These will be managed through the medical volunteer corps, operated by each district health unit. The best thing to do is register as a volunteer with your credentials and availability at central district health.


    Director: Steven Reames, director@adamedicalsociety.org  (208) 336-2930
    Membership Assistant: Jennifer Hawkins, jennifer@idmed.org (208) 344-7888
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