Coronavirus Resources for Physicians

The IMA has gathered resources for physicians to reference during the coronavirus pandemic. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information, follow the IMA Twitter.

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updates
  • Idaho Board of Medicine 
    • 3/19 UPDATE: In response to COVID-19, the Idaho BOM has implemented changes including: 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; Temporarily waiving registration requirement for physicians willing to supervise PAs in the state; and Temporarily increasing flexibility in documenting physician-PA supervisory relationships to enable practitioners to respond quickly to changes in the clinical setting.View details in the above link. 
  • Medicaid:
    • UPDATE 3/26: Idaho’s Medicaid 1135 Waiver has been approved, view the full waiver flexibilities.
    • UPDATE 3/19: To reduce both financial barriers to medical services for Medicaid participants and administrative burden for providers during this public health emergency, Idaho Medicaid is temporarily suspending all participant co-payments for delivered services.
      Please cease all collection of co-payments from patients, effective immediately.
    • UPDATE 3/18: The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare continues to monitor and prepare for impacts resulting from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time it is vitally important that Medicaid participants receive services and get their needs met. 
      To this end, the Division of Medicaid Healthy Connections (HC) Program is implementing a temporary suspension of the HC Primary Care Provider referral requirements. As of the date of this notice, all HC referral requirements are suspended until further notice.
  • SBA Disaster Economic Injury Loan Assistance information

 

Telehealth Questions

Refer to these resources for the latest telehealth coverage information:

Telehealth 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 telehealth 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.  

Telehealth HIPAA guidance: 

UPDATE 3/17: In light of the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is exercising its enforcement discretion and, effective immediately, will not impose penalties on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). For details, read the full HHS telehealth notification

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

Important PPE Information Resources

Stanford Medicine Anesthesia Informatics and Media lab published this report: Addressing COVID-19 Face Mask Shortages. This report includes helpful information about face mask alternatives, disinfecting face masks, reusing face masks, conserving face masks and more. 

Please review the CDC’s guidance on strategies for optimization of PPE

PPE Requests from Health Districts

IMA has been actively seeking information and clarification for members regarding requests for PPE. The following information has come from health district representatives and the Department of Health and Welfare.

If organizations cannot secure adequate PPE for medical providers and first responder staff, they may request it using the Idaho Medical Material Request Form and submit it to their local Public Health District (PHD). Please realize that inventory of PPE held at the state level is very limited, so there is no guarantee that every order that meets the priority criteria will be fulfilled, the state is first prioritizing facilities and personnel actively caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients in a healthcare setting (e.g. hospitals, long-term care facilities, EMS agencies, etc.) Clinics that are testing for COVID-19 but not treating these patients are part of the third-tier of PPE priority, the state is currently only trying to fulfill the needs of their first-tier priority facilities.

For Central District Health partners (residing in Ada, Boise, Elmore, Valley counties) please submit requests to logistics@cdh.idaho.gov.

For agencies that reside in Southwest District Health send resource requests to Mitch Kiester at EOC.Logistics@phd3.idaho.gov

South Central District partners submit forms to Bgully@phd5.idaho.gov

To submit requests to other districts, you will need to contact your specific health district and ask for the correct contact to submit the form to. Since you will most likely be calling their general phone line, it may help to ask to speak with the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Coordinator, general staff may not know enough to assist you.

PPE Donation Requests

To support healthcare organizations obtain PPE that are not met through state or federal channels, United Way of Treasure Valley has established a central system for you to request some medical and hygiene supplies.  This system will do its best to match needs with donated supplies. To submit your requests click here and you will be directed to a simple form. When/if your requests can be filled you will be contacted by a representative of United Way. Please keep in mind – this is a donation-based system.  The ability to match your needs with supplies will be subject to the availability of donated resources. 


New Coronavirus Codes

AMA COVID-19 Special Coding Advice

CMS payment policies and regulatory flexibilities related to COVID-19

Last month, CMS developed the first HCPCS code (U0001) to bill for tests and track new cases of the coronavirus. This code is used specifically for CDC testing laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. The second HCPCS billing code (U0002) allows laboratories to bill for non-CDC laboratory tests.

The new testing codes can be billed starting on April 1, 2020, for dates of service on or after Feb. 4, 2020. CMS released a fact sheet for guidance: bit.ly/FactSheetCMS

A new CPT® code has been created to streamline coronavirus testing.

87635: Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique

The code is now effective for use as the industry standard for reporting novel coronavirus tests across the nation’s health care system. Please note that, per the early release delivery process for CPT codes, you will need to manually upload this code descriptor into your EHR system.

For coding guidance for the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) test and use of the new CPT code, view the CPT Assistant Guide here: bit.ly/CPTCodeGuide


Legal Resources

Holland and Hart law firm has created a coronavirus resource page and has provided helpful articles


Economic Assistance

The IMA received a press release from Gov. Little's office on 3/23 stating that, "The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Friday it is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Idaho small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of coronavirus since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster had not occurred.

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of coronavirus. The interest rate is 3.75-percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75-percent. The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments up to a maximum of 30 years. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020."

For more information and to apply, visit https://commerce.idaho.gov/covid-19/.

UPDATE 3/27: President Trumped signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If you are wondering how the CARES Act may provide your practice financial assistance during this pandemic, please read this information from AMA.

Locations for Screening and Specimen Collection for Testing

Wood River: While normal operations at St. Luke's Wood River have been temporarily suspended, 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 4 p.m. The Emergency Department also will remain open for urgent cases. Find more details here.Maps of screening area: Map to view in browser (jpg) | Map to print (pdf)

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. Maps of screening area: Map to view in browser (jpg) | Map to print (pdf)

Boise: Drive-up tent screening and specimen collection for testing is available on the north side of St. Luke's Plaza campus building, 800 E. Park Blvd., Boise, ID 83712, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Maps of screening area: Map to view in browser (jpg) | Map to print (pdf)

Nampa: Call the St. Luke's triage hotline at 208-381-9500 for screening and triage. A member of the clinical staff will complete a risk assessment over the phone and provide guidance on next steps, which may include specimen collection for testing at a local facility, if necessary.

McCall: To help manage the flow of traffic, the parking lot is to be accessed from Forest Street. The east driveway, adjacent to the hospital, will be the entrance and the west driveway, adjacent to the clinic, will be the exit. All patients, visitors and contractors will be greeted at their car before entering the St. Luke’s hospital and clinic parking lot from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Suspected COVID-19 patients will be screened at their cars by appointment only and, if needed, have a sample collected for testing. To make an appointment call 208-634-1776.

Magic Valley: Drive-up tent screening and specimen collection for testing will be available at St. Luke's Surgery Center at the Magic Valley campus, 575 Pole Line Rd. W., Twin Falls, ID, 83301, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Maps of screening area: Map to view in browser (jpg) | Map to print (pdf)

Jerome: Drive-up tent screening and specimen collection for testing is available at St. Luke's Magic Valley hospital. Please visit the Twin Falls site or call the St. Luke's triage hotline at 208-381-9500. A member of the clinical staff will complete a risk assessment over the phone and provide guidance on next steps, which may include specimen collection for testing at a local facility, if necessary.

Fruitland: Call the St. Luke's triage hotline at 208-381-9500 for screening and triage. A member of the clinical staff will complete a risk assessment over the phone and provide guidance on next steps, which may include specimen collection for testing at a local facility, if necessary.

Baker City: Call the St. Luke's triage hotline at 208-381-9500 for screening and triage. A member of the clinical staff will complete a risk assessment over the phone and provide guidance on next steps, which may include specimen collection for testing at a local facility, if necessary.

Saint Alphonsus is offering drive-up COVID-19 assessments at the Meridian Health Plaza at 3025 West Cherry Lane.  Respiratory screening will be available daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. If a patient arrives at a screening location but does not meet the criteria for testing, they will be provided education on virus prevention and risk factors.  

Additional assessment locations in Boise, Nampa and Fruitland are under consideration and will be announced at a later date.  

Triage hotline/online appointments: 

Saint Alphonsus has established a COVID-19 Triage phone line at (208) 302-2683.  Nurses will provide answers on symptoms, screening locations, risk factors, prevention and more.  The hotline will be answered from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm seven days a week.   

Additionally, patients may also seek care for mild conditions using MyeVisit online urgent care – a service staffed by Saint Alphonsus healthcare providers. From the comfort of home, patients can initiate a virtual visit using their smartphone or tablet. To learn more, set up an account, or login, visit www.myevisit.orgFor the latest COVID-19 updates from Saint Alphonsus, visit their webpage or Twitter.   

  • Saltzer Health:
    Curbside screening and specimen collection for testing available at both Saltzer locations in Nampa. Saltzer patients can contact 208-463-3000 and press 7 for nurse triage. 
    For the latest COVID-19 updates from Saltzer Health, visit their webpage or Twitter.