Ohio Takes Step Toward Re-Allowing
On Wednesday afternoon, Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton provided clarifying guidance directing healthcare professionals to meet with patients and review any surgeries that were postponed last month after the state banned all non-urgent elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidance is a first step by the state towards fully re-opening Ohio’s healthcare system, which saw a significant drop in activity after a March 17 order that banned elective procedures which required personal protective equipment (PPE). That original order was intended to conserve PPE and allow hospitals time to prepare for an anticipated coronavirus outbreak in Ohio.
The new guidance still does not allow for a full return to elective procedures but does allow physicians to do diagnostic evaluations and make preparations with patients towards surgical procedures. Doctors and patients should consider the current health situations and make a joint decision about whether or not to proceed, Acton said. New or other chronic conditions that may have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life should also be evaluated. And her guidance requires patients to be informed of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the impact during the post-operative recovery process.
OMIC Giving COVID-19 Premium Credit
While it is too early to fully understand the impact the COVID-19 outbreak will have on OMIC in regards to claims activity or financial strain, OMIC has announced it will apply a credit equal to 50-percent of your quarterly premium (i.e., a 12.5% credit based on your current annual premium) for all OMIC insureds.
This across-the-board adjustment will automatically be applied to your policy in May 2020; you do not need to do anything to qualify. If the adjustment results in a credit balance on your account, the credit will either be carried forward to your renewal premium (depending upon your renewal date), or OMIC will issue you a refund.
OMIC had already declared a 15% dividend in 2019 that is applied to physician-insureds’ 2020 policy renewals. The special credit for COVID-19 will be in addition to that dividend (as well as any other discounts you may qualify for including loss free and risk management credits).
Private Labs to Again Handle
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has rescinded an order that had required all COVID-19 testing to be done at hospital facilities in an effort to get results more quickly. The governor’s administration announced this week that private labs currently have no backlog of samples and have added more testing capacity. That prompted ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton on Monday to rescind her April 1 order and will again allow hospitals to utilize commercial laboratories in addition to hospital laboratories to perform COVID-19 testing.
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