The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to healthcare delivery systems and most physician practices. New information is being released each day to assist small businesses and employees. OSMA's webinars on this topic are also available to you. Changes are being made that are specific to medical practices and we will include new information here as we receive it.
How to Lead & Manage Through Change
Addressing Security Concerns of Working Remotely
PPP Loans for Medical Practices:
Maximizing Forgiveness & Minimizing Reduction for Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan
HR-focused Physician Webinar:
Employment & Staffing Issues in the Medical Office Due to COVID-19
Federal CARES Act Updates
Update on Health and Human Services Physician Relief Funds
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently provided additional information about allocation of the $100 billion CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Get the updated information at https://www.hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html
OSMA has provided updates in the last two weeks for the first $30 billion distributed to doctors based upon their 2019 Medicare billing. HHS is now adding an additional $20 billion to this amount to be distribution and it will be based on 2018 net patient revenue, not just Medicare fee-for-service. These allocations will be based off of 2018 cost reports, however guidance on the specifics of implementation for individual doctors isn’t clearly defined yet by HHS and we are waiting for additional information.
A portion of the funds is also being used to compensate doctors and hospitals for uninsured COVID-19 patients. Read Guidance on How to Claim these Funds >
Increased Paycheck Protection Program Funding
Congress passed an additional $350 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. If you didn’t apply initially or were denied, make sure you talk to your bank now about preparing for this new round of funding.
Tax Measures for Businesses & Business Loan Programs
The "CARES Act" bill provides significant tax and non-tax stimulus to individuals and businesses. Here is a great resource that provides a brief summary of key provisions.View Full Article >
General Ohio Business Relief Resources
Small Business Association: Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved the Ohio Development Services Agency’s request to allow small businesses and nonprofits in Ohio to apply for low-interest, long-term loans of up to $2 million through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
For more information about the loan program, visit
Bureau of Worker’s Compensation: Premium Deferral
Public and private employer insurance premium installment payments due for March, April and May for the current policy year may be deferred until June 1, 2020. See our updated FAQs document for details.
Ohio Department of Insurance: Health Insurance Premium Deferral
Governor DeWine issued an executive order requiring health insurance companies to offer two months of premium deferral – interest free. The Ohio Department of Insurance issued a bulletin with details about the order – please contact your insurance agent or broker for more specifics about your company’s circumstances.
Ohio – General Business Help
As efforts to combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus continue, Governor DeWine and his administration will continue to identify ways to support the state’s small businesses and nonprofits. Any of these entities impacted by the ongoing health crisis are encouraged to email the Development Services Agency for more information.
Unemployment Resources for Employees
Paycheck Protection Program
This is an SBA loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees, through June 30, 2020. Small businesses and sole proprietors may begin applying on April 3, 2020. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning April 10, 2020.
Learn More & Apply
ODJFS Program for Employees: Shared Work Ohio
SharedWork Ohio: allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
Enhanced Unemployment Aid for Ohioans
Executive Order 2020-03D broadens state policy to clarify that individuals who are quarantined during the emergency period are considered to be unemployed. This also applies to companies that determine they need to temporarily shut down.
The executive order waives the one-week waiting period normally required before individuals can begin receiving benefits, and it waives the requirement that they actively search for work while receiving benefits. In order not to penalize employers by increasing their future taxes, the cost of these benefits will be mutualized over time. In addition, the executive order waives penalties for late filing and payment for the duration of the emergency.
To apply for benefits or review more detailed information, visit:
unemployment.ohio.gov anytime day or night, or call 1-877-644-6562 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Resources for Healthcare Practices
AMA Guidance on Complexity of COVID-19 Prior Auth Policies
State and federal policymakers have been taking actions recommended by the AMA to help ensure patients have timely access to affordable care during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include suspending or reforming prior authorization (PA) processes. Now, private insurers—including Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicaid managed care plans—are following suit.
> Read the Details & AMA Guidance
CMS Expands Accelerated & Advanced Payment Program
On Saturday, March 28, 2020, the Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a major expansion to its accelerated and advanced payment program. Most physicians in Ohio that have billed Medicare in the last 180 days are eligible for emergency funding to address cash flow issues. CMS has developed a detailed fact sheet covering eligibility, enrollment and other details.
> Learn More & Enroll
All insurers have revised their telehealth policies to allow for more flexibility in delivering and being reimbursed for care that you provide. As promised last week, The OSMA has developed resources including a how to webinar to assist you in this transition. For the latest information go to OSMA.org/telehealth.
Coronavirus Emergency Loans
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued a Small Business Guide and Checklist document to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.
CMS Delays Quality Reporting Deadlines
CMS announced a delay to upcoming quality reporting deadlines. For 2019 data, reporting deadlines have been delayed by one month until April 30, 2020 and considerations are being made for those that won’t be able to file by that time. Likewise, CMS is reviewing all 2020 data reporting requirements and will be considering changes in the near future.
Liability/Malpractice Questions and Guidance
As physicians are postponing procedures, following recommended state guidelines for treating those with COVID-19 symptoms and beginning to see patients via telemedicine a number of questions are being asked about malpractice coverage and liability. The OSMA’s preferred partner, The Doctors Company, has provided some excellent guidance in a recently developed FAQ. In addition, OSMA is reviewing state statutes and working with other impacted organizations to assess any legislative or regulatory changes that can be made during this time of crisis to ensure the proper protections for physicians are in place.
Extension of Pre-certification/Prior Authorization
As physicians are being asked to postpone previously scheduled procedures and surgeries, we are working with both public and private insurers to extend the timeframes for which you have received patient pre-certifications so you won’t have to go through the additional administrative burden of the process when you reschedule the surgery. Several commercial insurance companies have extended deadlines already (for example Aetna has extended pre-certifications out for 9 months) and we are working with Medicaid and Medicare on similar extensions. We will provide a comprehensive list of what is available when we release our medical practice business relief tool kit later this week.