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Tool: Model COVID-19 Contact Log Sheet

Maintaining social distancing will be the price that medical offices and other businesses will have to pay to reopen and remain open until the COVID-19 threat goes away. But for social distancing to work, there must be a way to track and analyze actual encounters between people at your facility. One simple way to gather the essential data is to have employees and visitors complete a contact log sheet. Here’s a model your office can adapt for its own use.

EMPLOYERS FOOT THE BILL

Feds say insurers not required to pay for employer return to work COVID-19 testing

Since the public health emergency began, the US government has taken the position that insurers shouldn’t be allowed to make consumers pay for COVID-19 lab tests. But now comes news that insurers will not be put in that same position with regard to return to work screening conducted on employees by their employers. FFCRA rules for COVID-19 test payment The key piece of federal relief legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), required insurers to cover COVID-19 tests without imposing any copayments, deductibles, coinsurance or other patient cost-sharing. But the rule (Section 6001 of FFCRA) rule applied only to tests deemed “medically appropriate” by a healthcare provider. The key question: Would insurers also have to foot the bill for screening tests not used for diagnosis and treatment? Apparently, the… . . . read more.

COVID-19

So, your employee wants to stay on unemployment

By Paul Edwards bio It’s been a few of months of COVID chaos and business owners across America are thinking about what it’s going to take to reopen their businesses—and the economy, in general. Of course, the first piece of that equation involves recalling your employees who have been temporarily furloughed or laid off. And, since one portion of the CARES Act included an additional $600 per week to anyone collecting unemployment benefits, one common question we’re hearing is, “What if my employees refuse to come back to work because they want to keep collecting unemployment?” Usually, this question seems to be based on a misunderstanding of how unemployment benefits work. Generally speaking, if your employees refuse work in favor of collecting unemployment benefits, they will likely not be eligible for… . . . read more.

Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan

Regulators have made it clear that workplaces must implement written plans to control COVID-19 exposure risks at the site. Here’s a Model Plan template your medical office can adapt that provides for the necessary protections.

COMPLIANCE

How to create a COVID-19 exposure control plan

For as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, businesses—both essential and nonessential—won’t be allowed to re-open and remain open unless they implement a plan to control workplace infection risks. While infection control is nothing new for medical offices, the challenges posed by COVID-19 are unprecedented and unique and you probably won’t find any great templates in your current policy folders and binders. As a result, you’ll need to build your plan from the ground up. Here’s a step-by-step strategy and Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan containing the necessary elements that you can use to accomplish that objective. The Exposure Control Plan & Why You Need It An exposure control plan is a set of measures to protect workers, patients, contractors, visitors and other people at your workplace against exposure to… . . . read more.

YOUR CAREER

Job searching during a pandemic

By Lynne Curry bio The career worst has happened. You lost your job during a pandemic. You suffer through the “sorry to tell you” call from your supervisor. When he says “take care of yourself,” you respond, “You take care too.” Then you sit frozen. When every employer is furloughing or laying or workers, how the heck are you supposed to get a new job? You spend the hours it takes to sign up for unemployment, and circle the date on your calendar when you need to have a new job. You spend a day cleaning up your resume and the next three days sending it out to every job you find posted in Indeed.com. No employer calls you. You call a few of your still-employed friends. They check with… . . . read more.

COVID-19

Telemedicine calls for new etiquette guidelines

By Dr. Neil Baum bio Coronavirus has changed the playing field and methodology of caring for patients. We no longer will be seeing all our patients in our offices. Also, there has been a relaxation of the restrictions, such as HIPAA, for using telemedicine and now, or the first time, there are codes and reimbursements that make it possible to be compensated for virtual care. Just as there are proper behaviors expected of physicians who are face-to-face with patients, there is a new code of behavior for telemedicine. Even though telemedicine appointments are becoming popular, video conferencing etiquette can be a challenge to many physicians. I would like to offer a few suggestions for making your telemedicine visits more professional. Use good gear Use the top-of-the line equipment. Even though… . . . read more.

COVID-19 & MEDICAL PRACTICES

Updating protocols for rep engagement and communication

By Jeremy Gilman bio We have heard from many practices how difficult it is to stay on top of the ever-evolving guidelines and best practices for how to provide excellent patient care in a pandemic. Here are some patterns we’ve seen emerge within our community of thousands of medical practices: 1. Vendor/rep-specific protocols: As your practice continues to monitor the risk of COVID-19 exposure, you will need to create protocols and policies specific to your life science experts. These protocols may differ from how you are managing patients and should be flexible to change as you adapt to the ever-evolving situation. Linked to this article is a sample vendor/rep protocol implemented by a large healthcare system. Some questions to consider as you build a policy specific to your practice include:… . . . read more.

Tool: COVID-19 Vendor/Rep Visitation Protocol Update

Sample Vendor/Rep Policy Update.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Top 10 questions an employer should ask before returning employees to work

By Mike O’Brien bio As various states and municipalities across the country lift shutdowns and begin easing COVID restrictions, employers are faced with complex questions about safely bringing their employees back to the workplace. We’ve compiled the top 10 questions every employer should consider before returning employees to work.    How do we implement proper infection prevention measures? First, and perhaps foremost, employers should design, implement, communicate, and begin to monitor basic infection prevention measures as they return employees to onsite work. Although a complex task, OSHA and CDC have both published step-by-step instructions for employers on how to implement appropriate infection prevention measures. OSHA has published an employer Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, which outlines the specific steps it believes all employers should take to reduce workers’ risk of exposure… . . . read more.


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