COVID 19 Resources

 

     
  Statewide Clinician Calls    |   ASAM Guidance   |    What to Tell Patients   |    Telehealth Resources   |   Resources for Employers
 
     
  Emergency Loans, Grants, & Tax Relief   |   Volunteer Opportunities   |   Resources for Addiction Specialists  
     

Last Updated July 22, 2020 


The following guidance is drawn primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society. Every effort is being made by MDDCSAM staff to keep this guidance up to date, but we recommend always referring to MDH, CDC, and ASAM guidance for the most recent information. Please refer to the resource list at the bottom of this article for reference links. 

Maryland Department of Health All-Clinician COVID-19 Phone Calls

Coordinated by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, these statewide, all-physician calls are hosted by Howard Haft, MD, of the Maryland Department of Health. Join for critical updates on the spread, treatment of, and resources for combating COVID-19. The calls are held on Wednesdays at 5 pm. To register for upcoming calls or listen to recordings and view past slide decks from these calls, click here.

Critical Addiction Medicine Guidance from ASAM

What to Tell Patients About COVID-19

The Maryland Department of Health has created a resource page that is a helpful guide on what to say to patients, as does DC. The CDC has created a handout for medical practice to make available for concerned patients. Click here to download the pdf, or visit the CDC's web page of printable handouts and posters.

Telehealth Resources

ASAM has released this guide to supporting access to telehealth for addiction services, including a regulatory overview and general practice considerations. Maryland Medicaid has expanded coverage of telemedicine services, as has Medicare. CPT has released new billing codes for COVID-19 related care.

From MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, and Its Component County Societies

From the American Medical Association (AMA)

From the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

From Private Payors

From DrFirst

  • Backline Overview: Telehealth Care Coordination in Real-Time
  • In response the COVID-19 crisis, DrFirst, a Maryland-based company is offering their Backline Telehealth platform to Maryland providers free of charge for 30 days.  To register for this service, please click here.  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

From the Maryland Department of Health (MDH)

From the Maryland Healthcare Commission (MHCC): Broadening Access to Telehealth During a Public Health Emergency

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Notice from the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on Telehealth

Resources for Employers

The legal framework surrounding employment law as it relates to COVID-19 continues to evolve. One of MedChi's component county societies held a Q&A session with Paley Rothman, a local Maryland & DC law firm, recently. It is available to stream online: COVID-19 Employment Law Q&A. For frequently asked questions, please refer to the end of this slide deck.

Emergency Loans, Grants, & Relief

HHS Medicaid/CHIP Provider Relief Fund: Payment Forms and Guidance

HHS expects to distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans. The payment to each provider will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue from patient care; the final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid patients providers serve. The data submission period has been extended. Physicians must now submit their data by August 3, 2020. Before applying through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal exit disclaimer icon applicants should:

Telehealth Grant Funds

MHCC Telehealth Grant
Eligibility requirement: You have not yet billed for telehealth.
Grant Award: $500 grant and free consulting services to practices to offset administrative investment cost for adopting telehealth.
To apply: We expect this application will go live shortly. Email Andrea Mullin with your practice manager name and contact information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
CareFirst/DrFirst Telehealth Grant
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) and the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi) launched a grant program that will equip additional Maryland physicians with the technology they need to provide needed virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
 
Eligibility requirements:
  • The medical practice and medical license are in Maryland
  • The medical practice is a private, independent group of five or fewer physicians
  • The practice enrolls in Backline after March 1, 2020 as the result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • MedChi has confirmed the practice’s enrollment with DrFirst
  • Enrollment in Backline occurs before December 31, 2020
This program will provide a $300 grant to eligible physicians to offset administrative investment cost for adopting telehealth.  Complete this application and email completed application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Questions? Call 800-492-1056 x3340.
 
 
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun a second round of disbursements for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Here are some helpful FAQs on the HHS General Distribution Portal.
 
Key details and resources to assist your practice in navigating the complexities of accessing these relief funds:
  • Although some physicians will automatically be sent an advance payment based off the revenue data they submit in CMS cost reports, those physicians without adequate cost report data on file will need to submit their revenue information to the General Distribution Portal. (If you are unsure if you need to complete the portal, call the CARES Provider Relief line at 1-866-569-3522.)
  • This portal should be accessed and completed by anyone who lost revenue in March and/or can estimate lost revenue for April. You will need you Tax Identification Number (TIN) to access the portal.

These resources can help you navigate the portal:

You should also be aware that a portion of the Provider Relief Fund will be used to reimburse healthcare providers, at Medicare rates, for COVID-related treatment of the uninsured.

G2Z Law Group has created this Q&A for physicians on eligibility, permissible uses, and more.

Each practice should consult their tax attorney and or accountant when deciding on an option.

Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 

Please note: The Paycheck Protection Program has hit its cap and no new loans will be issued until more money is appropriated for it by Congress.

Contact your lender to determine if they are an SBA-approved lender. Loans will not be issued by financial institutions that borrowers do not have an existing relationship with. The application is online however some large financial institutions have indicated that they are not ready to issue these loans yet. Lenders may also require additional information or a separate application. Please contact your lender ahead of time to determine if they are prepared to issue loans.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program provides loans to qualified entities that are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The estimated time for completing this entire application is two hours and ten minutes, although you may not need to complete all parts.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

This loan enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA is also providing a financial reprieve to small businesses with existing loans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business Relief Frequently Asked Questions

What banks are issuing PPP loans? Fortune Magazine has a rolling list available on their website. You must register with their website, but access is free. List of banks and lenders participating in the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business loans and PPP Loan Calculator.

Can I apply for a PPP loan if I have laid off or furloughed employees?

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 eight-week period begins on the date the lender makes the first disbursement of the PPP loan to the borrower. The lender must make the first

disbursement of the loan no later than ten calendar days from the date of loan approval.

What about the additional unemployment compensation from the federal government? The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FUPC) program which provides the additional money is being administered through the Maryland state unemployment program. If your employees qualify and begin receiving unemployment through the state, they will automatically see the increase from the Federal program once it is disbursed to the state. The best website for applying for unemployment is Maryland's Unemployment Insurance Bureau.

Can I apply for both state and county/federal loans or funding programs? If you have applied for state assistance, you will not be disqualified if you apply for other assistance through federal or local means. Though please be advised, if you have already applied for federal assistance, you should verify federal program eligibility terms through the U.S. Small Business Administration. (FAQ - COVID-19 LOAN & GRANT)

Tax Relief

Maryland business and individual income taxpayers will be given a 90-day extension for tax payments. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020. See 90-day extension for tax payments for more information. The federal tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15. Learn more 

Comptroller Franchot also extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1. Get additional information regarding business tax returns - including sales and use tax, alcohol tax, etc. - and income tax extensions. Businesses who paid their Maryland Sales & Use Taxes for March early may request a refund of their payment by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 410-260-4020.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps are seeking volunteers to staff clinics and field hospitals. To register for Maryland Responds, please visit the Medical Reserve Corps here. If you are a DC member, now is the time to join the DC Medical Reserve Corps if you have the time and ability - join today.

For the A-Z resource guide, and additional information on how to help - including Red Cross blood donations, Meals on Wheels, and other ways - visit Maryland Unites. 

Additional Resources for Clinicians

OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.  Learn more.  

Information on Maryland's emergency COVID-19 regulations, including requirements to waive copayments and deductibles.  Maryland Medicaid has expanded coverage of telemedicine services, as has Medicare. CPT has released new billing codes for COVID-19 related care.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Local Resources

No-Cost Continuing Medical Education

  • Addiction Focused COVID-19 Education: ASAM has developed this on-demand webinar "Caring for Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic." It is available at no-cost and is one hour in duration.
  • General COVID-19 Education: MedChi developed a webcourse in partnership with Rockpointe and the Maryland Nurses Association to prepare healthcare providers who work in an ambulatory-care setting to properly manage patients who present to their outpatient facility with symptoms of COVID-19. This no-cost 1.5-hour webcourse will be available on-demand for the next 12 months.

Non-Office Based COVID-19 Testing Locations: The Maryland Department of Health is maintaining a list of non-office based testing locations updated on a rolling basis. View the list of locations. MSDC has a web page with rolling testing updates.