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 May 21, 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-clinician calls are hosted by Howard Haft, MD, of the Maryland Department of Health. Dial-in or attend via webcast for critical updates on the spread, treatment of, and resources for combatting COVID-19. The calls are held on Monday and Wednesdays at 5 pm, and Friday at 12 noon. The Wednesday call places particular emphasis on mental health related topics. Registration is now open for the following calls:

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.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) One pager from Department of Labor - The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020

Emergency Loans, Grants, & Relief

 
On April 10, HHS announced it would begin disbursing the first $30 million of the emergency fund created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to physicians and other providers via direct payment. 
 
HHS partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to deliver the stimulus payments, and physicians should contact UHG’s Provider Relations at 866-569-3522 about eligibility, whether a payment has been issued, and where it was sent. Note, if a physician or practice did not already set up direct deposit through CMS or UHG’s Optum Pay, they will receive a check at a later date. Practices that would like to set up direct deposit now can call the UHG Provider Relations number.
 
HHS has opened the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal. Physicians who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment. The terms and conditions are listed here.
 
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.