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COVID-19 Resources

NATIONAL RESOURCES

COVID-19 Resource Center   MGMA COVID-19 Action Center


Call to Action from National MGMA - Urge Congress to support physician practices during COVID-19

As Congress works to pass additional emergency funding legislation to combat COVID-19, your help is needed to support medical practices during this public health emergency. Use MGMA's draft letter to ask Congress to:


  • Ensure that every physician and healthcare worker has access to critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Provide direct financial support to medical practices experiencing an adverse economic impact from suspending visits and procedures unrelated to COVID-19;
  • Provide direct financial support to medical practices on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
  • Require all payers to provide coverage and payment for telehealth visits (including audio-only) at the same reimbursement as in-person visits.

To send your letter to Congress, click here.


-MGMA, March 23, 2020


Click here for special coding advice during COVID-19 public health emergency.

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CARES Provider Relief Fund

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its plans for distributing the remainder of the provider relief funds authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. At the time, they indicated an additional $20 billion was being allocated to Medicare providers – both independent providers and health care/hospital systems.


Unlike the first round of funding, you need to take action to receive any money from this allocation. It is important that you act quickly to submit the necessary information as we anticipate this money will go quickly.


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STATE RESOURCES

Non-essential & Elective Surgeries Cancelled by Executive Order

We are committed to monitoring changes in the healthcare landscape as the State of Minnesota and nation continue to make hour by hour decisions about how to best prepare for the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this week the Minnesota Hospital Association asked the Governor and the Minnesota Department of Health to mandate the cancellation of elective surgeries in both hospital and outpatient procedural sites, to include ambulatory surgery centers, statewide.


As a result, on Thursday, March 19, 2020 Governor Tim Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-09 which states that beginning on March 23, 2020 at 5:00PM, “all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures, including non-emergent or elective dental care, that utilize PPE or ventilators must be postponed indefinitely.” A non-essential surgery or procedure is defined as “a surgery or procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient.”


As the healthcare community is aware, there is a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment. It is crucial that it be conserved and that hospitals dealing with COVID-19 have priority access. See below for updated on PPE recommendations from the Governor. Many clinical experts agree that ASCs can continue to provide safe surgical care for patients and are needed in order to provide care for those whose condition cannot wait until hospitals return to normal operations. These experts recommend keeping ASCs open with guidelines in place that would allow for the continuation of urgent care while working within the supply chain to ensure hospitals continue to be prioritized for equipment and supplies needed as COVID-19 progresses. The current order is in line with CDC recommendations without closing ambulatory surgery centers.


On March 23, 2020, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-17 in order to further clarify 20-09. This new order states that surgeries and procedures that prevent loss of life, permanent dysfunction of an organ or extremity, or risk of metastasis or progression of staging for non-COVID-19 patients should not be postponed.


Although the current order does not include it at this time, we understand that some of our members may be concerned that Executive Order 20-09 could be followed by an official statewide closure of ASCs. We would recommend that any concerns be brought to the attention of Governor Walz, your local representative, and the Minnesota Department of Health. We also welcome you to reach out to the MMGMA GAC committee to share your input on this issue by email.


HERE is a FAQ document from the MN Department of Health on Governor Walz’s executive order delaying elective medical procedures.


Read the March 18, 2020 Press Release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) here: CMS Releases Recommendations on Adult Elective Surgeries, Non-Essential Medical, Surgical, and Dental Procedures During COVID-19 Response.


Read the State of Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-09: Directing Delay of Inpatient and Outpatient Elective Surgery and Procedural Cases during COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.


Read the State of Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-17: Clarifying Application of Executive Order 20-09 to Veterinary Surgeries and Procedures

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Executive Order 20-16: Non-Hospital Medical Groups Asked to Conduct an Inventory of Respirators and PPE

On March 23, 2020, Governor Walz announced four new Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, one of which directs any Minnesota business, nonprofit, or non-hospital health care facility in possession of PPE, Ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines “that are not required for the provision of critical health care services or essential services […] must undertake an inventory of such supplies no later than March 25, 2020.” This inventory must then be submitted via https://mn.gov/ppe. Further, any Minnesota business, nonprofit, or non-hospital health care facility must only use this equipment if needed for delivering critical or essential health services; any equipment not used for these purposes “must either be donated to a local coordinating entity or prepare for the possibility of being asked to donate or sell it for use by critical health care workers” Executive Order 20-16.


“The executive order is our way of asking companies to provide us with data on their inventory and it gives us the capacity to take inventory if we need to. We would only use the inventory when we are short on supplies, I am more hopeful now that the federal government would help and give us more supplies. We have received more from the federal government over the weekend. This gives us the executive authority, but more importantly, this gives us an idea of what is out there.”
– Governor Walz, March 23, 2020 Press Conference


For hospital or other critical care facilities in need of PPE, the Minnesota Department of Health is directing to connect with a regional Health Care Coalition. More information can be found here.


For those looking to donate PPE and other equipment, the Star Tribune included a list of locations collecting donations of PPE in a recent article published March 23, 2020, Mask by mask, Minnesotans answer call for gear for health care workers.

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COVID-19 Response Grants for Short Term Emergency Funding

Applications for COVID-19 Response Grant for Short Term Emergency Funding are due at 11:59pm Wednesday, March 25. The legislature appropriated $200 million for health care grants to support costs related to planning for, preparing for, or responding to an outbreak of COVID-19.


  • $50 million in a Response Grant for Short Term Emergency Funding will be available on an emergency basis to provide cash flow relief to health care organizations to cover their highest priority needs over the next two to eight weeks.
  • $150 million is a Response Fund that will be granted through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

While both funds are available for the same purpose, the emergency funds are expected to provide cash flow relief to organizations that need to cover their highest priority needs over the next two to eight weeks, which will allow more time to assess the ongoing needs of the health care system.


You can learn more about the program and apply for the short term emergency funding at https://www.health.state.mn.us/facilities/ruralhealth/funding/grants/covidgrant.html.

We will continue to follow the impact of this order and communicate with MMGMA members as it progresses. Call us at 651-366-6089 or email if you have any questions or would like to discuss COVID-19 further.

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COVID-19 Testing Clinics

Gov. Tim Walz has announced the launch of a new website that will direct Minnesotans to the nearest location where they can get tested for the coronavirus. It includes a health screening that can be used to determine if someone needs a test and where they can get one. You can find it here.


The Minnesota Department of Health has reached out to MMGMA to assist in collecting information regarding clinic sites that are willing to provide COVID-19 testing and would like to be included in the testing location webpage. MMGMA has created an online survey to collect this information from members.


If you are interested in providing COVID-19 testing and would like to be included on the state testing location web page please complete the survey by following this link. Note you must complete a separate survey for each testing site you want included.


Thank you for your assistance in this project.

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