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COVID-19 Resources for Physicians

El Camino Health is aware of the challenges many physician practices may be facing during this uncertain time. There is some help available to physicians who are struggling to maintain their practice.

Serving as a healthcare provider on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful and anxiety-producing work environment. Talking with a mental health professional may help lessen anxiety. El Camino Health now offers a Physician Assistance Program through Concern with multiple options for quality, effective counseling, at no cost to you. Physicians that are credentialed and privileged at El Camino Hospital can access services by logging in to the Concern website with company code "Physician Group" or calling 800-344-4222.

Federal resources are now available to help small business with the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to the impact that the COVID-19 virus is expected to have on the U.S. economy and particularly on small businesses. There are several benefits of the act we want to bring to your attention.

  • Paycheck Protection Program - The CARES Act expands the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) existing 7(a) loan program to help eligible businesses pay rent, mortgage payments, payroll (including paid sick or medical leave), health benefits, insurance premiums and certain other operational costs. Loan amounts may be forgiven under the expanded program subject to certain conditions.
  • Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an EIDL advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance may be used for certain allowable purposes and is not subject to repayment, even if the loan request is ultimately denied.
  • Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure Due to COVID-19 Crisis - The CARES Act supports certain employers that operate a business during 2020 and retain employees, despite experiencing economic hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis, with an employee retention credit. The refundable tax credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
  • Payroll Tax Payment Extensions - The CARES Act postpones the deadline for payment of the employer portion of the 6.2% employer share of the FICA tax (but not the 1.45% employer share of the Medicare tax) from the date of the bill’s enactment through the end of 2020. Half of the deferred payroll tax must be deposited by December 31, 2021, and the other half must be deposited by December 31, 2022.

Given the potential effect this virus may have on our healthcare system, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to ensure maximum flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to allow you to focus on your patients.

  • Accelerated and Advanced Payments - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS will provide accelerated payments to requesting providers and advance payments to requesting suppliers, including physicians and non-physician practitioners, who submit a request to the appropriate Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) and meet certain criteria.
  • Medicare Telehealth Visits - Medicare will make payments for Medicare telehealth services furnished to patients in broadened circumstances during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). During the PHE, clinicians can use popular applications that allow for video chat such as Apple FaceTime and Skype. In addition, clinicians may utilize telephone without video for other communication technology-based services.

El Camino Health’s IT team has developed a Telehealth Recommendations & Resources tip sheet to aid physicians in navigating their patient visits during the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place orders. We hope that this additional physician resource will benefit you and your team as you conduct virtual visits with your patients.

El Camino Health has notified all tenants leasing space that they can request rent deferral. Please contact Tenant Relations at tenant_relations@elcaminohealth.org to request rent relief.

In addition, more information for clinicians is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and Santa Clara County Public Health Department website section for clinicians.

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