PRA Newsletter | Second Quarter | Issue X | April 22, 2020
COVID-19 has disrupted life on a scale hitherto unseen. As healthcare professionals adapt to the ever-changing environment, we're here to help you navigate the adjustments, answer your policy questions, and cope with the added stress. See how carriers are modifying policies to ensure coverage and learn more about other resources available to help you and your staff. Be sure to follow us onFacebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay informed on the latest updates from your carriers.
COVID-19 Policy Adjustments
What is your carrier doing to keep up with the changes?
Since the onset of COVID-19 many carriers have made changes to their policy options to ensure healthcare professionals have coverage through this crisis. We've compiled a list of some of the most common policy adjustments we've seen carriers make.
Some carriers are deferring payments and/or policy cancellation dates
Some carriers are allowing temporary suspension of coverage for individuals
Carriers are providing tools for healthcare workers in jurisdictions where stay-at-home orders are in place
Physicians with reduced working hours may have their policy premiums adjusted
Some carriers are waiving penalties related to tail coverage for physicians coming out of retirement
Some carriers are approving coverage for physicians to work in other specialties to assist in the treatment of COVID-19 patients
Please note: these adjustments are NOT guaranteed and you must speak with your agent and carrier to ensure you have adequate coverage.
You can learn more about individual carrier responses to the crisis through our new COVID-19 Newsroom and Resources page. If you have additional questions regarding your coverage, please contact us.
Coverage by State
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the use of telemedicine is more relevant than ever. Virtual visits are the optimal way to assess patients while adhering to social distancing guidelines. It simultaneously improves patient safety and protects clinicians from unnecessary exposure.
Since the outbreak, many states and carriers have revisited the regulations regarding telemedicine, and they've made changes to the policies that now encourage and allow the integration of telehealth. Please see the updated legislation by state/region below:
Virginia- On March 12, 2020 the Governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency which enacted Executive Order 42. This authorizes healthcare professional licensed in other states and D.C. to provide telemedicine services to Virginia residents that have a pre-established practitioner-patient relationship
Washington D.C.- On March 13, 2020 the Waiver of Licensure Requirements was passed. This authorizes healthcare professionals licensed in their home jurisdiction to provide treatment to D.C. residents, pursuant to this limitation: the healthcare provider had an existing relationship with the patient who has returned to D.C. and are now providing continuity of services via telehealth
Maryland- On March 19, 2020 Maryland passed the SB 1080 which authorized the Governor to establish or waive telehealth protocols for COVID-19, including authorizing clinicians licensed out-of-state to provide telehealth to in-state patients.
If you do not see your state listed above or would like to read more about the limitations by jurisdiction please visit the Federation of State Medical Boards: States Modifying In-State Licensure Requirements for Telehealth in Response to COVID-19.
Before incorporating telemedicine in your practice, please review your specific carrier's policy updates. You can find updates on policy information at the links below:
If you have additional questions related to your policy and telemedicine, please contact your Professional Risk agent.
Mental Health: The Unnamed Pandemic
Mental illness has sadly plagued healthcare professionals for years. Clinicians experience burnout or suffer from anxiety and depression at much high rates than other occupations. As COVID-19 continues to ravage emergency rooms and impact healthcare facilities across the country, these struggles with mental health will only be exacerbated.
It is now more important than ever to address the emotional toll care-giving takes on providers and we must give our front-line workers the tools they need to cope with these unprecedented changes.
While mental wellness can be hard to maintain during such uncertain times, there are fortunately easy ways to take care of yourself. For tips on how to manage your mental health, please refer to our blog on Managing Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak.
For additional information on how to fortify your mental health please visit: Managing Healthcare Workers' Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak. If you experience prolonged symptoms of depression for more than a 2-3-week period, please seek professional mental health treatment. You can find confidential resources through your state's Physician Health Program. If you or someone you know needs help immediately, please contact the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.