April 22, 2020



OneCare Update on APM Provider Relief

OneCare CEO Vicki Loner gave an update to the Green Mountain Care Board on the progress OneCare has made in providing financial and reporting relief for ACO participating providers during the COVID epidemic. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has created financial stress for practices across the state, the All Payer Model (APM) fixed payments are currently providing more predictability in cash flow for the hospitals and independent primary care providers that are receiving these payments. OneCare has also been able to advance approximately $2.4 million in population health management and care coordination funds for April, May and June. OneCare is currently working with CMMI to advocate for the Medicare funds to be a truly fixed payment, as the usual reconciliation will be very difficult for practices. They have also asked CMMI to hold clinicians harmless from quality-related penalties for the 2020 performance year and are advocating for 2020 to be a reporting year only.  Click here to read more on OneCare practice relief initiatives.

FCC Telehealth Funding Opportunities

As part of the CARES Act, the FCC has received $200 million to provide telehealth funding to eligible health care practices that want to update their telehealth telecommunications capabilities, information services, and devices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC began accepting applications for this funding April 13th, and intends to approve the dollars quickly in order to help practices implement their telehealth services quickly. This funding is not a grant, rather it is a reimbursement program. Applicants will be reimbursed for eligible equipment and expenses.  To read the FAQ for this program click here.  There are also other telehealth funding opportunities including the USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine.which is more specific to rural states. The deadline for this program is July 13, 2020. The other deadlines are listed below.

HRSA Telehealth Network Grant Program Deadline: June 15, 2020
FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program - Open April 13, Rolling Application
FCC Connected Care Pilot Program - 3-yr Pilot Program

Vermont Legislature Considers Process for Distributing Federal Funds

The Vermont Joint Fiscal Office has provided updates to several legislative committees this week on the $1.25 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money received by Vermont from the CARES Act.   The Joint Fiscal Committee as well as the full legislature will have some role in distributing the funds.  The Joint Fiscal Committee started to develop a plan at their meeting this Monday, which includes allowing the Administration to use funds to cover expenses already used for emergency needs, some amount of funding that could be approved for use by the Administration more quickly, and the bulk of the funding distributed through the normal appropriations process.  VMS joined a letter submitted to the Administration this week asking that $375 be put into a stabilization fund for health care facilities and practices. 

VMS COVID-19 Webinar Series: Financial Relief for Medical Practices

Wednesday, April 22nd7-8 pm: Tax Opportunities in the CARES Act Register Here

Led by John F Pastore CLU, ChFC - Pastore Financial Group & Jay Jackler, CPA  

The CARES Act presents many tax opportunities that all physicians and PAs – employed, private and group practice - should be aware of.  Learn how to put financial strategies in place to help your personal and professional finances recover from the impact of COVID 19. This webinar is for all VMS members. You will also be updated on current changes in the CARES Act as a second round of relief funding is being developed. Please Register Here

Wednesday, April 29th7 pm: CMS Advanced Payments & weighing best options for your practice – Please register for this webinar here


Practice Management Information Available on VMS Website

VMS is keeping up-to-date information on our website to help physician and PA practices deal with the upheaval being caused in patient visits, workflow and billing.  Visit http://vtmd.org/covid-19-resource-page for information on financial resources for practices (including CMS, DVHA and the Small Business Administration), changes in paid leave laws and unemployment, and telehealth information from all of the major payers.  We also have links to ongoing webinar series on what employers need to know, telehealth and more. If you have questions or need more information on any of these topics please reach out to jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org.   

Questions for VDH? VMS Hosts Weekly COVID-19 CALLS With VDH

Tuesdays 12:15-12:45 pm

Join Skype Meeting 
Join by phone: Dial-in number: +1 (802) 552-8456        
Conference ID: 993815551
Please join VMS, for a Weekly COVID-19 update from 12:15-12:45 pm hosted by Vermont Department of Health (VDH) Commissioner Mark Levine to update Vermont's clinicians on the latest state information and protocols.

Click here for the latest VDH Health Alerts

DFR Releases Emergency Rule Requiring No Cost-Sharing for COVID Care 
Wednesday, April 15, the Department of Financial Regulation released an emergency rule requiring Vermont insurers to waive or limit all cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment and prevention until the Governor's State of Emergency is lifted. This requirement includes tests authorized for zero cost-share and no prior authorization under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as modified by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. 

Upcoming Events

  - April 22, 7pm VMS Financial Webinar ZOOM

  - April 23, 8pm VMS Lumunos Huddle ZOOM

  - Tuesdays, 12:15pm VDH Call Join Skype Meeting 

  - VPQHC Telehealth Events - Click for details

  - May 21, 12-1pm VMS Thursday May Webinar: Pharmaceutical Management for Geriatric Patients w/Zail Berry & Cindy Bruzzeze Register

The Next Physician & PA Huddle is Thursday, April 23rd at 8pm and will be facilitated by David Specht from Lumunos Well-Being
To Participate: https://zoom.us/j/390844747

VMS May Webinar: Managing Geriatric Care in the TIme of COVID 19 with Zail Berry & Cindy Bruzezze
Thursday, May 21, 2020 
from 12-1PM via ZOOM
Please preregister 

Join us for this CME webinar with Zail Berry, MD. and Cindy Bruzezze, MPA, MSB. We are now offering our monthly webinars for free for all participants and have changed the platform of our webinars to a ZOOM. Please register for this webinar here. You will receive one credit of CME. To see the full schedule and to learn more about the VMS 2019/2020 Monthly Webinar Series that occurs every third Thursday of the month from 12-1PM click here. 

VPQHC Upcoming Telehealth Events Click here for all upcoming events

OneCare Telehealth Post-COVID Discussion w/Norm Ward (as part of Townhall)    Thursday, April 23, 2020 8:00 am - 9:00 am  Contact telehealth@vpqhc.org to join

Telehealth Virtual Office Hours on Wednesdays from 12 pm - 1 pm and Thursdays from 8-9 am. The Wednesday office hour session will be supported by Dr. Mark McGee, current President of Alpine Telehealth. Contact telehealth@vpqhc.org  

Please let VMS know if you are having issues with any aspect of expanding telehealth services for your practice, including the technology, coding, reimbursement, etc. Contact jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

PO Box 1457

Montpelier, VT 05601

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