Archive for April, 2020

Summer Meeting Update – 2020 Summer CME Meeting Goes Virtual!

With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the news, state shelter-in-place mandates, and our physicians and their clinical teams serving as frontline defenders, the Georgia Academy and our educational partner, the Georgia Primary Care Association (GPCA) have decided to offer our Summer CME Meeting virtually.

The GAFP/GPCA have partnered with EZ Audio Visual on the 2020 Summer CME meeting which will be live streamed on Saturday, June 6, from 7am – 4pm, offering up to 8 hours of CME at a reduced rate of $200.  The reduced rate virtual conference will include clinical education on such topics as Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Type 2 Diabetes, Migraines, and Gynecologic Cancers and you will hear from nationally recognized faculty throughout the day. Please click here for meeting information or to register to attend. A full schedule is available to view on the GAFP website.

In an effort to fully focus on our clinical programming, we will not offer ABFM Knowledge Self Assessments (KSAs) as a part of the one-day virtual meeting.  The Education and Research Committee has scheduled the virtual KSAs for the following dates:

  • Mental Health in the Community – Monday, June 8, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Heart Disease – Tuesday, June 9, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Palliative Care – Wednesday, June 10, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Please note that the virtual KSAs are open to all GAFP members.  Those who pre-registered for a KSA during the Summer Meeting, please note the new date(s).

At this time, the hotel cancellation policy is to refund all required deposits for any cancellations or changes received seven days in advance of your arrival date. It is your responsibility to cancel your hotel room at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Should you choose to visit Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort sometime between Memorial Day (May 25th) and Labor Day (September 7th), the hotel has agreed to honor the GAFP/GPCA Summer Meeting rates (rates starting at $179).  If you have questions about the cancellation policy or to book a future stay, contact the hotel directly at 1-800-320-8115.

The GAFP and GPCA recognize that family physicians are on the frontlines of COVID-19, and by offering our Summer CME Meeting as a virtual meeting we minimize your time away from your practice while keeping your safety and health at the forefront of our planning.  We appreciate your understanding as we navigate through this pandemic and please know that we are in this together.

If you have any questions regarding the Summer CME Meeting, please contact Felicia Kenan, Director of Education at fkenan@gafp.org or (404) 321-7445.

Sincerely,

Jeff Stone, MD, MBA, MHA, FAAFP

President, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

Deadline Extended: Call for GAFP Award Nominations

To My Colleagues:

It’s award nomination season and we’d like you to think about honoring a fellow Georgia family physician, or a deserving student or resident in your program. Please help me and the rest of your Georgia family physicians in recognizing exemplary service to the profession of family medicine and contributions to our State, by nominating someone for one of the following awards:

Awards Deadline To Submit Nominations
Family Medicine Resident of the Year April 20, 2020 April 27, 2020
Keith Ellis Resident Scholarship April 20, 2020 April 27, 2020
T.A. Sappington, MD Award April 20, 2020 April 27, 2020
Family Medicine Community and Volunteer Services Award May 11, 2020
Georgia Family Physician of The Year May11, 2020
Family Medicine Educator of The Year May 11, 2020

The Membership Committee will nominate a slate to be approved by the Board of Directors, and presentation of the awards will be held during the 2020 GAFP Annual Meeting in November.

Many noteworthy colleagues may not have been considered for an award because they were not nominated.  To download an electronic copy of the awards nomination package go to http://www.gafp.org/awards.asp.  New this year is that the documents are now in a pdf format that you can fill out and email back to GAFP, which makes it easier for the Membership Committee to read your nomination.

The awards nomination package includes the awards and criteria, nomination forms and a list of past winners of each award.

If you have questions, please contact Angela Flanigan at 1-800-392-3841 or aflanigan@gafp.org.

Sincerely,

Jeff Stone, MD, MBA, MHA, FAAFP

President, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

 

UPDATE: CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

On April 16, 2020, HHS announced how it will distribute an initial $30 billion round of funding to providers, part of a $100 billion fund Congress included in the recently-passed CARES Act. This announcement will be followed by additional funding announcements in coming weeks.

What It Means

Congress passed the bipartisan CARES Act a few weeks ago, with the President signing the bill into law on March 27. The bill included significant pots of money intended to address the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country.

Specific to the health care provider community, Congress included a Public Health and Social Services emergency fund that set aside $100 billion to address the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced at a White House press conference that HHS would be making an initial round of $30 billion in funding available this week. The details of that round of funding was announced this morning.

Key details:

  • Grants, not loans – the funding released today will not need to be repaid, unlike the advance claims payment CMS announced March 28
  • Not just hospitals – if you received a Medicare FFS claim in 2019, you’re on the eligibility list.
  • Amounts – shares of the $30 billion are going to be awarded based on the recipient’s share of the $484 billion in claims CMS paid out in 2019.
    • In other words – determine how much you totally billed Medicare fee for service in 2019; find out what percentage of the total $484 billion that is; and apply that percentage to $30 billion
  • Automatic payments – HHS is partnering with United Health Group to get the funds out the door. Looks like UHG/Optum is just going to start sending payments with no application necessary.

Please do read the fine print below. There are some conditions.

This methodology isn’t going to make everyone happy. For example, basing the payments entirely on Medicare claims doesn’t recognize any of the challenges providers with high Medicaid patients have faced.

Administrator Verma acknowledged this challenge even in the initial announcement earlier this weekHHS is pledging to make adjustments in the second tranche of funding.

“HHS and the Administration are working rapidly on additional targeted distributions to providers that will focus on providers in areas particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, rural providers, and providers of services with lower shares of Medicare FFS reimbursement or who predominantly serve the Medicaid population. This supplemental funding will also be used to reimburse providers for COVID-19 care for uninsured Americans.”

What It Means for You

If you’re a provider who has billed Medicare FFS – this announcement is a big deal. HHS is sending checks out the door with a limited number of strings attached.

What’s Next

The next set of funding will arguably be more complicated to get out. In today’s announcement, HHS used a relatively simple formula, but dodged some complex challenges – like addressing disparate impact on high Medicaid providers, those dealing with the uninsured, and other issues.

Look for additional guidance from HHS in the coming weeks on the second round of funding – and possibly more.

Resources

Details on the first announcement (also below)

Press Release

Update: CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

Relief Fund Payment Terms & Conditions

A Message from the AAFP: Complete the 2020 Member Satisfaction Survey by April 30th

Deadline Extended!

Recently we asked you to share feedback by taking the AAFP Membership Survey. That was before the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Right now, your free time is invaluable as you work hard to keep your communities healthy. We still would like to know how we can best serve your needs, so we’ve extended the survey deadline to April 30.

If you can find 10 free minutes in the next few weeks, please share your thoughts about this past year of your membership. As always, your response is confidential.

Take the survey – AAFP Member Satisfaction Survey

We will continue to fight for you every day on Capitol Hill. We will continue to vet and provide the latest information and best practices so you can make informed decisions and educate your patients.

Thank you for your time. And thank you for all you do every day.

GAFP Members in the News

March 20, 2020

Dr. Andrew Reisman and Dr. Jeff Stone were appointed to Governor Brian Kemp’s Coronavirus Task Force, Primary Care Provider Committee. The Task Force and each appointed committee will address the specific impact that COVID-19 will have on communities, industry sectors, our healthcare system, and emergency preparedness…click here to read the announcement.

March 25, 2020

GAFP leader, Samuel L. Church, MD discussed conducting parking lot visits in the AAFP FMP Journal Blog, click here to read the full editorial.

March 31, 2020

President-Elect – Dr. Tom Fausett was quoted in a Georgia Health News article on “Long-Term Care Facilities in Georgia” click here to read the news article.

April 9, 2020

GAFP Leaders, Dr. Donald Fordham and Dr. Dan Singleton were quoted in the Georgia Health News article entitled “Pandemic brings financial trouble for many doctors” click here to read the full story.