Archive for April, 2020

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.

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

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

 

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

Immediate Needs Community Grants Now Available

To:  GAFP Members
From: Patrick “PJ” Lynn, MD, FAAFP
President, Georgia Healthy Family Alliance

RE: Immediate Needs Community Grants Now Available

From GHFA – GAFP Foundation

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) Executive Committee met last week to address the current COVID-19 crisis unfolding in communities across Georgia. Effective immediately, GHFA is opening applications for Immediate Needs Community Grants to help GAFP member communities.  Some examples of these grant solicitations could be housing, transportation and/or food and medicine for individuals that are in a fragile or dangerous situation.

Because our members are on the front lines of public health issues affecting their communities, grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to GAFP members to address immediate local needs.  Grant applications have been streamlined and a review/approval process has been implemented so we can transmit funds within 3-5 days.

The application period is open effective March 23, 2020.  The application is below – or a fillable applications can be found on the GHFA website at www.georgiahealthyfamilyalliance.org . Contact Kara Sinkule – ksinkule@gafp.org or call 404-321-7445 with any questions.

 

GHFA Immediate Needs Community Grant Application

Open and Ongoing Application – Effective March 23, 2020

Applicants must be Georgia Academy of Family Physicians members. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to address immediate local needs in Georgia include housing, transportation and/or food and medicine. Grant applications will be immediately reviewed, and funding transmitted within 3-5 days. 

Please Print:

GAFP Member’s Full Name:

Address City/State Zip Code (to transmit funding):

Email Address:

Best Phone Number to Contact You:

Grant Request Amount (Available – Up to $1,000): _______________________

Briefly describe how you will use the grant if awarded all or a portion of your requested amount.

 

Do you have any other information that may help us to evaluate your grant application?

 

Please add the name of the grantee and the address where the funding should be sent (if different from above):

 

Certification by Grant Applicant:

I certify that the information contained in this application is true and complete. I understand that a material misrepresentation or omission of any information is grounds for denial of a grant. I understand that the granting of assistance is neither a right nor an entitlement, and that the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance shall have sole discretion in determining whether I qualify for or receive a grant. 

Signature (Electronic Signature Accepted) and Date:

Click here to download the PDF

AAFP Foundation Offers Scholarships to National Conference

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students (National Conference) will take place Thursday-Saturday, July 30–August 1, in Kansas City, MO. Past attendees consistently rate this event as an invaluable opportunity because of the practical sessions, networking, and chance to learn more about family medicine.

The AAFP Foundation is offering 250 Family Medicine Leads Scholarships (FML Scholarships) to assist students and residents in attending National Conference. This financial assistance, valued at $600 per scholarship, helps offset expenses such as registration, travel, lodging, and meals. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 29.

Information regarding scholarship eligibility and application requirements can be found on the AAFP website. If you have specific questions about National Conference or the FML Scholarships, please contact Rachel Larsen or call 800.274.2237, ext. 6369.

Welcome to Family Medicine, M4 Medical Students!

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians would like to congratulate all medical students on a successful Match Day held on March 20th. Although celebrations were different this year, we hope that everyone was able to find a way to share the excitement with their friends and family!

We heard from Monica Newton, DO, Residency Program Director at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Family Medicine Residency Program as they welcome their first class of 12 Family Medicine residents… Congratulations to NGMC-FMRP and their incoming residents!

2020 Match Day by the numbers (according to the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®):

  • 40,084 applicants submitted program choices, with 37,256 total positions offered
  • Family medicine offered 4,685 positions, 557 more than 2019 and 13.7% of positions offered overall
  • 4,335 medical students and graduates matched to family medicine residency programs in the NRMP Match: an increase of 487 from 2019

Read more about the Match on the American Academy of Family Physicians website. Also, be sure to check out the America Needs more Family Medicine: 25X2030 Collaborative, which is calling for 25% of all U.S. medical school seniors and graduates to match into family medicine by the year 2030.

GHA and GAFP Partnership for Coordinated Patient Care: COVID-19

Ensuring Proper Testing of Patients from Community Health Centers 

Recognizing that individuals who suspect they have COVID-19 may call physicians at community health centers, the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) recognize it is important to have a plan in place to ensure these patients are properly tested by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Many independent physicians and health centers may not have the capability to conduct testing and will need to rely on their local hospital and DPH for next steps.

What hospitals need to do:

To facilitate necessary testing of any patient suspected to have COVID-19, we are asking hospitals to select a hospital liaison that your local health center(s) can call to coordinate specimen collection and contact with the Georgia Department of Public Health for testing. This partnership will ensure that patients and staff members are appropriately treated and protected.

What community health centers need to do:

If you don’t already have a plan in place, contact the hospitals in your area and ask who the liaison or person of contact for COVID-19 is. If a patient presents to your location and you believe testing is warranted, call the hospital liaison for help in implementing a plan to initiate testing and get instructions on next steps. You can also contact DPH directly by dialing 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584) and ask to speak to a medical epidemiologist.

*The link below is a great resource from the CDC for how you can determine the risk level of your staff members and the recommended protocol based on levels of exposure in the event that you see a patient in your office who tests positive for COVID-19.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html

***The GAFP continues to serve as a resource by keeping you up-to-date on issues that are important to family physicians during this time of crisis. Visit the GAFP website for important updates on the Coronavirus and listen to our webinar on COVID-19 and telemedicine.

GAFP Seeking Family Physician Who is Exemplary in Supporting Georgia’s Maternal and Child Health Population

The Georgia Academy, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, is seeking nominees for members who have supported Georgia’s mothers and children above and beyond the scope of family medicine.  Last year’s awardee was Zita Magloire, MD of Cairo, Georgia who is a board-certified family physician currently in private group practice at Cairo Medical Care. In addition to practicing both inpatient and outpatient medicine, Dr. Magloire has a special interest in women’s health, and provides full obstetrical services including cesarean sections for her patients.

Our 2018 awardee was Viktoria Nurpeisov, MD of Smyrna, Georgia who is the Medical Director of WellStar Family Medicine Clinic, a service of Kennestone Hospital, a comprehensive outreach clinic for patients, including mothers with unplanned pregnancies, limited resources, and recent immigrants.

We are looking for YOU or a colleague who have gone the extra mile to support healthy moms and children in your community.  Please email Tenesha Wallace (twallace@gafp.org) with the name of your nominee and a few sentences about what makes them unique in their support of healthy moms and children.  The award will be presented at our Summer Family Medicine Weekend meeting in June.  Please send us your nomination no later than April 13th.