LETTER TO GOVERNOR DESANTIS ON CARDIAC CARE AND RESTORING ELECTIVE PROCEDURES DURING COVID-19
Click here to read it in its entirety.
This has been and is becoming one of the greatest challenges of our career and lifetime. I understand that you are receiving voluminous emails from multiple sources regarding this pandemic. My purpose is not to inundate you with one more email but to simply and concisely give you access to the very latest information and recommendations from the trusted, professional home for the Cardiovascular Practitioner. There are 3 critically important items I need to share with you.
1. The ACC has invaluable resources to help you to navigate this crisis:
In addition, you can register for today’s webinar: "MedAxiom COVID-19 and the CV Service Line Webinar: Setting up Telehealth in Your Office" on the Hub.
For anyone having trouble streaming the CCA-ACC webinars, someone has posted them to YouTube, which may work better.
Each webinar is split into 3 parts:
The COVID-19 Hub is continually updated as new information becomes available. I urge you to utilize this valuable resource regularly.
2. As you are aware, ACC.20/WCC in Chicago will not be an in-person meeting. It will still occur virtually and will be a free resource to you:
The free "ACC.20/WCC Virtual" experience will kick off on Saturday, March 28 and will offer three days of science and learning. The meeting will feature "live" access to 23 education sessions including Late-Breaking Clinical Trials, Featured Clinical Research, Young Investigator Awards, and Keynotes. You'll hear from ACC President Richard Kovacs, MD, FACC and incoming ACC President Athena Poppas, MD, FACC.
While the hope is that many of you will join us "live" on March 28 – 30, we also know this might not be possible. During this time of change and uncertainty, one of the benefits of ACC.20/WCC Virtual is that you can access late-breaking science, catch up on education and share in ongoing conversations at times that work for you. All ACC.20/WCC Virtual content will be available for 90 days after the meeting.
3. There are Critical Advocacy efforts going on as a result of this crisis. These WILL affect all of us and our vulnerable patients:
In an effort to help members who are tirelessly serving their patients and communities, ACC and other medical society partners helped secure a substantial telemedicine victory in the first bipartisan emergency funding package that was signed into law on March 6th. This provision will increase access to telehealth services and protect vulnerable patient populations during the COVID-19 emergency. The College will continue to work towards improved healthcare delivery for patients while protecting clinician wellbeing throughout this crisis.
Please CLICK HERE to urge Congress to include the following in the next COVID-19 emergency response package:
Concerns about rationing care
Clinicians want to ensure all patients have access to the necessary supplies to fully treat their condition and provide the best chance at a full recovery. There is a growing concern for shortage of ICU equipment such as ventilators which will limit treatment and result in increased death rate, as has been seen in other countries. Congress should include resources to help bolster the supply chain of these life-saving necessities.
Continued emphasis on access to personal protective equipment
Members of the cardiovascular care team have shared that access to personal protective equipment (PPE) remains an obstacle. Severe shortages of this equipment – including N95 masks, sterile gloves, and surgical gowns – leaves many health professionals insufficiently protected amid this outbreak. We join with the medical community to urge policymakers to take strong steps to increase availability of these products in the next COVID-19 supplemental package.
Clarity on the specifics of caring for at-risk patients via remote and telehealth mechanisms
Aggressive implementation to allow telehealth management of all patients will go far in stemming disease transmission to all patients. Additional support from the federal government to ensure alignment with private payers would be helpful. Federal authority to care for patients across state lines in this emergency would allow even greater use of remote technology.
Clinician protections during a declared emergency
American healthcare clinicians are on the front lines of an unprecedented healthcare crisis and will be called upon to treat patients with limited supplies and protective gear while doing everything in their power to address an overwhelming need. It is essential that we support them now with reasonable protection from lawsuits while they serve their communities and our nation in these extraordinary times. Urge Congress to include S. 1350/H.R. 6283, the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, which would apply limited civil liability protections to volunteer clinicians during a federally declared disaster.
Three months ago, none of us could have predicted the impact this virus would have on our lives, families and communities. My goal as your Florida ACC President is to keep you current and informed with the latest, accurate resources to best care for yourself and your patients. Please feel free to contact me personally with any thoughts, questions, or needs that you have. We are all in this together.
Please stay safe!!
David Perloff, MD, FACC
COVID-19 INFORMATION FROM ACC
The ACC has pulled together COVID-19 information and resources and is updating it daily. Click here for the COVID-19 Hub.
Information for Private Practices
Click on any of these recorded webinars for up-to-date navigating various issues during this time.
Dr. Jerry Blackwell, President of MedAxiom, and Cathie Biga, CEO and President of Cardiovascular Management of Illinois, share the latest information on the COVID-19 crisis. Listen to Full Podcast.
CMS also released a Video providing answers to common questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR HEART: DON'T IGNORE HEART SYMPTOMS
ACC CardioSmart recently published the infographic below to emphasize the importance of maintaining heart health through the epidemic. Click here for additional information.