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Minnesota Governor's Newsletter April 2020
In this Issue:
- Governor's Message
- Minnesota Clinics and Health Systems—Time Sensitive
- COVID-19 Resources
- CMS Advanced Payment Program
- MN-ACP Council Updates
- Webinar MKSAP Live Online Study Hall
- Welcome New Minnesota Resident/Fellows and Members!
- Save the Dates:
David R Hilden, MD, FACP, ACP Governor
We will remember these days.
Some day we will remember standing outside a patient room covered head to toe in hair net, mask, plastic face shield, gown, and gloves. We will remember looking at the nurse similarly covered, look into each other's eyes, take a deep breath, and walk into that room and once again, for the umpteenth time, be a doctor with a patient. A patient with COVID-19.
Some day we will remember canceling every CME conference, business meeting, family vacation, wedding, funeral, and family gathering for a whole year and wonder how we will ever re-connect.
Some day we will remember how we learned how to care for our patients over a video connection.
Some day we will remember that crazy time when we actually re-used our surgical masks for days and even weeks on end.
Some day we will remember taking a pay cut so that our hospitals and clinics could survive.
Some day we will remember the time when our fellow human beings died without their family by their side.
We will remember these days.
But some day, we will also remember feeling closer to our physician colleagues than we ever have been and realize that these are our lifelong brothers and sisters.
Some day we will remember that people stood on their balconies to applaud what we do every day.
Some day we will remember that during a pandemic there was still kindness and compassion.
Some day we will remember that what we do still matters.
We will remember these days. And we will remember what a privilege it is to be an internist.
Please read this newsletter to find out the meaningful and important work that Minnesota ACP and your national American College of Physicians is doing every day. Stay in touch. Renew your membership. Congratulate our new fellows (names below). Apply to be on our chapter council. Nominate a colleague for one of our awards. Call your elected officials. Get involved. You are needed!
I am in contact with national ACP officers and staff and your Minnesota chapter council continues to work for you in so many ways. I promise to keep you informed.
Take care of yourselves. We are indeed one Minnesota.
David R. Hilden, MD MPH FACP
Governor, Minnesota ACP
(thanks to Heather Gantzer, MD, FACP for sending this photo)
Minnesota Clinics and Health Systems—Time Sensitive
COVID-19 Planning/Response Grants for Clinics and Health Systems Now Open for applications for $150 million
Minnesota applications will be accepted starting April 14th until funds are expended. The applications will be reviewed in rounds and will be available until expended. The Minnesota 2020 Legislature, created the Health Care Response Fund and Provider Grant Program authorizing the Commissioner of Health to award grants to support the capacity of eligible organizations to plan for, prepare for and respond to an outbreak of a communicable disease. This RFP is specific to costs and activities related to planning, preparing for and responding to COVID-19 that were incurred on or after March 18, 2020. Funding will be allocated through a competitive selection process. The total appropriation for grants and program administration is $150 million. The COVID-19 Planning and Response Program does not require matching funds. More information.
- ACP's Comprehensive Coronavirus Resources
- “Revving up your telemedicine practice in the time of COVID” with Presentations by: Ana Maria Lopez MD MPH MACP, William Fox MD FACP, Deepti Pandita MD FACP FAMIA, & Claude J. Pirtle MD MS. Play the recording of this webinar and download the slides.
- Minnesota recently received a Medicaid waiver approval regarding use of telemedicine for Medicaid and MN Health Care programs. The MN Medicaid/MHCP Provider manual has been updated to reflect this change effective April 1st The waiver also has authorized a temporary increase in the prescription drug coverage limit for certain therapeutic non-controlled drug classes to a 90-day supply Rural health and FQHC clinics are included in this waiver. Note the Medicaid Provider Manual information for specific Telemedicine billing for physicians and NPs not previously using this service site/method.
- Minnesota Department of Health, COVID-19, information is updated daily
- ACP Practice Management Resources
- ACP Telehealth Coding and Billing
- ACP Payer Policies
- ACP Practice Financial & Management Issues
- ACP COVID-19 Related Advocacy
- ACP Clinical Information for Internists
- COVID-19: Practical Advice and Support from Internists on the Front Lines. Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, SFHM, FACP, and Elisabeth Poorman, MD, MPH share lessons learned and best practices from both the inpatient and outpatient front lines of the COVID-19 global pandemic. They explore the need to both acknowledge and address physician anxiety and fear of exposure to the coronavirus, as well as provide tips for how physicians can support one another while protecting their own wellbeing. Webinar Playback:COVID-19 Recorded: March 30, 2020
- Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- What You Need to Know to Help a Friend or Family Member
MN-ACP member Karen Krenik, MD
CMS Advanced Payment Program
By Stuart Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Governor-Elect, Virginia
CMS has expanded its advanced payment programs. Physicians are eligible for 3 months of prepayment of fees, based on a lookback period. Fees will be credited to the prepayment after 6 months. The devil is always in the details, of course, but this is potentially great way to keep the lights on during this crisis. Here is an excerpt:
“Amount of Payment: Qualified providers/suppliers will be asked to request a specific amount using an Accelerated or Advance Payment Request form provided on each MAC's website. Most providers and suppliers will be able to request up to 100% of the Medicare payment amount for a three-month period. Inpatient acute care hospitals, children's hospitals, and certain cancer hospitals are able to request up to 100% of the Medicare payment amount for a six-month period. Critical access hospitals (CAH) can request up to 125% of their payment amount for a six-month period.
MN-ACP Council Updates
We are seeking two nominees to serve on the MN-ACP Council. If you are interested in serving as Treasurer or as a representative from Greater Minnesota, please complete this Council brief nomination form by May 15th.
Your Governor's Council will be meeting virtually on May 9th. The MN-ACP Council meets twice per year and has six standing work groups including:
- Scientific Session Planning Committee
- Health Policy Committee
- Early Career Physicians Committee
- Hospitalists Committee
- Health Information Technology Committee
- Council of Residents
If you are interested in receiving information about any of these committees, please contact Minnesota.ACP@gmail.com for more information.
Advanced Career Physicians Move to Virtual Meeting on May 7, 2020 at 2pm
Join senior and retired internists virtually for our May gathering to welcome back snowbirds and everyone “safe at home.” We'll have a brief presentation on “Germs: Intimate friends and Mortal Enemies” with Dr. Phil Peterson and updates from those attending via a zoom videoconference. Please register to receive the call in and/or video link for the gathering.
MN-ACP Council of Resident/Fellow Members
Thirteen Resident/Fellow members from each Minnesota training program collaborate through regular calls and social media to support resident/fellows. Dr. Courtney Harris (Mayo) has been chair of this active group and Dr. Frederique St Pierre (Mayo) is one of the national ACP representatives. At a recent update call they reviewed how programs have handled schedule changes with COVID, wellness/morale boosting ideas, sharing significant product discounts for medical personnel, updates from all programs and plans for the chapter volunteer project of supporting the Brave Like Gabe 5K event that has been rescheduled to Sept. 6, 2020. Thank you to the following MN-ACP CRFM members: Courtney Harris, MD (Mayo); Beth Davis, MD (UMN); Leah Mische, MD (Mayo); Allison Levy, MD (Abbott); Jorge Reyes Castro, MD (HCMC); Daniel Bernstein, MD (HCMC); Frederique St Pierre, MD (Mayo); Solomon Amare, MD (UMN); Nadia Akhiyat, MD (Mayo); Emily Westergard, MD (Abbott); Kevin O’Donnell, MD (Abbott); Grace Braimoh, MD (HCMC); Diana Zychowski, MD (UMN).
Tell us what is important to you- All Member Survey
The Minnesota Chapter of the American College of Physicians (MN-ACP) is committed to improving communication, advocacy, and services to its members. Your participation in this upcoming survey is encouraged so that we can provide opportunities and information to help you with your practice, identify ways MN-ACP can provide more value to you, and advocate for issues important to our members. Watch for the online survey link.
Congratulations New Fellows and Masters!
Achieving ACP Fellowship is a mark of distinction and a milestone in a physician's career.
Please join me in congratulating the following as new Fellows named by ACP in the last 3 months:
- Brian Nelson, MD, FACP, Alexandria, MN
- Brianna Vaa Stelling, MD, FACP, Rochester, MN
- Christopher Aakre, MD, FACP, Rochester, MN
- Patrick Hadorn, DO, FACP, Maple Grove, MN
- Ibrahim A Elemo, MD FACP, Lakeville, MN
- Melver L Anderson, III MD MACP, Minneapolis, MN
Make 2020 the year you apply for Fellowship- Fellowship is a high honor and a mark of distinction and professional achievement that is recognized by your peers and your patients. If you are now a member- become a Fellow by reviewing the web link and find which pathway to Fellowship is appropriate for your career path. Links to the requirements for advancing to Fellowship and to the application are also found on this website. In Minnesota, there are over 400 current members who are eligible for a pathway to becoming a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP).
If you have any questions about completing the Fellowship application feel free to call ACP at 800-523-1546 ext. 2709.
Guided Fellowship for Resident/Fellow Members that transition to full Membership
Achieving the FACP credential is a significant milestone for post-training physicians – one that shows leadership and commitment to excellence in the practice of medicine. ACP has developed a three-year Guided Fellowship Program which provides a framework toward meeting professional development goals, along with guidance and mentorship, in order to obtain the FACP credential. The program is open only to ACP Resident/Fellow Members that transition to full Membership each July. For more information.
Health and Public Policy Update April, 2020
Sally Berryman, MD, FACP
MN-ACP Health Policy
Action at the Minnesota Capitol has slowed to a crawl, as lawmakers have closely adhered to the six-foot social distancing requirement. Legislators have been casting votes in small numbers in person as leadership work to keep individuals from congregating, and all committee hearings are being held via video conferencing. Thank you to members for their advocacy efforts! The MN-ACP Health Policy Committee reviewed proposal from three organizations who were interested in serving as our legislative monitor for 2020. The proposal from the Minnesota Medical Association was selected and our designated legislative monitor is Eric Dick who has worked for MMA for the past 10 years.
MN-ACP Health and Public Policy Committee priorities for the 2020 legislative session fall into three main categories and we have seen progress in these areas over the past three months.
- Improve Public Health-The COVID-19 legislation and $200 million in funding has been provided for Minnesota clinics, health systems. COVID and pandemic control continued to dominate the discussion at the Capitol in recent weeks, as legislators search for ways to mitigate the impact of the outbreak. In recent days legislators have passed an additional relief package, including coverage for COVID-19 testing for low-income and uninsured Minnesotans. Gov. Tim Walz announced a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and other Minnesota health systems to increase COVID-19 testing statewide. The partnership will be able to perform up to 20,000 molecular and 15,000 serology tests per day. Gov. Walz has repeatedly stated his hope to end the declaration as soon as it is safe to do so. He and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have consistently stated that they will relax the executive orders, including both the ‘stay at home’ order and restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures when the pandemic subsides. MN-ACP is participating in discussions on criteria for easing restrictions on elective surgeries/procedures. Gov. Walz has noted that he and MDH are closely monitoring a number of factors as the consider changes to the executive actions, notably the ability to conduct much greater diagnostic and serologic testing for the coronavirus, trends in transmission, and effective tracing of infected individuals.
- Improve Patient Affordability and Mental Health Behavioral Health Access- MNCare was re-opened to permit new applications for health insurance for those losing employment. Legislation to expand access to affordable insulin for low-income, uninsured, or underinsured Minnesotans and Minnesotans with high drug expenses became law after a debate stretching back to the 2019 legislative session. Under the new law, effective July 1, both emergency and longer term insulin is available to eligible individuals, though co-payments are required. However, those seeking insulin must have a valid Minnesota driver's license, a Minnesota ID card, or a learner's permit. The bill, which builds upon existing insulin manufacturer's patient assistance programs, passed the House and Senate by wide, bipartisan margins. It remains unclear if drug companies will comply with the law or will sue to have it overturned.
- Support Minnesota Physicians' Ability to practice- Minnesota received a waiver from CMS that expands telemedicine and other services to support physicians, clinics and health systems during the pandemic; movement on prior authorization reform is anticipated in 2020.
Our ACP Chapter will continue to promote legislation to improve public health. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in our MN-ACP Health and Public Policy Committee.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to join the Policy Committee.
Sally Berryman, MD, FACP
Medical Informatics committee
Deepti Pandita, MBBS, FACP
MN-ACP Medical Informatics Committee chairperson
Telemedicine resources ranging from ACP policy on Telemedicine to reimbursement questions and technology needed for getting started are available.
Additional resources on Telemedicine include the following:
Telehealth Coding and Billing During COVID-19 |
FCC offers $200 million in grants to help expand Access to Telemedicine
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made $200 million available for health care providers to purchase telecommunication technology, broadband internet, and devices like tablets to provide telehealth services. Only nonprofit and public entities are eligible for this funding. The FCC began accepting applications on April 13th. There are no deadlines, but providers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to improve the odds of getting funding. To learn more, you can read this FAQ from the FCC and apply here.
Early Career Physicians
It seems like ages ago, but on March 3rd, I.M. on Tap met in Rochester, MN with a group of over 20 in attendance at Forager Brewing. Hosted by Dr. Amy Holbrook, chair of the Early Career Physicians and with Dr. Tom Jaeger from Mayo speaking on “Lessons learned from difficult patients”.
Hope you can join us at our next event on October 14, 2020 at Kieran's with Jacob Meyer, PhD from Iowa State on “Endocannabinoids, exercise and depression: Using the runners high to treat depression”. ACP's official definition of an “early career physician” is a physician who has graduated from medical school within the last 16 years AND who is not currently in residency or subspecialty fellowship training Any questions or suggestions, please contact the Early Career Physicians Chairwoman, Amy Holbrook, MD at email@example.com.
Webinar MKSAP Live Online Study Hall
Join colleagues from around the country on Tuesday nights at 8:00 Central! We are continuing to accept attendees. Register Anytime! Each week our hosts reveal a new “episode” of MKSAP 18, preparing you for boards over the next two years. This is an opportunity to prepare for recertification in a weekly casual, collegial, online setting. It's free for ACP members*, but you must own MKSAP 18. More information and registration.
Welcome New Minnesota Resident/Fellows and Members!
Eighty-six new physicians, and resident/fellows, affiliates, transitional residents and medical students have joined ACP and the MN chapter in the last three months. Thank you for your membership and count ACP and MN-ACP as a professional home and resource for you.
|Ramy Abdelfattah, MBChB||Jessica Baitani, MD||Jessica Boettcher, DO|
|Amy Candy, MD||Eduardo Duenas-Barajas, MD||Federica Fromm, DO|
|Patrick Kern, DO||Christopher M Kobe, MD||Louis Kohl, MD|
|Barrett Larson, MD||Chris Leonard, MD||Manji Osifeso, MD|
|Paavani Komanduri, MD||Adewale Odofin, MBChB||Jane Oh II, MD|
|Manji Osifeso, MD||Dustin Potter, MD||Mangwe Sabtala, MD|
|Kathryn Salvatore, MD||Brittney Schultz, MD||Will Sinnett, MD|
|Michael C Tan, MD||Haylee Veazey, MD||Eric Wilkerson MD|
|Barrett Larson, MD||Chris Leonard, MD||Brittney Schultz, MD|
|Benjamin Weeres, MD||Thomas Williams, MD||Brooke Dokken|
|Kristi Dooley||Scott Faust||Caitlin Hiniker|
|Mark Ringo||Badra Ali||Claire Arnold|
|Laura Billstein||Jackie Blomker||Patrick Brennan|
|Lauren Breslin||Michele C Buonomo||Ben Burdorf|
|Hannah Case||Siven Chinniah||Lauren Clements|
|Andrea Collins||Nicholas Cook-Rostie||Gabrielle Cummings|
|Mariah C Dahmen||Tamara Damjanac||Allison Falbo|
|Sayeh Fattahi||Kate Geschwind||Jacob Goodwin|
|Vishal Gupta||Sara Habte||Caleb J Hansen|
|Tina Hendricks||Adam Howard||James Hwang|
|Apoorva Iyengar||Mauricio Jin||Christiana M Johnson|
|Elizabeth N Kim||Jacob Kluver||Derrick Lewis|
|Liang Yen Liu||Rachel Lopdrup||Laura Maciejko|
|Jordan Marks||Dylan McCreary||Luke Morrey|
|Hollis O’nell-Meyer||Katelyn Pastick||Austin Pickup|
|Zarin I Rahman||Mudassar K Sandozi||Alexander Schmidt|
|Sadia Sheikh-Mohamed||Emily E Sirek||Maximilian Staebler|
|Rashmi Subramani||Divya Takkellapati||Editt Taslakian|
|Jennifer Thomalla||Connor Triggs||Amrit Kaur Vasdev|
|Kimberly Wang||Stephanie White||Courtney Wirtanen|
|Jenny Yoon||Madeline Youakim||Salma Yusuf|
Members in the News
- Dr. Rachel Gordon with St. Luke's Internal Medicine Associates in Duluth writes about her COVID-19 diagnosis
- Dr. Abe Jacob, M Health Fairview's chief quality officer, was interviewed in the Star Tribune about hospitals use of ultraviolet decontamination with N95 masks
- Dr. Craig Bowron, on COVID pandemic projection models
- Rahul Koranne, MD, MBA, FACP, has been named president and CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA)
- Pritish Tosh, MD, FACP, a Mayo Clinic infectious disease physician works with local public health to address COVID-19
- Nathan Chomilo, MD, with Park Nicollet has recently been named the Minnesota Medicaid Medical Director
Please send MN-ACP your member news Minnesota.firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is so difficult to postpone a wedding.
It is so disappointing to cancel a vacation.
It is anxiety-provoking to be isolated.
It is heart-breaking to miss funerals.
Do it anyways.
Not because it's easy. But because you are expressing your care for others in a way you didn't expect. You are the world's protection.
Because it is so difficult to treat someone in respiratory failure.
It is so disappointing calling family with bad news.
It is anxiety-provoking to be exposed.
It is heart-breaking to care for patients at the end of their life.
We do it anyways.
And most importantly, in a time when we fear that there is -
Not enough energy to love,
Not enough time to show kindness,
Not enough strength to act justly,
Not enough faith to walk with God,
Do it anyways.
By Anna Strasma, MD, an internal medicine resident and Texas-ACP member
Save the Dates:
May 7, 2020- MN-ACP Advanced Career Physicians at 2pm virtual meeting register
Sept. 6, 2020- Brave Like Gabe volunteers -Info
October 14, 2020- I.M. on Tap at Kieran's with Jacob Meyer, PhD from Iowa State on “Endocannabinoids, exercise and depression: Using the runners high to treat depression”
Nov. 5-6, 2020- MN Internal Medicine:2020 at Minneapolis Convention Center
How can we better serve you? Please contact me with questions or thoughts on how the MN-ACP can serve you. David Hilden, MD, MPH, FACP Governor, MN-ACP.