COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

More questions? Email communications@cmadocs.org.

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Archive by category: Safety ProtocolsReturn
Health care providers who are unable to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) from their regular suppliers may request resources through the Medical Health Operational Area Coordination Program (MHOAC). MHOAC distributes available local resources according to an assessment of need and priority. It will determine if the resource need is immediate and significant (or anticipated to be so), whether the supply of the resource requested has been exhausted or exhaustion is imminent, and whether ...
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| Categories: Safety Protocols
Yes. Physicians should contact patients telephonically before they come in and perform a screening interview for potential COVID-19 symptoms. Practices that use a patient portal can also develop a brief questionnaire to be used for this purpose.The American Medical Association has provided a pre-visit patient screening template that practices can use for identifying possible COVID-19 patients. It is available here (pages 4 and 5 of the document).
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| Categories: Reopening, Safety Protocols
As practices reopen, it is a good idea to continue seeing patients via telehealth as medically appropriate. This preserves office space and exam rooms for patients that need to be seen in person for screenings, vaccinations, etc. It is also a good idea to place strict limits on visitors and guests that enter the practice.For a more comprehensive list of CMA’s recommendations for maintaining social distancing in your practice, please see CMA’s Best Practices for Reopening a Medical Pr...
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| Categories: Telehealth, Reopening, Safety Protocols
Physicians and staff over the age of 60 are at higher risk for infection and complications. Practices should accommodate them to the extent possible.For example, if a practice is planning to continue seeing some patients via telehealth, they can schedule those visits with older physicians, leaving the in-person visits for younger physicians. For office staff, older staff members should continue to work remotely if possible. Office functions that must be done in person should be assigned to young...
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel, Reopening, Safety Protocols

Should practices require patients to wear masks?

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It is a best practice to ask patients to wear face coverings when they come to the office. Asymptomatic patients, however, only need to wear cloth face coverings. They do not need N95 or surgical masks, which should be reserved for health care workers.Physicians should also be aware of the needs of patients with respiratory illnesses who may have difficulty with restricted airflow. Also, pediatricians may find that face coverings are difficult for young children, both physically and emotionally.
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| Categories: Reopening, Safety Protocols
Physicians should consult the PPE personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. Practices may need to adjust their use based on the availability of PPE and risk factors associated with the patient and the procedure. Procedures that do not involve a patient’s airway are much lower risk and may not require the same level of PPE.
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| Categories: Reopening, Safety Protocols

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