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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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On March 30, 2020, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) instructed CDI-regulated health insurance companies to take immediate steps to provide increased telehealth access during the COVID-19 emergency.
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| Categories: Telehealth, Practice Management
Physicians should report laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases to their local public health departments. Your local public health department may have issued specific guidance regarding testing, reporting, and managing COVID-19 cases; check your department’s website for more information. 
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| Categories: Testing
Physicians who choose to temporarily close their practices should keep in mind their ethical and legal obligation not to abandon their patients. While no specific statute defines patient abandonment, it is considered unprofessional conduct by the Medical Board.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
As physicians around the state are ramping up telehealth services so care can continue to be provided to those who need it most, CMA is compiling telehealth information from the major payors in the state
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| Categories: Telehealth
During a pandemic, employers may ask such employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
Physician employers should disclose the identities of staff they know who have tested positive for COVID-19 to the local health authority. Health & Safety Code § 120250 broadly requires physicians to report the name and location of a person with any infectious, contagious, or communicable disease to the local health authority, along with the nature of the disease.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
On March 17, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-31-20, which temporarily suspends the 60-day notice requirement in the California WARN Act (Cal/WARN) for employers to give written notice to employees of a mass layoff or closure of an establishment. The suspension was intended to permit employers to act quickly in order to mitigate or prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) was signed into law on March 18. This legislation seeks to assist employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of this guidance is to summarize the key benefit provisions that apply to employers, most notably the temporary expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) to employers and employees not previously covered.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
​​​​​​​Medi-Cal’s telehealth policy allows providers to bill DHCS as clinically appropriate for any covered Medi-Cal benefits or services using the appropriate procedure codes, either CPT or HCPCS.
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| Categories: Telehealth, Practice Management
For as long as HHS maintains their public health emergency designation, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered practitioners may issue prescriptions for all schedule II-V controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided all conditions are met.
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| Categories: Telehealth, Prescribing
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Your use of the CMA website, including information provided on the COVID 19 Resource Page is governed by the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy linked below.  All CMA Content, including COVID 19 related content, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or legal advice, or as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician or the legal advice of an attorney. Physicians should contact their professional liability and other insurers and an attorney for specific advice.

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