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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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There are many factors that physicians should consider when reopening their practices, particularly with respect to employment issues. Physicians should first review state and local governmental guidance on the rules related to reopening, and what precautionary measures should be in place before resuming operations. Physician employers, in consultation with their professional liability carrier or practice attorney, should also develop and institute plans for workplace and patient safety, to incl...
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel, Reopening
Not necessarily. If the employee was laid off on or after March 1, 2020, and rehired or otherwise reemployed by the employer on or before December 31, 2020, they will be entitled to emergency FMLA benefits under the FFCRA so long as they were on the employer’s payroll for 30 or more of the 60 calendar days prior to being laid off.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
While certain shelter-in-place restrictions have been lifted under Stage 2 of Governor Newsom’s statewide reopening plan, individual counties may have kept more restrictive orders in place. Employers and employees should review both state and local guidance when determining if employees are eligible for emergency paid sick leave solely because they are subject to an isolation order. Importantly, even in counties who are safely reopening under Stage 2, employees at businesses that are allow...
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel, Reopening
While many practices are in the process of resuming onsite business operations, some physician employers may wish to continue to allow certain operations and employees to work remotely. Given the rapid onset of the pandemic, some employers may have allowed remote work without a formal policy or procedure. As practices begin to reopen, employers who wish to continue to allow employees to work remotely should evaluate whether they have the proper technological infrastructure (to include sufficient...
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel, Reopening
Per Title17 Section 2500 of the California Code of Regulations, cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), must be reported immediately by telephone to the local health officer for the jurisdiction where the patient resides. For questions about COVID-19 reporting or other communicable disease reporting requirements, please contact your local health department. The specific COVID-19 reporting form can be found hereThe CDC has also provided guidance for Risk Assessment and Work Restriction...
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| Categories: Testing
Exercising the authority under Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-39-20, the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued the following orders on April 14, 2020.
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| Categories: Scope of Practice
There is not one statewide date on which practices can reopen. It is controlled by local conditions, including orders from county public health officers and availability of resources. For counties that have local orders, CMA has compiled them here. The Health Officers Association of California is also compiling answers to FAQs from physicians by county.  See their website, available here. 
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| Categories: Reopening
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
Specific policies and procedures for implementing telehealth in the in-patient setting should be developed by the medical staff. Under the declared state of emergency, the requirements for hospitals to credential and privilege physicians, including distant-site telehealth providers, have been temporarily waived. However, individual medical staffs should determine whether it is appropriate to suspend credentialing and privileging requirements, and, if so, to consider implementation of alternate m...
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
No. Services should only be reported as telehealth services when the physician furnishing the service is not at the same location as the patient. If the patient and the physician are in the same institutional setting but are utilizing telecommunications technology to furnish the service due to exposure risks, the physician would not need to report this service as telehealth and should instead report whatever code described the in-person service furnished.
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
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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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