In only a short period of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has made a huge impact on our members' businesses, relationships, and daily lives. We will continue to monitor the situation and how it may affect your practice. We will keep this page updated with
accurate, timely, and helpful information with the goal of lessening the negative impact of this crisis on your personal and professional lives.
- AACS Connect: These virtual open forums will be a dedicated time to connect with your cosmetic surgery peers and share considerations to be taken when re-opening your practice. Free and open to all AACS members and non-members.
- Scheduled Regularly: 2020 Live WebClinics offering CME and in-depth presentations on cosmetic surgery topics.
- Interim Guidelines for COVID-19 Antibody Testing: (May 27, 2020) From CDC: The CDC has updated its guidelines on antibody testing, including discouraging public health recommendations based on serologic test results, such as decisions on discontinuing physical distancing and using personal protective equipment.
- New normal for medicine emerges as hospitals return to elective surgeries, non-COVID work: (May 25, 2020) from ABC News: As the nation moves towards recovery and reopening, ABC outlines the emerging reality that, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, the American health care system will see its own new normal in the coming weeks and months, according to experts and doctors.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Informs Public About Possible Accuracy Concerns with Abbott ID NOW Point-of-Care Test: (May 14, 2020) from FDA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public to early data that suggest potential inaccurate results from using the Abbott ID NOW point-of-care test to diagnose COVID-19. Specifically, the test may return false negative results.
- Medicare Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Labs to Help Address COVID-19 Testing: (May 13, 2020) from ASCA: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicare Learning Network Transmittal announcing that pharmacies and other suppliers currently enrolled in Medicare may also enroll temporarily as independent clinical diagnostic laboratories during the COVID-19 public health emergency via the provider enrollment hotline.
- Trump Administration Issues Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic (April 30, 2020) from CMS: CMS issued another round of regulatory waivers and rule changes to deliver expanded care to the nation’s seniors and provide flexibility to the healthcare system.
- Now Available: $20B in Grants to Eligible Healthcare Providers, including ASCs (April 24, 2020) from ASCA: The US Department of Health & Human Services has allocated an additional $20 billion in grants to Medicare providers, including ambulatory surgery centers, effective April 24. These grants are part of the $100 billion in relief funds included in the 2020 CARES Act.
- AACS Statement on the Return of Elective Surgery and Treatment (April 22, 2020): For members in a state in which the return
to elective surgery is pending following restrictions due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, AACS has released this statement.
- HHS to Begin Immediate Delivery of Initial $30 Billion of CARES Act Provider Relief Funding (April 10, 2020): The distribution policy adopted by HHS reflects the recommendations from organized medicine, although it is not exactly what was proposed. The article includes details on how the funds will be distributed.
- AACS added its name to the American Society of Association Executives sign-on letter urging Congress and the Trump
Administration to provide additional aid to associations left out of the recently passed CARES Act (April 2, 2020).
Government, Agency and Medical Association Resources
- Federation Sign-On Letter: A letter to Congressional leaders that was organized by the American Medical Association and signed by 114 state medical societies and national specialty organizations opposing efforts to include surprise medical billing provisions in the new COVID-19 relief legislation under discussion in Congress.
- The HEALS Act: A summary of the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act
- PREOPERATIVE COVID TESTING: EXAMPLES FROM AROUND THE U.S.: From APSF: APSF outlines various recommendations from sources across the United States regarding preoperative COVID testing.
- OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Recommendations Re-opening Facilities to Provide Non-emergent Non-COVID-19 Healthcare: Phase I: From CMS: CMS outlines recommendations for reopening healthcare facilities to provide non-urgent and elective procedures.
- Loan and grant info for residents & medical students during COVID-19 from AMA: AMA has created a resource guide that addresses some of the benefits that are currently available for residents and medical students, ranging from loan relief to additional grants to new policies.
- COVID-19 Telehealth Program from the Federal Communications Commission: Provides eligible health care providers support to purchase telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to enable the provision of telemedicine services during this emergency period.
- Connected Care Pilot Program from the Federal Communications Commission: Provides universal service support to help defray eligible health care providers’ qualifying costs of providing connected care services. It will target funding to eligible health care providers, with a primary focus on pilot projects that primarily benefit low-income or veteran patients.
- CARES Act: Loans & Other Financial Assistance for Physician Practices from AMA (April 10, 2020):
This CARES Act fact sheet has resources that could benefit your practice.
- CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 for Physicians and Other Clinicians from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Designed to ensure
hospitals have room for a potential surge in patients due to COVID-19, remove barriers to hire healthcare professionals, increase access to telehealth, and more.
- Digital Health Implementation Playbook from AMA. Includes recommendations for telehealth visits.
- AMA is tracking changes to the Prior Authorization policy of different health plans due to COVID-19, including extending PA duration for
elective procedures that will be rescheduled.
- Executive Orders by State from The Council of State Governments. A list of all executive orders issued in light of COVID-19 broken out by state or by classification.
- Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services, and Treatment Recommendations from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (April
7, 2020): Tiered framework to prioritize services and care in order to reduce burdens on the existing health system.
- Letter to Clinicians from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (April 7, 2020): Summarizes actions taken by CMS to ensure clinicians have maximum
flexibility to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing patient care.
- Summary of CARES Act (March 30, 2020). A summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and aspects of it that might be of particular interest to our members.
- Topline Summary of Stimulus Legislation (March 26, 2020). A summary of the provisions within the stimulus and COVID-19 relief package that might
be of particular interest to physicians and their practices.
- Statement on COVID-19 from AACS President Dr. Mark Mandell-Brown (March 18, 2020).
- CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians, Providers and Hospitals (March 23, 2020). Details on exceptions and extensions
for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs.
- Guides from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on biosafety, clinical care, infection control, PPE, and more.
- Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity webinars from the CDC related to various emergency preparedness and response topics.
- LitCovid, a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus from the National Center for Biotechnology Information,
U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) summary from the National Library of Medicine.
- Coronavirus information from the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation summary from the National Institutes of Health.
- Standards relating to COVID-19 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.
- Main Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak page from the World Health Organization.
Practice Resources and Guidelines
- Re-Opening America: What Patients Should Know About Seeking Healthcare: From CMS, this guide details what patients whose non-emergency treatments were delayed due to COVID-19 should know as healthcare facilities begin to reopen.
- Cutagenesis Handsanitizer: If you are running low on hand sanitizer, you can order it at cutagenesis.com for $24.99 per 32oz bottle.
- This is where each state is during its phased reopening: From CNN, this article details where each individual U.S. state that implemented a stay-at-home policy is in terms of reopening.
- 7 starter steps to reopen your practice: From AMA, this guide presents seven starter steps for reopening practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Members of AACS receive exclusive discounts on a growing suite of office systems and supplies through our affiliated programs. We hope you find value in these special offers during these difficult times.
- COVID Patient Screening Document: You can use this document to screen patients for COVID-19.
- CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of COVID-19 from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Guidance on providing essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms of COVID-19 in regions with low and stable incidence of COVID-19.
- Checklist for Your Practice Closure During COVID-19 Pandemic: This is a helpful checklist for practice closure from Shorr Solutions.
- Critical Care for the Non-ICU Clinician. This resource from the Society of Critical Care Medicine provides online education to healthcare professionals who may benefit from critical care training.
- Additional Relief for Merit-Based Incentive Payment System Reporting Due to COVID-19 from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Application open April 3 through
- COVID-19 Financial Advisory from AACS (March 25, 2020). Includes the latest news and information on legislation regarding paid sick leave, tax
deadlines, insurance liability, cash management, and loans or assistance programs.
- Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice from the American Medical Association (March 31, 2020). Learn how to get started,
choose a vendor, and set up a workflow.
- Tips for Keeping Your Practice in Business from the American Medical Association. This checklist offers
high-level guidance on decision making, insurance coverage, supply needs, employee communication, and more.
- New Rules and FAQs Regarding HIPAA and Telehealth/Virtual Consults from AACS (March 23, 2020). Provides
details on the decision made by the Office of Civil Rights to not impose penalties on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA. Providers can now use any type of non-public
facing service to meet with patients remotely.
- Tools for Your Practice from AACS (March 20, 2020). Includes practice management tips, outlines clear steps to take at your practice
in response to the pandemic, and lists self-care resources.
- Telework Security Basics from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (March 19, 2020).
Elective Surgery Guidelines and Information
Relief and Volunteer
- Reach out to hospitals in your area if you have a ventilator you can lend them. Many hospitals could be facing shortages and may not be able to perform vital surgeries.
- Donate Personal Protective Equipment. Learn more about where you can send donations in this call from AACS on
March 22, 2020.