April 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

In an effort to provide accurate and helpful information to POMA members, we have gathered some of the resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time. We hope this helps you in staying on top of the latest developments in the spread of the disease and in helping your patients. Tonight at 7pm, Governor Wolf will provide more details about the process for a phased reopening of Pennsylvania in the weeks and months ahead. Watch on your local news networks or click here to watch on the web.

We are also including information about POMA's Virtual Clinical Assembly, which will be held April 29-May 2, 2020.

Stay safe and healthy!


More Federal SBA Funding Coming

On Tuesday, April 21, the US Senate approved a funding package and the House is expected to approve the package later this week, with the President signing the package into law soon after, that will replenish funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protect Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). In total, the agreement includes about $484 billion in new funding. Physician practices and other eligible entities impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to act quickly to apply for any funding they may be eligible for as soon as the package is signed into law.

Specifically, there is more than $300 billion in new funding for the PPP, $60 billion of which will be set aside for small businesses without existing banking relationships. The legislation does not make any changes to the eligibility criteria for the PPP. In addition to PPP funding, the SBA will receive an additional $60 billion for loans and grants for economic disaster assistance, including $10 billion for EIDL Advance grants. These EIDL grants are one-time $10,000 payments to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The funding package will also provide the US Department of Health and Human Services with an additional $75 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, which has funded the recent Provider Relief Payments. This funding is to be used to provide Medicaid and Medicare enrolled health care providers with grants to cover health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to COVID-19; costs associated with diagnosing, testing, or caring for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID–19; and, costs associated with building infrastructure or increasing capacity to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

The package also includes $25 billion to support COVID-19 research, testing, and deployment of testing.

Information on SBA funding mechanisms and eligibility requirements can be found here.

Additionally, the US Chamber of Commerce is hosting virtual town halls for small business every Friday at 12pm EST. Click here for more information and to register.

New Return to Work Guidelines Issued for Healthcare Personnel

Yesterday, April 21, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA-DOH) released updated guidance for making decisions about return to work for healthcare personnel with confirmed COVID-19, or who have suspected COVID-19 but did not get tested. Click here for the new return to work guidelines.

PA DOH Adds Zip Code Tracking and Trend Animation Tools

On Tuesday, April 21, the Pennsylvania Department of Heath (PA-DOH) added COVID-19 trend animations to their website. The nine animations help visualize how COVID-19 has progressed in Pennsylvania over the last seven days.

On Monday, April 20, the PA-DOH released a COVID-19 map for Pennsylvania that displays zip code level counts, in addition to the county positive and negative counts.

PPE Material Distribution

Governor Wolf stated last week that the state stockpiles of PPE continue to be allocated daily to healthcare systems, including hospitals, health systems, health care professionals, counties and emergency responders. He noted that he has not yet needed to use his authority to redistribute PPE or ventilators and that health systems have been doing a good job of getting supplies where they need to be.

All providers should be working with their Regional Health Care Coalition to submit requests for PPE. Please scroll to the bottom for the contact information of each region's Public Health Preparedness Coordinator. Click here for COVID-19 PPE guidance from PA-DOH.

Pennsylvania Suspends Licensing Regulations

Due to COVID-19, Governor Wolf has granted a number of temporary waivers for health care professionals to increase the available number of practitioners in the Commonwealth and reduce barriers to temporary licensure. Following are a list of waivers relevant for osteopathic physicians:

Click here for a complete list of suspended licensing regulations. For all licensing-related inquiries, please use the email addresses found here to contact the appropriate licensing board.

POMA Clinical Assembly Updates

POMA20 Is Going Virtual!
POMA's 112th Annual Clinical Assembly & Scientific Seminar is transitioning from an in-person meeting to a virtual conference!

The 4-day conference will occur during the originally scheduled dates, April 29-May 2, and in roughly the same hours, 8am to 6pm EST. Click here to view the updated virtual schedule.

We also realize the unknowns of physician schedules in light of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to live streaming the lectures in real time, we will also be recording the lectures and making them available for on-demand viewing. The on-demand lectures will be posted after the conference and remain on the virtual platform for registered attendees through May 31.

POMA understands this is a licensure renewal year and that you must have AOA Category 1-A credit. While it is too early to tell whether license renewal will change in this uncertain environment, our goal is to provide what you need in the most cost-effective and convenient way possible. POMA20 anticipates 34 Category 1-A AOA CME and AMA PRA Category 1 credits, including 6 patient safety and 2 opioid credits. We will be utilizing a combination of live streaming sessions and chat forums to facilitate dialogue, questions/answers and interaction. These 1-A AOA CME credits are applicable to Pennsylvania's licensure requirements. Specifics regarding the attestation process will be provided next week.

The virtual conference platform is mobile responsive so you can participate on a variety of personal electronic devices - computers, laptops, tablets, phones, etc. - all you need is a stable internet connection. That being said, we encourage you to use a computer, laptop or tablet for ease of use and visibility. Registrants will receive an email later this week with their credentials and additional login information. More information on the specifics of navigating the virtual conference and interacting with speakers will be provided next week.

Early-bird pricing has been extended through May 2 and refunds are being offered with no administrative fee. Registrants also have the ability to transfer their registration to 2021 or donate their fees.

If you have already registered for POMA20 and wish to participate in POMA20 Virtual, no action is needed as your registration will be automatically transferred to the virtual conference. You will receive an email with additional information regarding technology and registrant access this week.

Need to register for POMA20? Click here or fax your registration form to (717) 939-7255 or call (717) 939-9318 x170 or x160. Please note, mail is not preferred as TeamPOMA is working remotely.

Need to cancel your POMA20 registration? Email [email protected].

We look forward to joining you at the POMA20 Virtual Conference! Please direct any questions you have at [email protected] and we will respond to you as soon as we can.

Updated Pennsylvania Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Cases, Graphics, Resources

Daily Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine

Resources from the CDC

The CDC has provided guidance and resources for healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, laboratories, as well as information for schools and childcare, businesses and employers, community and faith-based organizations, and the general public. Visit the CDC COVID-19 webpage for more information.

POMA will continue monitoring COVID-19 and provide updates and recommendations from PA-DOH, the CDC, the WHO and local health agencies. POMA's COVID-19 webpage and social media channels will be updated as information is shared from these organizations.

If you have any comments or questions for POMA, please email us at [email protected]. 

Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 | www.poma.org