COVID-19: Important Policy Updates for GI Practices

From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG

In an effort to keep ACG members up-to-date on important updates in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, please find below the latest information tailored for GI practices. This week:

  • ACG called upon Congress to recognize that GI practices are essential small businesses in our communities, in need of immediate financial relief and greater access to PPE. Congress is currently developing a COVID-19 emergency relief package “4.0.” However, funds from various financial assistance programs will soon be exasperated or have been postponed since Congress last acted. Thus, ACG urged Congress to provide more financial assistance to medical practices as patients begin to seek overdue treatment and necessary endoscopic procedures. ACG will continue to work with Congress in providing needed relief for GI practices.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that the attestation deadline is extended for healthcare providers to acknowledge receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the Terms and Conditions. Providers will now have 45 days, increased from 30 days, from the date they receive a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds.

ACG will continue to update membership on the latest policy developments impacting our patients and practices.

FDA Safety Alert: FDA Revokes Authorization of Certain KN95 Masks

From ACG FDA Related Matters Committee Chair Stephen Hanauer, MD, FACG

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that certain Chinese-manufactured KN95 masks failed to meet additional performance testing conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

ACG Keeping You Informed

In April, ACG President Mark B. Pochapin, MD, FACG provided an overview of the FDA’s emergency use authorization and allowable PPE during the COVID-19 crisis, including respirators and N95 equivalents. Dr. Pochapin provided links in this overview — the FDA and CDC are updating these links regularly. On Thursday, the FDA updated the list of “Authorized, Non-NIOSH Approved PPE.” ACG members are encouraged to use these links as GI practices reopen, and as you work with suppliers to find available PPE during this shortage. The College hopes having up-to-date lists of allowable models and the manufacturers will help GI practices be more informed when working with your vendors.

FDA Approves First At-Home COVID-19 Test

On Friday, the FDA authorized the first diagnostic test with the option of using home-collected saliva samples for COVID-19 testing. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization to permit testing of samples self-collected by patients at home.

ACG will continue to work with federal regulators on accessing necessary PPE and will continue to update membership on the latest developments.

ACG Guidance: Negotiating an Emergency PSA

From ACG Practice Management Committee Chair Louis Wilson, MD, FACG

“This is the time for gastroenterologists to respond with leadership and foresight, contribute to emergency efforts and improve the way we do things.”

Last month, Dr. Wilson shared “10 Actions Your Practice Should Be Taking” during the COVID-19 crisis. One of these actions is negotiating an emergency professional service agreement (PSA) with your hospital.

Need Help With Negotiating a PSA? Need Template Language? ACG recently commissioned Ann Bittinger, Esq. to draft a white paper on PSAs as a resource for membership. In addition to guidance and perspective, Ms. Bittinger also provides template legal contract language that will be helpful to ACG members negotiating a PSA with a health system. You can also download this language for your use!

Click here to read the article in the ACG Magazine.

Click here read the article and access the template contract language.

Ann Bittinger, Esq.

ACG Webinar on Post-COVID 19 Resuming Endoscopy: Your Questions Answered

Did you miss the ACG’s popular webinar on re-opening your endoscopy practice? View the recording here.

Remember to Contact Your ACG Governor

Remember to contact your ACG Governor on important state and local issues impacting you and your practice.

The current pandemic has created a lot more questions than answers, as states and localities deal with COVID-19 or are beginning to reopen medical practices. The ACG Board of Governors is monitoring this situation and is here to help you.

The Board of Governors is one of the most unique aspects of the American College of Gastroenterology. Governors are ACG Fellows that are elected from the membership of a particular state or region. There are currently 77 Governors across seven different regions in the U.S. and abroad. The Board of Governors acts as a two-way conduit between College leadership and the membership at-large. This helps the College make certain it is meeting the evolving needs of the membership.