Federal Advocacy Update
This week, the OSMA continued to work with federal officials to advocate for our Ohio physicians, as decisions are being made on COVID-19 relief efforts and other health policy issues. Below is an overview of our information at the Federal level.
As always, if you have questions about our advocacy efforts or want to learn more about how to get involved, contact our government affairs department.
Congress Passes Paycheck Protection Program
(PPP) Flexibility Act
After approval by the House of Representative last week, yesterday (June 3), the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act which now awaits the president’s signature. The legislation addresses many of the concerns raised by the OSMA and organized medicine and allows for greater flexibility in meeting future requirements. Highlights of the legislation include:
- Extends the term for the forgiveness of emergency loans to 24 weeks (originally 8 weeks) or until the end of the calendar year
- Allows for five years to repay any money owed
- Reduces from 75 percent to 60 percent the amount that must be used for payroll
We know there continue to be questions and updates regarding the use of PPP loans. To help Ohio medical practices stay up-to-date on these developments, the OSMA will be providing an updated PPP webinar later this month, expanding upon the one we provided in April and including a review of all the new flexibility and compliance requirements. Stay tuned for details and registration information in future updates.
Physicians Urge Senators for Additional
Relief for Physicians in COVID-19 Package
This week, the AMA urged the Senate to take immediate action on elements of the recent House passed COVID-19 language related to healthcare. These changes include:
- Restarting and enhancing the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program including extending payback periods, reducing interest rates and waiver of portions of the repayment.
- Additional funding for the HHS Emergency Relief Fund and its expansion to Medicaid providers.
- Ensuring availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and testing supplies.
- Increased federal financial support for the Medicaid program.
Organized Medicine Supports
Federal Liability Reform in H.R. 7059
Representatives Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) this week introduced H.R. 7059, the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide targeted liability protections to health care providers who had to change how care was delivered based on public health recommendations that have been constantly changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The OSMA will be working with the Ohio Congressional Delegation to push for quick passage of the legislation.
OSMA Joins Effort to Oppose Expanded
Scope of Practice Proposal By CMS
The OSMA joined with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in voicing concerns with a proposed change to Medicare scope of practice requirements in the FY 2021 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) proposed rule. Specifically, CMS proposes to allow non-physician practitioners to perform the services and documentation requirements currently required to be completed by rehabilitation physicians, including medical supervision, development of patient plans of care, and leadership of interdisciplinary team meetings.
If you have questions about this information
or OSMA’s services to physicians:
Call 800-766-6762 or email OSMA.