COVID-19 Resources

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus a pandemic. As organizations cancel events, including the GPMA, and governments take steps to flatten the curve of the outbreak, many podiatrists are searching for answers about how to address COVID-19 in their practices and personal lives. MPMA is here to help by directing you to the most authoritative and timely news and tools. 

For more information and guidance on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, MPMA recommends you visit the frequently updated CDC website. You will find information on how COVID-19 spreads, how to prevent spread in your community, guidance for businesses and employers, and information for health-care professionals. 

Recommended National/International Resources

Minnesota Department of Health Resources

American Podiatric Medical Association

Federation of Podiatric Medical Boards

Podiatrists Can Provide E/M Services Remotely

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced major changes to services that podiatrists can furnish remotely under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. This waiver allows Medicare to pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth.  This change means podiatrists can submit CPT 99201–99215 when these services are provided remotely.

Any device that has interactive audio and video and allows real time communication may be used. Providers are permitted to reduce or waive cost-sharing for these services if they wish during the Public Health Emergency. Additionally, CMS shared that typical HIPAA guidance does not apply to these services as long as health-care providers are providing these services in good faith. FaceTime and Skype were given as examples of services we can use to provide these services.

When submitting these services, the normal CPT 99201–99215 codes may be used and no special modifiers are necessary. Place of Service “02” (the location where health services and health related services are provided or received, through a telecommunication system) should be used when submitting these claims. Evaluation and management services will be paid at the facility rate and, when medically necessary, can be provided for any pathology, whether or not it is related to COVID-19.

The guidance provided in the March 16 APMA  webinar is all still accurate and still an option, but this announcement allows more flexibility in the services we can provide to our patients during this emergency.

Watch a  short video summary (3 minutes) of the key takeaways of these major changes.
CMS Fact Sheet

Prepare your practice or health system for COVID-19

Steps health care facilities can take now to prepare

  1. Stay informed about the spread of COVID-19 and develop a plan to manage an outbreak at both the system and community level
  2. Communicate your COVID-19 updates and details about your preparedness plan with both staff and patients
  3. Set up screening measures and guidance on using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep your workforce healthy
  4. Take measures to keep “Persons Under Investigation” (PUI) and others with suspected COVID-19 symptoms separate from the rest of your patients

Read the full CDC guidance for health care facilities
Get the full health care facility guidance from WHO

How to protect yourself from infection

How to minimize exposure and implement Standard, Contact and Airborne Precautions

The CDC recommends specific measures to minimize the spread of infection that include:

  1. Proper use of PPE, including eye protection
  2. Monitoring and restricted access for visitors and other nonessential personnel
  3. Monitoring and managing ill and exposed health care personnel
  4. Implementing environmental infection control
  5. Establishing reporting within health care facilities and to public health authorities

Read the full Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations

How to communicate with patients

COVID-19 facts to share with concerned patients

Sharing facts on how the virus is spread and how to minimize exposure can help calm patient fears and prevent them from falling for popular myths.

Explore CDC fact sheets and posters

Common myths that you should be ready to debunk

Misinformation about COVID-19 is being shared across social media and other platforms at alarming speed. Physicians have a duty to correct dangerous and misleading myths that could harm patients’ health.

Read the biggest misconceptions

Advice to give patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19

The most critical advice physicians can give patients is to minimize their contact with others if they experience a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness that are common with COVID-19.

Read more tips from CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Notices to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that impact travelers’ health

The CDC is currently recommending avoiding nonessential travel to countries with widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19.

Read CDC travel notices

Precautions to take for vulnerable patients

As COVID-19 is spread by person-to-person contact, limiting the impact of the virus on certain vulnerable patient populations may require specialized prevention measures.

Read advice on people at risk for serious illness from COVID-19
Read advice on caring for the immunocompromised
Read advice on caring for infants and pregnant women
Read advice on for long-term care residents