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We'd like to document the impact COVID-19 has had on your day-to-day life and practice through EMpulse Spring 2020. Please send us photos that show how you're adjusting to our new "COVID-19 era": wearing PPE, outside in triage tents, tele-medicine efforts, etc. (EMS/pre-hospital photos requested, too!)
Deadline for Photos: This Thursday, April 2 (any time)
Send to: email@example.com
Want examples? Check out the #DoctorsDay posts on FCEP and EMLRC's social media accounts: FCEP Facebook & Twitter; EMLRC Facebook; Instagram
(Please note that your photo(s) may also be used in marketing efforts for our PPE Donation Drive.)
Our front line providers are experiencing a massive shortage on personal protective equipment (PPE) due to numerous supply chain issues. As manufacturers race to produce more, local organizations who also use PPE and are temporarily shut down can help bridge the short-term gap by donating the supplies they already have to healthcare workers.
In effort to facilitate this process quickly and effectively, EMLRC/FCEP staff are launching a PPE Drive. Our goal is to act as the communications hub for Florida: We'll receive the donation data from interested businesses (quantities, logistical needs, etc.) and work with local Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) to coordinate delivery/pick up.
More information is coming soon. In the meantime, contact Melissa Keahey at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
April 2, 2020 from 9:30-10:30 AM via Zoom
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
About: FCEP is hosting weekly COVID-19 meetings via Zoom to help facilitate information sharing during this pandemic. These meetings will include 5-minute updates from important stakeholders such as:
The meetings will end with an open forum for discussion and Q&A. If you have questions that need answers, please send them through FCEP EngagED — we will address them on these weekly calls.
- Florida's Emergency Operations Center
- State EMS Medical Director
- Florida Hospital Association
- Our lobbyist, Toni Large
On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an "unprecedented array" of temporary, regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility. At a high level, these policies are big wins for emergency medicine and provide flexibilities that ACEP advocated hard for. ACEP's Director of Regulatory Affairs Jeffrey Davis has some highlights:
CMS has also issued a fact sheet on the new policies. ACEP will be scheduling their own webinar with CMS on April 3; please check their website for more information.
- EMTALA: CMS issued the long-awaited revised guidance on EMTALA that will allow medical screening exams to be delivered via telehealth. This has been a major ACEP priority, and we repeatedly asked CMS to issue this revised EMTALA guidance. There are other temporary changes to EMTALA, and Dr. Todd Taylor will send a separate email explaining these.
- Telehealth: CMS added the ED E/M codes (CPT codes 99281 to 99285) and the critical care codes (CPT codes 99291 and 99292) to the list of approved Medicare telehealth services for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency. CMS had previously expanded the ability to perform telehealth services but had not allowed emergency physicians to use the ED E/M codes-which most accurately reflect the intensity and value of emergency services. ACEP had identified this issue as a top regulatory priority, and through ACEP's advocacy, CMS has now recognized that ED E/M codes are indeed the most appropriate codes to use when delivering emergency telehealth services.
- Expanding the Healthcare Workforce: CMS is allowing hospitals to increase their workforce capacity by removing barriers for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians to be readily hired from the local community as well as those licensed from other states without violating Medicare rules. ACEP had urged CMS to relax state licensure requirements.
- CMS Hospital Without Walls: CMS is allowing hospitals to provide services in locations beyond their existing walls to expand care capacity and to develop sites dedicated to COVID-19 treatment. Under CMS's temporary new rules, hospitals will be able to transfer patients to outside facilities, such as ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, hotels, and dormitories, while still receiving hospital payments under Medicare. Ambulances will also be able to transport patients to a wider range of locations when other transportation is not medically appropriate. These destinations include community mental health centers, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), physician's offices, urgent care facilities, or ambulatory surgery centers.
- Waiver of Physician Self-Referral Law: CMS issued blanket waivers of sanctions under the physician self-referral law.
Our April 7-10, 2020, Paramedic Refresher Course has been canceled due to COVID-19. As of now, the next in-person refresher courses will be held:
|EMLRC's Paramedic Refresher Course Canceled
EMT Fall Refresher: Aug. 18-21, 2020
Paramedic Fall Refresher: Sept. 8-11, 2020
Buprenorphine and the Controversies of MAT in the Opioid Epidemic
By Josef Thundiyil, MD, MPH & Jaime Bridges
Free & available until April 4, 2020
Drugs of Abuse: Inhalants
By Sarah L. Melendez, MD
Free & available until April 15, 2020
Extend your digital reach through landing page ads, which are now available for purchase on a monthly basis!
EMpulse has (4) landing pages with (2) ad slots on each page:
- Top: above all content
- Second: after 1-2 sections of content
- EMpulse Homepage: $450
- Features, Committee Reports & Residency Updates: $250
Space is sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Months for EMpulse Spring 2020 are available now (April-June); the remainder of the year will be available soon. Find all details online here.
UPCOMING FCEP & EMLRC EVENTS
|JULY 8-11, 2020
||CLINCON 2020 | Learn More
|AUG. 6-9, 2020
||Symposium by the Sea 2020 | Learn More
To see the full calendar, click here.
In the midst of the outbreak, people will still have heart attacks and strokes. Babies will still be born. Appendixes will still burst. And so hospitals are figuring out how to juggle the patients who require ordinary urgent care with those who are sick from the new coronavirus.
Dr. Stephen Anderson runs the emergency department at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center just outside of Seattle. He's treated some of the first patients to get sick from coronavirus in the United States. He's also now coordinating COVID-19 responses throughout the country. He says in 35 years of practicing medicine, he's never seen this much anxiety.
New York City has rapidly become the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, paralyzing a city famous for never standing still as its leaders liken the crisis to war. The city's bustling streets, thriving public transit and dense population made it uniquely vulnerable to the rapid spread of COVID-19. But other cities, suburbs and rural regions across the nation could see a similarly deadly situation unfold in the near future if swift action is not taken, multiple experts tell USA TODAY.
Social distancing measures such as closing restaurants, bars and other nonessential businesses is slowing the spread of thre coronavirus in the United States, early evidence suggests. Data show that the number of people with fever that's an early indication of coronavirus infection started falling almost immediately after social distancing measures took effect in some areas, USA Today reported. The findings are from health technology company Kinsa, which analyzed fever readings from more than 1 million thermometers in use across the U.S.
The quality of personal protective gear for U.S. medical workers battling the coronavirus crisis remains inadequate, the head of the nation's largest organization of emergency room doctors said, suggesting it is roughly comparable to that of nations like Italy and others that have seen surging infection rates. The warning from Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, or ACEP, comes after some leaders, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have indicated that the supply of masks, gloves and goggles is adequate in the near term.
Healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 say there aren't enough supplies for what's likely to come next as the novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States. As case numbers rise, doctors, nurses and others have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #GetMePPE — referring to personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, which physicians say they've been instructed to reuse against common protocol. Some are making their own masks out of office and other supplies.
There was a substantial temporal decrease in opioid prescriptions within an urban academic medical center's emergency department, according to new study findings. The reduction was likely due to an alignment with the recognition of the opioid crisis along with national, state and departmental education guidelines.
Kaiser Health News
With more than 39,000 confirmed cases, New York is now the epicenter in the U.S. of the novel coronavirus outbreak, accounting for almost half of the more than 85,500 cases nationwide as of late Thursday evening. Anticipating a severe shortage of medical personnel to treat the influx of sick patients, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials put out a call for retired doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to dust off their scrubs and return to work. By Thursday, 52,000 people had responded. Officials in other states, including California, Colorado and Illinois, have issued similar pleas for retired medical professionals to step forward.
Connecticut hospital emergency rooms are finding new ways to safely treat patients and keep healthcare workers safe during the coronavirus outbreak. At Hartford Healthcare's Hartford Hospital they have made changes that includes having the medical staff practice social distancing according to Audrey Scott, Hartford Hospital's Emergency Room Assistant Nurse Manager. "We've really had to be mindful of how many people are in the room at once, both for social-distancing and for being mindful of our PPE use," says Scott.
The Washington Post via Anchorage Daily News
The first time Andrea Austin considered her own mortality, she was flying into Iraq aboard a C-130 military plane. Though the emergency medicine physician had set up a living will and power of attorney before her seven-month deployment with a shock and trauma team, entering a war zone crystallized the dangers of her job. Now, more than three years later, Austin is again weighing worst-case scenarios as she continues treating patients at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center while coronavirus crisis expands at an alarming rate.
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