Medical Practice in the Face of COVID-19
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the world of medicine. Depending on the epidemiology in your jurisdiction, in all likelihood, you were required to close down in-person visits and non-urgent treatments in your office or surgicenter. As restrictions ease across our area, this has brought on new challenges and questions – how do I reopen my practice safely for staff and patients? Am I liable if a patient or employee contracts the virus while in the practice? How do I utilize telehealth to reach those patients who still might be high-risk?
In this course, Maryland attorney John T. Sly of the law firm Waranch & Brown, L.L.C., will assist you in navigating recent executive orders from Maryland and Virginia, infection control parameters from OSHA, CDC guidance on safely resuming in-person care, will discuss issues with telehealth and other concerns you may have while you consider reopening your medical practice in the face of COVID-19.
Upon completion of this internet activity enduring material, program
participants will be better able to:
- Understand the basic safety rules and concepts for reopening medical practices
- Know the process for enhanced informed consent
- Recognize and navigate the issues with telehealth
- Make sense of Good Samaritan and immunity laws, and understand your responsibility to your employees
Please note: this course does not qualify for the Risk Management premium discount.
ELECTIVE MEDICINE – NOW ALLOWED WITH PROTOCOLS – SUMMARY AND ORDER
On May 6, 2020, the Maryland Department of Health issued Amended Directive and Order Regarding Various Healthcare Matters. This Directive and Order addresses various health care matters including the resumption of elective and non-urgent procedures.
Effective at 7:00 a.m. on May 7, 2020, health care providers may resume elective and non-urgent medical procedures and appointments. To resume elective and non-urgent procedures and appointments, a health care provider must:
- Have at least one week’s supply of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) for themselves, staff, and when appropriate, for patients. This PPE must be procured by standard supply chains; the State of Maryland will not aid health care providers in procurement.
- If at any time, a health care provider is unable to provide appropriate PPE to themselves, staff, or when appropriate, patients, the health care provider must “immediately restrict operations to urgent and non-elective procedures and appointments.”
- Social distancing requirements must be strictly maintained particularly in waiting areas.
- All health care workers, patients, and others must be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival. Staff that have COVID-19 symptoms must stay home.
- All health care providers must have a plan to implement enhanced workplace infection control measures in accordance with current CDC guidelines. This includes all health care providers and staff wearing face coverings, masks, respirators, or face shields, and directing patients to wear face coverings when possible.
IMPORTANT! Before a health care provider resumes operations, the “healthcare facility’s managing authority or the responsible healthcare provider shall certify to [the Maryland Department of Health] via email@example.com that all of the above conditions for resumption of elective and non-urgent medical procedures have been met . . . A copy of this self-certification notice shall be posted prominently in the facility for the attention of patients and staff.”
- Click here for a sample self-certification document for use in the resumption of non-emergent care during the national Coronavirus public health emergency from MedChi.
The Directive and Order further provides that a failure to comply with the Directive and Order constitutes “unprofessional conduct, and written complaints about such failures may be directed to the appropriate health occupation board.”
Lastly, the Directive and Order opines that it “does not construe the immunity provisions in Pub. Safety Art. § 14-3A-06 or Health Gen. Art. § 18-907 to apply to a healthcare provider or facility performing non-COVID-19 related procedures or appointments.”
This is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact your attorney for additional information on this subject matter.