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April 22, 2020

In This Issue
"FrontLine WarmLine" Launches to Help Maine's Health Care Workers and First Responders Manage Emotional Toll of COVID-19
Maine Medical Association Zoom Meeting for Providers During COVID-19 Pandemic
Additional CARES Act Provider Assistance Details and Timing Released
Congress: Paycheck Protection Program Update
Promoting Health and Preventing Disease: How Public and Environmental Health Work Together
Climate Change is Degrading the Air we Breathe and Impacting our Health and Productivity
MMA Joins the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health
CMS Issues Recommendations to Re-Open Health Care Systems in Areas with Low Incidence of COVID-19
AMA Urges Governors to Adopt Emergency Response Protections for Physicians
A Message from Maine Responds
Nominations for the MMA 2020 Mary Cushman Award for Humanitarian Service
Responding to the 2020 Census
129th MAINE LEGISLATURE, SECOND REGULAR SESSION
Opportunities to Support Physician Candidates for the 130th Maine Legislature
UPCOMING EVENTS
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
April 29 webinar: MAT in a Time of Public Health Emergency & Social Distancing
Successful Opiate Recovery Strategies - June 3 at 2pm, Augusta Civic Center
Maine Suicide Prevention Program Training for Clinicians
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Family Medicine Outpatient Physician
Medical Director, Primary Care Physician
Physician - Nasson Health Care
Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
Orthopedic Surgeon Opportunity in Beautiful New England
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health - Portland, ME

 
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Congress: Paycheck Protection Program Update

Last week, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an important part of the most recent major COVID-19 funding relief bill (CARES Act), ran out of money. Congressional then reached a deal, known as “Stimulus 3.5.” The new bill is an interim pandemic relief bill that extends the SBA loan program included in the CARES Act (or “Stimulus 3”).

Here a short summary from outside sources of “Stimulus 3.5”:

  • In addition to increasing the Paycheck Protection Program from $349 billion to $659 billion, the deal also increases funding for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Grants from $10 billion to $20 billion.
  • $100 billion for hospitals (awaiting further details).
  • It also sets aside funding for Insured Depository Institutions, credit unions, and community financial institutions.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill this afternoon. The House of Representatives is set to return Thursday, 4/24, to vote on the legislation in person.

More corrections/changes to the Paycheck Protection Program and additional funding requests are expected to be addressed in a follow-up piece of legislation referred to in Washington as “Stimulus 4.”

A critical inclusion in Stimulus 4, besides increasing PPE supplies and testing capacity must be additional help for non-hospital based physician practices. It is well known, the financial impact from suspending elective and procedures, as well as the decline in routine appointments due to patient anxiety and supply conservation has resulted in a huge business impact for non-hospital physician practices. Revenue is down sharply and they are more financially vulnerable due to their sizes. Many are in serious trouble, are furloughing employees and we can’t guarantee that some won’t close down before the pandemic ends.

We obviously agree that hospitals need support as a majority of our members are hospital employed, however, we’re hoping all access points to health care will be an ongoing priority for Maine's elected officials. The need to care for those with chronic conditions (diabetes, stable heart failure, asthma, behavioral health) and serious medical conditions requiring ongoing expensive treatment (severe heart failure, chronic renal disease, et...) remains and will be critical even after the pandemic subsides. Let's not be unprepared by unintentionally closing already minimal access points for care.

MMA staff is working on communications efforts with Maine’s congressional delegation on these very important issues. We’ll be asking for your help reaching out. #MainePhysicians #TogetherWeAreStronger

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