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State response

State landscape

States are developing reopening plans as the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to recede. Many states have established rules regarding the delay of elective and non-urgent medical surgery and procedures. See AMA documents for Alabama through Mississippi and Nebraska through West Virginia for details. A number of state legislative chambers have either temporarily adjourned, moved to virtual meetings, or announced an early recess or sine die.

Many states are updating licensing (PDF download) and CME requirements in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, some states have updated their medical liability rules to protect physicians responding to the pandemic. The AMA and Medical Professional Liability Association have assembled information on these updates (PDF download) and the Health Coalition on Liability and Access is compiling liability initiatives state by state.

State legislatures are introducing volumes of legislation addressing the numerous challenges posed by COVID-19, including appropriation requests, waiving cost-sharing requirements, paid sick leave and worker protections, business loss insurance, small business relief, telemedicine, and expanding the authority of state governors to address COVID-19. (View COVID-19 bills the AADA is tracking.)

AADA continues to monitor legislation across the country. Most notably:

Small business relief legislation:

  • Minnesota: Grants of up to $10,000 would be awarded to small businesses that employ the equivalent of up to 50 full-time workers and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Grant funds would be used for working capital, to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur in the regular course of business. (HF 4566)

  • New York: A10266 would allow small businesses and not-for-profits to apply for no-interest loans up to $75,000 if their business or not-for-profit has suffered a loss because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Pennsylvania: Legislation would create the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Business Interruption Grant Act Program. HB 2386 would provide funding to eligible small businesses for the continuing operation of businesses during and after the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

Reopening Orders:

  • Arizona: All non-essential or elective surgeries, including elective dental surgeries, that use personal protective equipment (PPE) or ventilators can be performed as of May 1 if they can prove implemented measures of PPE, adequate staffing and bed capacity, and testing of staff and patients.

  • Illinois: Beginning May 11, hospitals and ambulatory surgical treatment centers may begin to perform procedures, provided that specific criteria have been met.

  • Maryland: Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland announced that elective and non-urgent procedures and appointments resumed on Thursday, May 7. The order provides additional guidance and steps to be taken with resumption of elective procedures, which requires healthcare providers to exercise their independent professional judgment in determining what procedures are appropriate to perform, which appointments should occur, and which patients to see. Further, a facility or provider resuming elective and non-urgent medical procedures shall have at least one week’s supply of PPE for themselves, staff, and as appropriate, for patients. The facility or provider must be able to procure all necessary PPEs for its desired services via standard supply chains.

  • Minnesota: Governor Tim Walz eased restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures on May 5. Any facility that offers procedures that utilize PPE or ventilators must develop and implement an internal oversight structure and written plan establishing criteria for determining whether a procedure should proceed during the COVID-19 pandemic, for prioritizing procedures, and for ensuring a safe environment for staff, patients, and visitors. Upon request, the facility must make its plan available to the Minnesota Department of Health or the facility’s licensing authority.

Additional COVID-19 government action resources

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

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