Alerts

Coverage Announcement - COVID-19

March 18, 2020

PPM’s coverage extends to insureds providing professional services for ICU, Critical Care and other patient care units and settings for COVID-19 patients.

Overland Park, Kansas – March 18, 2020 – Preferred Physicians Medical (PPM), industry-leading provider of professional liability insurance for anesthesia practices, has developed the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in response to a growing number of questions from PPM policyholders concerning their professional liability coverage stemming from the increasing incidences of COVID-19 affected areas.

Q: I normally provide anesthesia in the ORs. Am I covered if I practice in ICU, Critical Care or another part of the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients?

A: Yes.  Your PPM policy covers you for your practice of medicine.

Q: Would I be covered if I am asked to practice in another state where I do not have a license?

A: Yes.  During the period of National Emergency the HHS Secretary has used the authority provided by the emergency declaration to modify license requirements to allow that “physicians and other health care professionals be licensed in the State in which they provide such services, if they have equivalent licensing in another State and are not affirmatively excluded from practice in that State or in any State a part of which is included in the emergency area.” After the emergency period ends the requirements of each state would apply.  

Q: Am I covered by my PPM policy if I provide telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak?

A: Yes.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded Medicare coverage for telehealth visits, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it will waive potential HIPAA penalties for good faith use of telehealth during the emergency, and the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) provided flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive beneficiary cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.

More information may/can be found at the following websites:

Waiver or Modification of Requirements Under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/section1135/Pages/covid19-13March20.aspx

Section 1135 of the Social Security Act: https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title11/1135.htm

Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-declaring-national-emergency-concerning-novel-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak/

See CMS's press release: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-trump-expands-telehealth-benefits-medicare-beneficiaries-during-covid-19-outbreak

See OCR's guidance: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html

See OIG's policy statement: https://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/alerts/index.asp

Please rest assured PPM is here for all our insureds and stands ready to provide support and assistance for your professional liability insurance and risk management needs. We sincerely thank all health care providers for their incredible service to help patients, their families and communities every day, and especially during these challenging times.

For questions regarding your professional liability coverage please contact PPM’s Underwriting Department at 1-800-562-5589.

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