COVID-19 Update: March 25

Hey Everybody,

It’s Marlin Schul. I got to admit there's a lot that's changed since last week. I think the shelter in place order is now effective in 16 or 17 states. You can see the hand sanitizer behind me. It's everywhere, but I'm actually taping this at home right now. There's only so much you can do under these circumstances.

As you know, nonessential medical practice procedures have been largely prohibited in many states, which directly impacts a ton of our membership, and I can tell you that our board of directors is directly impacted. We had our board of directors call last night, and to be honest there's not a single one of us that's not severely impacted with this with this COVID-19 situation. However, there's a lot of a lot of opportunity here and a lot of things that we're doing in the immediate and short-term to help you through this.

In our board meeting last night, we came up with multiple initiatives, and one of those is going to be a direct understanding of this. If you're in a market that has no restrictions, count your blessings, but eventually this is going to come. So, how do you prepare? What you do now? How do you prepare? If you're already in one of those areas, why are you staying open? OK, if you're staying open, how are you shuffling staff? So, helping you make that decision. It's ultimately your decision but giving you some guidance on how you should make it based upon current disease patterns and especially with some experience of other providers that are actively experiencing this right now.

When it comes to staffing, this is a challenge even on a normal day, right? But at the same time, when you're trying to protect your staff, protect patients, and if your practice is open, there's going to be opportunities. Whether it's how to shuffle staff, how to manage your ultrasound schedule, we're going to have private practice, hospital practice, and ultrasound perspectives that are really best practices and how to manage staff here in the near term, so you can still generate some revenue, but not necessarily get everybody exposed at the same time.

When it comes to if your practice is staying open the standards are changing for personal protection equipment, and we're going to have an update on if your practice is staying open, what are the best practices to protect your patients as well as you and your staff.

Lastly, last week I talked about trying to embrace telemedicine. If you're going to have extra time in your schedule, this is the opportunity. Telemedicine is likely here to stay, and if you've got an opportunity to figure out how this is incorporated with your EMR or your practice management software, and how you can actually monetize this, you're going to be a winner on the on the other side of this. Because, I think this is going to stay with us once we learn how effective it could be. A lot of the payors have relaxed their restrictions on this, allowing it to be an available service, recognizing that this trying to avoid the spread at least for the near term. It is giving us an opportunity to test telemedicine.

So, what I would ask is that you recognize there's a lot of projects that are being worked on right now as we speak, and we've got a goal of Friday for getting this out to you by email. I would also like to think that within the next week we could have a webinar on telemedicine. But the point is, we need to get that content really reviewed thoroughly and hope to get a few experts that have been doing this a while, and how they how they employ this in their practice.

The bottom line is that this is an opportunity for us to rally. This is an opportunity to look at your down time as a way to make a difference in efficiencies as you move forward. But we’re going to get through this. I have no doubt we’re going to get through this. We're going to be stronger because of it. So, I wanted to reach out and help you understand that there's a lot of things afoot and things are changing by the day as you know. Don't give up hope and keep tabs on your email, and I think by Friday we should have some more formal guidance. Thank you so much. Bye now.