How do we successfully move forward?
How do we successfully move forward?
Race, resources & REflections
in the age of COVID-19

Why Coronavirus Care Must Account for Race

Crosscut by Tiffany Wang & Daniel Low

How to allocate limited COVID-19 resources is crucial because de novo guidelines can either exacerbate health disparities or increase equity.  We invite you to read Dr. Tiffany Wang and Dr. Daniel Low's Crosscut article about how COVID may be our opportunity to reinvent the practice of medicine in a manner consistent with justice and health equity. 
Why Coronovirus Care Must Account for Race

Elective Patient Care Options

Proliance Surgeons serve on the KCMS Board, as Delegates, and on several of our committees. Thank you to the Proliance Surgeons for your support of the KCMS!

Proliance Surgeons have crafted a policy recommendation for moving forward with elective patient care and surgery. They are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to reevaluate his ban on elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures.  Below is their open letter regarding the easing of restrictions on non-urgent procedures and surgeries.
Elective Patient Care and Surgery in the Era of Pandemics

KUOW Interview

with Dr. Rajneet Lamba

"Lamba and other health care providers are struggling with one of the hardest consequences of the coronavirus pandemic: a ban on most hospital visitors, just when patients most need the support." 
Dr. Rajneet Lamba's KUOW Interview

Meet James Paribello

KCMS has hired its own lobbyist. Please meet James Paribello! James has spent 20 years working at the local, state, and federal governments by delivering lobbying, messaging, policy analysis, and consultation for both elected officials and a broad spectrum of clients. We are delighted to have James join our team.

Physician Finances

We know that the COVID pandemic is hitting everyone hard. Not just physically and emotionally, but also financially. We hear daily accounts of independent practices closing, and hospital systems cutting contractually agreed upon subsidies. Doctors are taking huge pay cuts while working more and exposing themselves to greater risks.
Our Board of Trustees discussed these concerns, and more, during this week's Board meeting. The resounding questions/opinions were:
1) When and how will medical practices be allowed to open again?
2) WA State must find the funding to complete the Healthcare Worker Vaccine Database Immunization Information System and make it a number one priority. 
3) Doctors need tax relief. While the B&O tax on independent physicians was bad before the pandemic, now it is absurd.
4) The excessive increase in Physician Licensing fees by the WMC is tone-deaf. 
Rest assured that the KCMS Board and staff are working hard to address these concerns. Stay tuned for more developments in our efforts.

Financial Assistance for Providers

There are several financial assistance programs available for independent providers:
I.  The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), authorized through the federal CARES Act, had a $350 Billion Loan Program for small businesses. Unfortunately, the PPP small-business loan program designed to support businesses hit by the pandemic has run out of money. KeyBank alone had over 57,000 small business applications for this loan and closed the portal 10 days ago. There is talk about this fund being replenished. We will be watching for it...
The loan was a great offer because:
i.  No fees charged and the loan is fully forgiven if all workers are maintained,
ii. The funds can be used for payroll, mortgage payments, rent, and utilities,  
iii. The loan could be up to 2 mos of average salary costs from last year + 25%.

II. The Employee Retention Tax Credit.  The employer does not have to apply for a loan. Rather, they take credit on payroll tax filings. Rules for this are:

    i. Eligible employers experienced a significant decline in gross receipts during Q1,
ii. A significant decline in gross receipts is if Q1 is less than 50% for Q1 in 2019, 
iii. The maximum credit for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000.

III. Provider Relief Program Coronavirus Aide Relief and Economic Security Act (aka CARES Act), with funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The CARES Act provides $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. Several of our physician members have received some immediate compensation. 
Please note:  Facilities and providers must receive Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019. More details can be found below.    
Last Friday HHS announced it would begin disbursing the first $30 million of the emergency fund created under the CARES Act to physicians and other providers via direct payment. If you have questions about how to verify eligibility for payment, and who to contact if you believe you are eligible but did not receive a payment:
     i. HHS partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to deliver the stimulus payments, and physicians should contact UHG’s Provider Relations at 866-569-3522 about eligibility, payment, etc. 
  ii.  HHS has opened the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal. Physicians who have been allocated a payment from the general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt and agree to terms (listed below). 

IV.  WA State Resource for Financial Impacts
We have received more financial impact information from friends at K & L Gates (below). Their link provides one centralized resource for individuals in WA state looking for information to help with the financial impacts of the COVID-19. Please note that it is not legal advice and may change daily.  
Provider Relief Program
Relief Fund HHS Terms
Employee Retention Tax Credit
WA State Resource for Dealing with Covid Financial Impacts

Anonymous Post: Physician Subsidy Cuts

"Hospital systems across the country are cutting contractually agreed upon subsidies.  In our case, we are being strong-armed into a 25% to 50% cut in our subsidy for an arbitrary 120 days.  We will likely become insolvent as a result.  Contract lawyers have told us that this is a clear breach of contract but have also told us that there is nothing we can do as the pandemic has essentially halted arbitration.   

The hospital system, a large, for-profit corporation,  is citing cash flow issues, but the most recent SEC filings reveal they had q4 profits of one billion dollars and paid out millions in bonuses to executives. Along with this, hospitals are gaining billions in bailouts.

The short of this is hospitals are using the pandemics to crush frontline providers.  We are in contact with a reporter at the New York Times. She is well aware of the problem and is working on a story.  She wants to hear from folks around the country being exploited."
The reporter's name is Reed Abelson at

Recovered WA COVID-19 Patients Asked To Donate Blood

Federal agencies have partnered with Washington to build a stockpile of antibodies to help patients recover from the new coronavirus.
Plasma Donations

Dr. Francis Riedo SAYS 

Our own Dr. Francis Riedo, an ID physician at EveryGreen Health, has now become the subject of a series of some very witty memes created by his colleagues. We thought we'd share one with you.

Catch the Spark Therapy

Sam Kelly, MSW, LSWAIC is committed to providing support for our community by offering short-term, free mental health services on a first-come, first-serve basis through the end of May via phone or teletherapy.
Contact: (206) 890-2293 or
Catch the Spark Therapy

Healthcare Providers

Around the Globe Who Have Died from Coronavirus

Over 160K people have died from COVID-19 as reported today. Those numbers include doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Click the buttons below to read their stories.
US Healthcare Workers Who Have Died
Worldwide Healthcare Workers Who Have Died from Covid-19
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