KEEPING YOU UP TO DATE WITH RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Advocates for Health
The Montana Medical Association in partnership with Strategies360 has created a COVID-19 resource page that serves as a repository for the most up to date and accurate medical resources. We encourage our members to use these resources.
MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MTDPHHS) has a COVID-19 resource page that features testing information for providers and the public. The website also has public health monitoring and testing data. We encourage the use of this site.
COVID-19 Update: FDA Broadens Emergency Use Authorization for Veklury (remdesivir) to Include All Hospitalized Patients for Treatment of COVID-19
On August 28th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration broadened the scope of the existing emergency use authorization (EUA) for the drug Veklury (remdesivir) to include treatment of all hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, irrespective of their severity of disease.
In May 2020, the FDA issued an EUA that authorized Veklury for the treatment of hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with severe COVID-19. As noted in the initial issuance of the EUA, the emergency use of Veklury was limited to those patients with severe disease, which was defined as patients with low blood oxygen levels or needing oxygen therapy or more intensive breathing support such as a mechanical ventilator.
Today, based on the Agency’s ongoing review of the EUA, including its review of the totality of scientific information now available, the FDA has determined that it is reasonable to believe Veklury may be effective for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in all hospitalized adult and pediatric patients. The Agency’s review has also concluded that the known and potential benefits of Veklury outweigh the known and potential risks for these uses.
For more information click here.
Montana Governor's Directive on Telehealth
New Guidance on Testing from DPHHS
Montana is aggressively working to contain the spread of COVID-19. Testing of symptomatic patients suspected of COVID-19 is critical to contain the spread in your community. As of today, Montana healthcare providers and local and state public health officials continue to work diligently to limit the spread of COVID 19.
Expedited Registration of Professionals in Other States to Work in Montana
The Department of Labor and Industry Business Standards Division (BSD) has implemented an interstate licensure recognition registration process to allow expedited registration of professionals who hold an active, unrestricted license in another state to begin working in Montana. Please click on the link below for information.
Good Stewardship and Discretion Needed When Prescribing
There are no FDA-approved therapeutics to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19, there are several FDA-approved treatments that may help ease the symptoms from a supportive care perspective. Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine are not yet FDA-approved for COVID-19. We understand research is currently underway with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and acknowledge that these drugs may be helpful at certain stages of the disease.
We want providers and pharmacists to act with their best discretion to ensure patients continue to receive appropriate treatment in times of shortages. However, we discourage inappropriate prescribing of this medication for prophylaxis, which may restrict access for patients that really need appropriate therapy such as those patients in our state with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and malaria diagnoses.
Please consider appropriate prescription requirements and practice good stewardship over the drug supply chain. Thanks for your attention during these unprecedented times.
- Pam Cutler, MD
MMA Vice President
THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a COVID-19 resource page that features information for healthcare professionals, as well as information for the general public. The Montana Medical Association encourages its members to use this resource.
Clinician Outreach and Communications Activities - Calls/Webinars
During COCA Calls/Webinars, subject matter experts present key emergency preparedness and response topics, followed by meaningful Q&A with participants. Each COCA Call/Webinar will offer the most up to date information and guidance for clinicians. Continuing Education is available for most calls/webinars. Click to learn more.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY & SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Johns Hopkins University & School of Medicine has created a COVID-19 ArcGIS map that features confirmed cases, recovered cases and total deaths. Users can zoom into the map to find out details by state and country. The map is updated nearly hourly.
AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
The American Medical Association also has a website geared to physicians. The website is a great resources for physicians and is updated daily. It also includes new CPT codes for coronavirus tests. The Montana Medical Association encourages its members to use this resource.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
The World Health Organization (WHO) created a COVID-19 resource page that includes updated clinical guidance and WHO information.
MMA COVID-19 Informational Sessions
The MMA’s COVID info sessions have been recorded and are on Vimeo. Click here to view them!
Click below to read the most recent MMA news around COVID-19.
A collection of MMA news-related pieces can be found here.
MMA Supports State Waiver
The Department of Public Health and Human Services submitted a 1135 waiver yesterday with the MMA and other health care associations’ voice of support. The Montana Medical Association submitted comments last week to the Department of Public Health and Human Services on the draft waiver content to ensure relief is extended to both independent physician clinics and hospitals.
“This is a time for quick action and we appreciate the prioritization placed on tearing down barriers to delivering care safely, keeping physicians and healthcare workers healthy, and providing economic security to Montana’s outpatient clinics, behavioral health centers, and hospitals,” stated Jean Branscum, MMA CEO. “With action being taken to reduce federal barriers our attention is now turned to the state, and we look forward to working with Governor Bullock for similar actions on providing temporary relief from state regulations, expediting reimbursements and licensing, and doing what we can to ensure our independent physician clinics are able to keep their doors open.”
MMA Supports State Waiver
NEJM Group has recently released free COVID-19 treatment simulations on three virtual patients- located at: https://covid19rx.nejm.org/landing/index.html.
These are a series of educational cases to help teach health professionals about diagnosing and treating people with COVID-19. What makes this experience unique is that it mimics real medicine. First, different complications may, or may not arise, each time you engage the patient. Second, outcomes are based on the “play of chance”- just like in the ICU you can do everything right and still not have a good outcome; the scenarios reflect the uncertainty and variety that make medicine interesting and challenging. More than 150,000 learners have engaged in this activity from all over the world.
The MMS recently held its first Annual Education Program virtually featuring Dr. Eric Rubin, Editor-in-Chief, the New England Journal of Medicine and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Steve and Deborah Gorlin MGH Research Scholar on COVID-19. Dr. Rubin and Dr. Walensky present the evidence for current medical therapies for COVID-19, examine the risk and benefits of utilizing investigational medications to prevent or treat COVID-19, and discuss the issues in developing vaccines for COVID-19. The program is free of charge. Please click on the link below to access the program:
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