Federal, state and local responses to COVID-19 are changing almost daily. To help PAs and other healthcare providers navigate through this dynamic environment, CAPA has assembled the latest news, research and developments surrounding COVID-19 that are most relevant to advanced practice providers. Click below for more information. You may also follow CAPA on social media for the latest developments.

COVID-19 FAQs

Health care providers should contact their local/state health department immediately to notify them of patients with fever and lower respiratory illness who they suspect may have COVID-19. Local and state public health staff will determine if the patient meets the criteria for testing for COVID-19. The state and local health department will assist clinicians to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately, including during afterhours or on weekends/holidays. Testing for other pathogens by the provider should be done as part of the initial evaluation but should not delay testing for COVID-19.

If a PA wishes to practice in any state, they would need to comply with licensure requirements for that state. There may be states that are waiving specific licensure requirements for PAs licensed in other states due to various orders or declarations related to COVID-19. However, that will depend on each individual state. PAs will need to look into the requirements for the state where they wish to volunteer. The FSMB has provided a good resource on states that have issued various waivers related to state licensure. http://www.fsmb.org/siteassets/advocacy/pdf/state-emergency-declarations-licensure-requirement-covid-19.pdf

If the hospital/practice allows the PA to volunteer, they may do so. But the PA still needs a supervising physician. While not specified in law, the volunteering PA ought to document everything, i.e. who the supervising physician is/was, and all the work they did with each patient – much like they would normally do in their daily practice. Under the emergency statute BPC, Section 3502.5, the PA does not need to have the hospital where they are volunteering draft up a new practice agreement. Having a supervising physician available complies with the statute. You may also sign up as a volunteer for your county using the following link: https://healthcarevolunteers.ca.gov/ If the county finds they need volunteers, they pull from the list of medical providers that have signed up via this website.

There do not appear to be any laws or regulations in California dictating the specificity of telehealth apps that PAs can use. Distant site practitioners who can furnish and get payment for covered telehealth services can include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, certified nurse anesthetists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, registered dietitians, and nutrition professionals. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet

We recommend that you show the information below with the appropriate legal advisors within your facility to determine your scope. We have included an excerpt from the California Business and Professions Code regarding medical services during a state of emergency:

BPC, Section 3502.5 Excerpt from the PA Practice Act

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a physician assistant may perform those medical services permitted pursuant to Section 3502 during any state of war emergency, state of emergency, or state of local emergency, as defined in Section 8558 of the Government Code, and at the request of a responsible federal, state, or local official or agency, or pursuant to the terms of a mutual aid operation plan established and approved pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code), regardless of whether the physician assistant’s approved supervising physician is available to supervise the physician assistant, so long as a licensed physician is available to render the appropriate supervision. “Appropriate supervision” shall not require the personal or electronic availability of a supervising physician if that availability is not possible or practical due to the emergency. The local health officers and their designees may act as supervising physicians during emergencies without being subject to approval by the Medical Board of California. At all times, the local health officers or their designees supervising the physician assistants shall be licensed physicians and surgeons. Supervising physicians acting pursuant to this section shall not be subject to the limitation on the number of physician assistants supervised under Section 3516.

For individuals whose active licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and June 30, 2020, the Director temporarily waives: 1. any statutory or regulatory requirement that individuals renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Code take and pass an examination in order to renew a license; and, 2. any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Code complete, or demonstrate compliance with, any continuing education requirements in order to renew a license.
https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/continuing_ed.pdf

For retirees, the DCA is waiving normal CME and usual requirements to be re-licensed. The PA has to have been retired for five years or less. And there is an abbreviated license application they need to complete before they practice again.

https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/reinstate_licensure.pdf

Deals and Discounts for Front Line Healthcare Workers

The Non-Congregate Sheltering (NCS) for California Healthcare Workers Program was created to keep California’s healthcare workers safe and healthy and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It provides hotel rooms to healthcare workers who give critical care to COVID-19 patients so they don’t bring home the virus to their household. Once they leave their shift, they can stay near their healthcare facility at a participating hotel for free or at a discount.

Program eligibility

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Work in a California healthcare facility
    • This includes medical transport providers and non-medical staff within health care facilities.
  • This also includes workers in California’s Health Corps or CAL MAT, as designated by the State.
  • Have presumed exposure to COVID-19
    • This facility needs to be documented by a state or county public health official or medical professional to house COVID-19 positive patients.
    • Or healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19 but do not require hospitalization
  • Be unable to self-isolate or quarantine at home

How to reserve a room

  • Call 1-877-454-8785 to complete a screening process. Do not share personal health information.
  • Show your healthcare facility employee identification at check-in.
  • Provide a credit card or another form of deposit at check-in.
  • The Program does not include extra services from the hotel, such as food, room service, valet, parking, or laundry. You will be responsible for incidentals.

Program details

  • For the purposes of this program, “healthcare facility” does not include in-home support services (IHSS).
  • Cost:
    • If you make less than $250,000, you are eligible for a room at no charge.
    • If you make $250,000 or more, you are eligible for a discounted room. Rates depend on the offers provided by participating hotels.
  • FEMA has approved this program for emergency, non-congregate sheltering, and has advised the State that healthcare workers meeting these criteria are considered an eligible population for Non-Congregate Shelter (NCS) reimbursement.

Meet these criteria? Call to reserve a room now: 1-877-454-8785

https://covid19.ca.gov/workers/

Checkers and Rally’s Free Combo for Medical and First Responders

Uniformed medical workers and first responders will receive a free small combo at Checkers and Rally’s locations for a limited time. Choices include a Big Buford, Baconzilla!, Cheese Champ, 5pc Classic Wings Combo, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Deep Sea Double, Half-Pound Chicken Bites, Chili Dog or BBQ Bacon Roadhouse, with a small and small drink. Here’s the press release about the offer.

Circle K Free Coffee, Tea, and Soda

First responders and healthcare workers can get free coffee, tea, or Polar Pop to their guests during this difficult time. Please have a work ID ready to get the freebie. Here’s the details on the Circle K website.

 

Hooters 20% Off for Hospital Workers, First Responders and Military

Hospital Workers, First Responders and Military get 20% off. Show your work ID for pickup orders, or for online orders choose the “Pay at Store” option. Here’s the Hooters Facebook announcement.

 

Krispy Kreme Free Doughnuts for Health Workers Mondays

Krispy Kreme wants to help those in the medical community who are working their tails off to keep us safe and healthy during this national crisis. So, on Mondays beginning on National Doctors’ Day March 30 and running through National Nurses Week on May 11, healthcare workers can get free dozens of Original Glazed Doughnuts. Show your employer badge as you go through the drive-thru to get the free doughnuts. It’s a small gesture for everything healthcare workers are going through right now, but it can’t hurt! Here are the full details of the offer from Krispy Kreme. They also posted the deal on Facebook.

Long John Silver’s

Through May 31, 2020, first responders (EMTs, fire fighters, law enforcement), healthcare workers, active-duty military and teachers get a 10% discount every day at Long John Silver’s. They’ll also get 20% off one day a week, as follows:

20 percent off Military Mondays

20 percent off Teacher Tuesdays

20 percent off Wellness Wednesdays for healthcare workers

20 percent off Transportation Thursdays for truckers / distribution workers

20 percent off First-Responder Fridays

Make sure to bring a valid work ID to ensure you get the deal. Long John Silver’s posted the offer on Facebook.

 

McDonald’s Free Meals for Healthcare Workers and First Responders

First responders and healthcare workers can show a valid work ID and get a free breakfast or lunch/dinner combo through May 5, as McDonald’s shows its appreciation to the frontline heroes keeping us safe.

 

For breakfast, choose from an Egg McMuffin, Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit, or Chicken McGriddles. Then, choose any size hot coffee, soft drink, or tea. You’ll get a side of Hash Browns too. For lunch or dinner, options are a Double Cheeseburger, Filet-O-Fish, or 6 piece Chicken McNuggets, with a Small Fries on the side and the same choice of drink.

 

McDonald’s put the full details of the offer up on its website.

Click here to visit the EatDrinkDeals McDonald’s Menu Deals page for info on other ways to save when you drop by the Golden Arches!

 

Outback 10% Off for Heroes

Nurses, doctors, medical staff, military veterans, servicemen and women, police, firefighters and first responders get 10% off at Outback every day. Bring a valid medical, state or federal service ID to get the discount. Outback has the deal posted on its website.

Round Table Pizza 25% Off for First Responders and Healthcare Workers

Get 25% off any carryout or delivery order at Round Table Pizza for a limited time. Call your order in to your local Round Table and mention this offer, then show your work ID at pick-up or delivery to get the discount. Round Table Pizza sent out this email with the deal.

Starbucks Free Coffee for Front-Line Responders

Our nation’s front-line responders are working overtime, away from their loved ones, and risking their own health to help others during the coronavirus outbreak. Now, Starbucks is stepping up in a big way to say thank you! Through May 31, all front-line responders to the COVID-19 outbreak will receive a FREE tall hot or iced coffee. No purchase is necessary. Front-line responders include police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, hospital workers and paramedics. Please bring an ID or wear your uniform to be eligible for the deal. Starbucks announced the news on their running COVID-19 updates page here and on Twitter.

Teriyaki Madness 50% Off Healthcare Workers

Catering orders of the Teriyaki Bar sent to healthcare sites like hospitals, COVID-19 testing sites, and doctor’s offices are 50% off. The Teriyaki Bars feed up to 10 people. Here’s how it works. Click here to place an order online on the Teriyaki Madness website. Add the Healthcare Team Teriyaki Bar to your cart. The order shows as pickup, but you’ll get a call to confirm the location of the healthcare site. You pay 50% plus the taxes, and Teriyaki Bar will cover the rest, plus deliver it for free.

Wienerschnitzel 20% Off Healthcare, Fire, Police, Military

Wienerschnitzel is giving 20% off to healthcare workers, police, fire or military personnel. You need to have a valid professional ID or be in uniform. Wienerschnitzel posted the discount on Facebook.

Adidas: Medical professionals, first responders and members of the military all get 40% off their purchases. Professional verification is required via ID.me.

Allbirds: The popular shoe company has a few ways to get a discount. First, you can bundle your own shoe purchase with a pair to be sent to a health care professional. Prices range from $146 to $186 for both women’s and men’s shoe bundles. If you don’t want any shoes for yourself, you can donate a pair directly to a health care worker for $60. Finally, health care workers themselves can purchase final-sale pairs from a special collection at a discounted price.

Asics: Medical professionals and first responders get 60% off any full-priced product. You must first create an Asics account using your professional email.

Crocs: Ultracomfortable Crocs have long been the shoe of choice for many health care workers, who can now sign up to get a free pair (complete with free shipping). Pairs have been running out due to high demand, so check back at noon ET each day to try to snag a spot in line.

Dagne Dover: Health care workers, teachers and members of the military all get 20% off Dagne Dover’s collection of chic, high-quality bags, backpacks and wallets.

Danform Shoes: Health care workers can use the code SUPERHERO20 for 20% off online footwear purchases.

Enell: The sports bra company is offering health care workers, first responders and teachers a single-use, 50%-off coupon valid through May 30.

Nike: First responders and medical professionals (including technicians and researchers) get 20% off most items on Nike’s website. The discount can be used up to four times per month, and Nike uses SheerID to verify employment status.

The North Face: The outdoor outfitter is offering a range of health care workers 50% off nonsale items, both online and in retail stores (once they reopen, that is) now through December 31. You must register with SheerID to confirm your eligibility.

Reebok: First responders, teachers, nurses and military all get 50% off their purchases, with no item exceptions. You must verify your status with ID.me.

Under Armour: First responders, health care professionals and educators get 40% off all purchases after verifying your employment with ID.me. A broad range of workers is included, so check out the full details here.

Vineyard Vines: Medical workers get 15% off their orders. A professional ID is required, and it will take one to two hours to be approved and receive your discount code.

Care.com: Frontline workers get a month of free premium access to the company’s services, which include care for kids, aging parents and pets.

Down Dog: All of Down Dog’s wellness, yoga and fitness apps are actually free for everyone through May 1, but the offer is extended an extra two months, through July 1, for health care professionals, teachers and students.

Headspace: The mindfulness and meditation app is offering free subscriptions for all health care professionals working in public health settings. The subscription is good for all of 2020, and you’ll need your National Provider Identifier or another form of professional verification to sign up.

Sittercity: All those working on the front lines of the crisis are eligible for three free months of Sittercity Premium, which connects families with trusted child care.

Talkspace: Doctors, nurses and social workers who have been impacted by covid-19 get free access to the therapy app’s unlimited messaging plan.

Theragun: Theragun sells high-end percussive therapy devices — essentially intense vibrating massagers meant to help with muscle recovery. The company has already donated more than 300 devices to hospitals, and all health care workers can request $250 off a device of their own while supplies last. More info on how to reach out here.

Owala: Water bottle company Owala is helping first responders, government workers and medical professionals stay hydrated with 50% off their orders. Verification is done via VerifyPass, and retirees in the aforementioned fields are eligible as well.

Yeti: Another popular option for a water bottle or insulated cooler, Yeti is offering 30% off to all first responders verified through ID.me.

AAA: Free roadside assistance is available for medical workers and first responders, though details may vary by state.

Airbnb: The company is waiving all fees for the first 100,000 stays in its new Frontline stays program. Individuals must first submit professional information to Airbnb to confirm their eligibility, after which they can book directly with hosts.

BP and Amoco: First responders, doctors, nurses and other hospital workers all get a one-time, 50-cent-per-gallon discount at BP and Amoco stations. Be sure to verify your eligibility with ID.me before fueling up.

Choice Hotels: Essential health care workers, first responders, transit employees and more can receive discounted room rates at participating hotels.

GM: GM has extended its preexisting first responder discount to include health care professionals through June 30. Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC are all participating GM brands.

Honda: Through July 6, first responders and health care professionals get $500 toward Honda models from 2019 or later. To get the deal, you’ll need to finance or lease with Honda Financial Services.

Wyndham Hotels: All essential workers — including health care workers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks and more — get a free instant membership upgrade to Gold status.

Home

BlanQuil: Health care workers, military personnel and first responders can all snag 50% off BlanQuil’s popular weighted blankets (or anything else on the website).

Lovesac: First responders, health care workers, teachers and military get 40% off all Sacs and Sactionals through May. Lovesac uses Sheer.ID to verify eligibility.

Emma: The mattress company is offering health care workers a 10% discount on their orders. You’ll need to submit proof of employment via email; more information here.

Leesa: First responders, educators, students and members of the military get 15% off their entire orders.

Purple: With 10% off any order of full-priced merchandise, Purple offers yet another opportunity for health care professionals to potentially save hundreds on a new mattress.

Tide Cleaners: Through May 9, families of front line responders can get free laundry services through Tide’s Loads of Hope program. Details on eligibility and locations available here.

Tuft & Needle: Another popular mattress option, Tuft and Needle is offering a 15% discount to health care workers, first responders and veterans.

OtterBox: Broadly defined “front-liners” will get 40% off their orders. Instructions on how to email your verification credentials here.

Tech21: Health care workers simply need to reach out with their professional ID to Tech21 via email to get 60% off antimicrobial phone cases.

Verizon Wireless: Verizon recently expanded its Those Who Serve discount to include nurses and teachers, in addition to first responders and military. Unlimited plans start at $30 per month.

The CDC has updated their COVID-19 FAQ for Healthcare Professionals to include the question “Are pregnant healthcare personnel at increased risk for adverse outcomes if they care for patients with COVID-19?” Click here to read the latest FAQ.
The spread of COVID-19 has caused nationwide shortages of respirator face masks for medical professionals. To help manage shortages, the CDC offers a series of strategies or options on how healthcare facilities can optimize supplies of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Use this checklist to maximize the supplies in your practice or facility.