April 8, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19. As we have seen this week, the numbers in Pennsylvania continue to climb each day.

In an effort to provide accurate and helpful information to POMA members, we have gathered some of the resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time. We hope this helps you in staying on top of the latest developments in the spread of the disease and in helping your patients.


PPE Material Distribution

During today's press conference, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine discussed the PPE supply and distribution to the healthcare system, including hospitals, health systems, health care professionals, counties and emergency responders. Pennsylvania has received shipments of PPE from the national stockpile and has pushed it out to healthcare facilities across the state. To date, over 1.8 million N95 masks and almost 900,000 surgical masks have been distributed. The department continues to purchase whatever is available to ensure sufficient protection and resources for medical personnel. They are also working on a sterilization process for N95 masks. All providers should be working with their Regional Health Care Coalition to submit requests for PPE. Please scroll to the bottom for the contact information of each region's Public Health Preparedness Coordinator. Click here for COVID-19 PPE guidance from PA-DOH.

Pennsylvania Suspends Licensing Regulations

Due to COVID-19, Governor Wolf has granted a number of temporary waivers for health care professionals to increase the available number of practitioners in the Commonwealth and reduce barriers to temporary licensure. Following are a list of waivers relevant for osteopathic physicians:

Click here for a complete list of suspended licensing regulations. For all licensing-related inquiries, please use the email addresses found here to contact the appropriate licensing board.

DOH Alert: Notification of COVID-19 Test Results to Patients

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA-DOH) has issued an alert for healthcare providers regarding self-isolation instructions for patients awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Healthcare providers who are evaluating patients for COVID-19 should instruct patients to self-isolate and develop a list of people who were in close contact with them from the period of 48 hours before symptom onset to the time of patient isolation. Click here to read the PA-DOH alertClick here for an instructional handout for patients regarding self isolation and the close contact check list

Poll on Physician Practice Finances from UPenn Wants POMA Member Opinions

Several osteopathic physicians are working with the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business to quantify the financial impacts on physicians, their clinical staff and support staff. The current reality has forced physician practices to limit the spread of coronavirus by suspending preventative care and non-urgent visits, as well as elective surgeries and procedures. The result of these necessary public health changes in many cases, has resulted in a cash flow crisis, threatening physician practices.

POMA encourages you to take a few minutes and complete this short survey which will help gather needed real-time information on the economic effects of the pandemic. The results of the survey will be presented to Governor Wolf.  If you have any questions or concerns directly related to the survey, please contact the survey project lead, Alison Leff, DO, [email protected].

POMA Clinical Assembly & Governance Meeting Updates

POMA20 Is Going Virtual!
Last month we announced that the 112th Annual Clinical Assembly & Scientific Seminar is transitioning from an in-person meeting to a virtual conference. The dates remain April 29-May 2 and the times will remain relatively the same - more information will be provided once the virtual schedule is finalized this week.

POMA20 Virtual will offer 34 Category 1-A AOA CME and AMA PRA Category 1 credits and will be utilizing a combination of live streaming sessions and chat forums to facilitate dialogue, questions/answers and interaction. These 1-A AOA CME credits are applicable to Pennsylvania's licensure requirements. The virtual conference will be available on multiple electronic devices - laptops, tablets, phones, etc. - all you need is an internet connection. Additional information regarding the virtual platform technology will be provided in the coming weeks as we finalize the virtual conference.

Early-bird pricing has been extended through May 2 and refunds are being offered with no administrative fee. Registrants also have the ability to transfer their registration to 2021 or donate their fees. If you have already registered for POMA20 and wish to participate in POMA20 Virtual, no action is needed as your registration will be automatically transferred to the virtual conference. Still need to register? Click here or fax your registration form to (717) 939-7255 or call (717) 939-9318 x170. Please note, mail is not preferred as TeamPOMA is working remotely.

The resident poster session will be transitioned to virtual presentations. The resident leadership program will also be transitioning to a virtual program but the dates have not yet been determined - stay tuned for additional information.

POMA has informed Valley Forge that we are moving to a virtual platform. Those who already secured housing will receive a cancellation email from the venue.

POMA Governance Updates
After much discussion and due consideration, POMA leadership is postponing the 2020 POMA House of Delegates meeting until August or November 2020.  The POMA Board of Trustees will meet virtually on April 29 to act on leadership transitions, resolutions and the proposed FY2020-2021 budget until the house convenes later this year.

Updated Pennsylvania Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Cases, Graphics, Resources

Daily Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine

Resources from the CDC

The CDC has provided guidance and resources for healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, laboratories, as well as information for schools and childcare, businesses and employers, community and faith-based organizations, and the general public. Visit the CDC COVID-19 webpage for more information.

POMA will continue monitoring COVID-19 and provide updates and recommendations from PADOH, the CDC, the WHO and local health agencies. POMA's COVID-19 webpage and social media channels will be updated as information is shared from these organizations.

If you have any comments or questions for POMA, please email us at [email protected]. 

Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 | www.poma.org