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A Doctor's note on Coronavirus

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Washington, April 3, 2020 | comments

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April 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

Today, small business owners can apply for a loan, with the lender of their CHOICE, through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Yesterday, I held a conference call with the Republican Leader of the House Committee on Small Business, Steve Chabot (R-OH) to provide answers to North Texassmall businesses about PPP.

Congress authorizedPPP to provide $350 billion in 100 percentfederally guaranteed loans for8 weeks of assistance to small businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits that have less than 500 employees.

Small businesses can borrow up to $10 million or 2.5 times the average monthly payroll based on last year’s payroll, interest and fee payments aredeferred for 6 months.

The best part -- portionsof the loan can be COMPLETELY forgiven if it covers:

  • Payroll
  • Mortgage interest or Rent
  • Utilities

Click here todownloadthe application.

National Update:
The Small Business Administration issued an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to provide economic relief to small businesses adversely impacted by this Coronavirus. Additional resources regarding the CARES Act are available on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a third set of FAQs for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These FAQs will help address questions states may have during this Coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, CMS released an addendum to the existing Medicaid and CHIP verification template to allow states to easily determine which verification options will be best during this national emergency.

CMS issued new guidance for nursing homes, state, and local governments. Nursing homes have been of unique concern during this outbreak. New guidance seeks to help nursing homes, and state and local governments mitigate the spread of this Coronavirus.

The FDA issued a new emergency use authorization for non-NIOSH-approved KN95 respirators made in China. This makes KN-95 respirators eligible for authorization if certain criteria are met. This will help mitigate the concerns about availability of filtering facepiece respirators.

The FDA issued new warnings to companies selling fraudulent COVID-19 products making false or misleading claims. Warning letters have been issued to Gaia’s Whole Healing Essentials LLC, Homeomart Indibuy, and Health Mastery Systems DBA Pure Plant Essentials.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new enforcement discretion regarding HIPAA. The OCR will not impose penalties for violations of certain provisions of HIPAA against health care providers for good faith uses and disclosures of protected health information during this unprecedented time. Information about health information privacy and HIPAA during this time are available online.

Emergent announces a new partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). BARDA will provide $14.5 million in funding to support development of COVID-Human Immune Globulin, a potential therapy candidate for this Coronavirus. This BARDA funding will help accelerate research into this plasma-derived therapy.

Texas Update:
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) announced an emergency rule to make it easier for Texans to refill their medications by home delivery. This emergency rule will make it easier to refill prescriptions for those with TDI-regulated health insurance by increasing locations for refills and expanding home delivery options.

The Texas Department of State Health Services launched a map to help you locate drive-thru testing. Check out the map to find testing locations close to you.

Until tomorrow, this is your doctor's note.
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Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.

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