OSPA is constantly keeping up with the Coronavirus situation. We are dedicated to updating our members on resources and articles pertaining to Coronavirus and will post as we receive the information.


A forum for members to share their own experiences with COVID19 and also read others by subscribing to the blog.

April 26th, 2020

The American Alpine Club has started a new initiative, the Give a Belay, Get a Belay program, that allows people to request or give a helping hand during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case that someone falls ill, or is in an at-risk demographic, he or she can use sign up with the program to ask others to shop for them. Give a Belay, Get a Belay is open to anyone, not only members of the American Alpine Club.

April 3, 2020

One of the key resources in this recently-passed legislation is the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. As of today, this program is officially live and accepting applications. The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small businesses, nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, and tribal businesses with fewer than 500 employees -- as well as sole proprietors, self-employed Oregonians, and independent contractors -- cover payroll and operational costs by awarding them with fully forgivable loans.

The Treasury Department has announced that the loans, which are guaranteed by the federal government and do not require a personal guarantee or collateral, will be approved as quickly as today. You can apply for these loans through your bank or here. For more information about the program, check out my team’s Frequently Asked Questions document here. 

          I also want to follow up on a note I sent you last week previewing the launch of my second coronavirus resource webpage -- an online economic recovery hub for Oregon businesses and 503(c)(3) nonprofits -- to let you know that this page is now online and fully operational. This page is full of information about the Small Business Administration economic injury disaster loans, the Small Business Debt Relief Program, the Employee Retention Tax Credit, and reimbursement for paid sick leave and child caregiving leave, among other programs and provisions to help our businesses weather this storm. I’m going to keep updating this page with applications and information as they become available, so make sure to bookmark it and check back for additional details. 

          In addition, I have also updated my original coronavirus resource webpage to include 15 FAQ documents and fact sheets on the latest available resources related to broadband access, businesses, childcare, direct payments, higher education, health systems, housing, K-12 education, Medicare, nutrition, rural development and production, assistance for Oregonians stranded abroad, supporting tribes and veterans, and unemployment benefits. These documents include answers to many of the questions you and your neighbors have reached out to my office about, and I hope they will be valuable to you as you navigate the uncertainties of this crisis. These resources will continue to be updated as we learn more from the administration about the implementation of these new programs. 

          This is a challenging moment for our communities in so many ways. I will continue to fight for the resources our communities deserve, and to do everything I can to make sure you have the information you need to access them. 

All my best, 

april 1st, 2020

OSPA is currently working with our lobbyist to facilitate a temporary change in statute that will allow PAs to work outside their normal place of practice without having to sign a new practice agreement,  or mandated chart review with the anticipated COVID surge.  

If you have been laid off due to COVID, are licensed in Oregon and in good standing, please provide OSPA with your name, license number, current address and regions you are willing to work.  

Complete the Unemployed PA Report in Oregon

March 31st, 2020


OHSU and University of Massachusetts facility are hosting free webinar presentations - COVID 19 Conversations for Clinicians.   There are archived presentations that can be viewed.  The next live presentation, Recommendations for Staff Wellbeing will be on April 4th and 5th. 

Sign up here

March 30th, 2020



Oregon POLST Coalition Presents


Created by Susan W. Tolle, MD
Chair, Oregon POLST Coalition

March 24th, 2020


Media Contact: 971-673-2700, info@oregon.omb.gov

Oregon Medical Board Implements Emergency Rule to Increase Physician, Physician Assistant Workforce

The Medical Board is expediting processes to allow physicians and PAs to actively assist in the state’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Medical Board (OMB) has adopted a temporary, emergency rule aimed at increasing the state’s health care provider workforce. This rule is effective immediately and is comprised of three separate efforts.

The first part of the rule lifts current administrative restrictions from Emeritus and Locum Tenens physicians and physician assistants (PAs). During this emergency, Emeritus licensees are no longer restricted to volunteer practice only, and may receive payment for their medical care; Locum Tenens licensees are no longer limited to 240 days of practice per biennium and may now provide care in Oregon indefinitely. There are approximately 800 Emeritus and 500 Locum Tenens providers currently licensed with the OMB.

The second effort creates a new expedited license reactivation process for Administrative Medicine, Inactive, Lapsed, and Retired physicians and PAs who have been in active practice within the previous three years and who ended their clinical practice in good standing with the Board. The OMB currently has approximately 3,000 licensees who qualify for this expedited reactivation.

The emergency rule also allows out-of-state physicians and PAs to apply to practice in Oregon if they are actively licensed and in good standing in another state. This effort was implemented on March 9, 2020, based on an existing rule adopted in 2002.

Physicians and PAs who meet these qualifications may fill out an Emergency Authorization Application on the OMB’s website: omb.oregon.gov/COVID-19

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The mission of the Oregon Medical Board is to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of Oregon citizens by regulating the practice of medicine in a manner that promotes access to quality care.

Background for Media:

  • Emeritus: Licensees who practice in Oregon for no pay or any other type of compensation.
  • Locum Tenens: Licensees who do not live in Oregon, but who plan on practicing intermittently within Oregon for no more than 240 days every two years.
  • Administrative Medicine: Physicians who practice in Oregon but do not provide direct patient care and practice in an administrative capacity only.
  • Inactive: Licensees living in Oregon but not practicing medicine; or licensees who are not practicing in Oregon.
  • Lapsed: Providers who have let their license lapse due to non-renewal of the license.
  • Retired: Licensees who are fully retired and not practicing any form of medicine in any state, whether paid, volunteer, or writing prescriptions.

March 21st, 2020

UPDATED: Telehealth Policies in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, agencies under HHS have issued guidance and loosened telehealth restrictions to help with the crisis.
  • This update reflects a new action from FDA today and telehealth toolkits issued by CMS.
  •   The most recent version of this document will always be accessible at the link in this email.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress and the Trump administration have issued a number of policies and waivers designed to lower restrictions on and encourage telehealth services. These policies address opioid treatment services, doctor visits, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, Medicare conditions for telehealth services, and more. Additionally, Vice President Pence announced on Wednesday that the administration would release regulations allowing licensed physicians to practice in any state during the emergency, going a step further than CMS guidance that allows for out-of-state practice limited by individual state laws. Under each heading in the attached document, policies are arranged in order of announcement. We will update this document as new policies are announced, and the link above will always go to the most recent version. Additionally, a list of actions by states is available here.


View Full TRP Memo

March 18th, 2020

March 17, 2020

The OMA is maintaining a COVID-19 resource webpage for clinicians and will continue to monitor COVID-19 information nationally and locally.

OHA Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Calls Start March 18

Because of the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority is setting up regular communications with providers to ensure they have the most current information. The OHA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dana Hargunani will begin hosting regular information sessions at least two times a week.

OHA Webinar for All Providers: Wednesday, March 18 from 1-2 pm:

• COVID-19 testing guidelines

• Personal Protective Equipment

• Telehealth coverage

• Clinical Triage

• Hospital Surge Planning

Register for the webinar here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4131162459321025547

You can submit questions for the OHA when you register for the webinar. The current capacity for Wednesday’s webinar/call is 1,000 participants. Everyone who registers will receive a link to the recording if they are not able to join live. We are working on solutions that would allow more participants.

"Oregon COVID-19 Response for Clinicians" Project ECHO

Also, this week, the "Oregon COVID-19 Response for Clinicians " Project ECHO (named for New Mexico's Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), a weekly virtual interactive session, will begin on Thursday, 3/19, 12-1:30 pm. This is hosted by the Oregon ECHO Network at OHSU and will be staffed by Dr. Hargunani and Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County Health Officer and other invited content experts. They will provide the latest updates, share COVID-19 clinical cases and answer questions. For more information see this flyer or connect directly on Thursday here: https://zoom.us/j/575366462

Changes in Medicare Telehealth Services

In an effort to address the treatment of COVID-19, today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) lifted Medicare restrictions on the use of certain telemedicine services. The goal of these changes is to allow patients to receive a wider range of healthcare services without having to travel to a healthcare facility. Medicare will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, Medicare has expanded telehealth services to all members. Previously telehealth services were limited to specific geographical areas. Patients can receive evaluation and management, mental health counseling, and preventative screening services from any location, including the patient’s home.

Other changes include:

  • Medicare will not enforce prior relationship requirements.
  • Providers are allowed to reduce or waive copayments.
  • Penalties for HIPAA violations will be waived for providers that in good faith use communication platforms that are not normally HIPAA compliant, such as Skype or FaceTime.

Telehealth visits are reimbursed at the same rate as in-person visits. These changes will be applied retroactively to March 6 and will last through the duration of the public health emergency. The Medicare rules for virtual check-ins remain the same.

More Information on Telehealth Services

  • The OMA anticipates telemedicine guidance from the Oregon Health Authority soon.
  • The OMA is working with the Oregon Insurance Commissioner on guidance on any telehealth changes to commercial insurance regulations during this emergency.
  • CMS has released a fact sheet and an FAQ related to this announcement.
  • For more information on providing telehealth services, visit the AMA's online telemedicine guide.

March 4th, 2020


COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is maintaining a live webpage detailing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) cases in Oregon and beyond. Both California and Washington have seen cases of COVID-19, as well. The OMA wants to equip its members with resources at both the state and national levels.

U.S. Public Health Resources

Oregon Public Health Resources

The OMA will continue to monitor COVID-19 information nationally and locally. The association will work closely with state and local public health agencies on providing information to our members and their patients about good responses to minimize transmission in our various communities.

Oregon Society of Physician Associates

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