Public Health

Smoking Cessation during COVID-19: Use Trends and Opportunities

Tobacco cessation has long been a key public health aim. It can only be considered more critical now during the pandemic, as smoking has long been known to hamper immune system responses, especially with regards to pulmonary diseases and infections. With calls to quitlines down 27% in 2020, we must ask: How has COVID-19 impacted rates…

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3 Ways to Help Patients Understand the Thanksgiving Guidance Gobbledygook

There has been much public discussion of safety practices and precautions for the upcoming holiday. Because the rate of COVID-19 transmission varies significantly by location, some nationally promulgated guidance may seem to contradict local recommendations to patients. Here are a few ways physicians and their practices can help patients to navigate the holidays safely. 1.…

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Addressing Food Insecurity as Part of the Clinical Workflow: CRISP and Meals on Wheels

Food Insecurity in Maryland Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 600,000 Marylanders were served by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to the Maryland Department of Human Services. This number included seniors, children, people with disabilities, low-income families, and unemployed workers. COVID-19 subsequently caused hundreds of thousands of Marylanders lost jobs and income. Montgomery…

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Maryland Private Payors Banned from Cancelling Individual Policies for Nonpayment for 60 Days

On behalf of the Hogan Administration, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane has used her emergency powers to prevent health insurance companies from cancelling or refusing to renew individual health benefit plan policies for nonpayment of premiums for the next sixty days. Individual health benefit plan policies that were scheduled to terminate because of unpaid…

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Encouraging Vaccine Compliance During COVID-19

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of physicians to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. Participating in NIAM and promoting immunizations is more important than ever during COVID-19. This article will provide an overview of NIAM resources for medical practices, a summary of…

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#CallYourPhysician: Encouraging Patients to Seek Medical Care during COVID-19

MCMS has heard from our physician members that a significant cohort of their patient population has expressed reticence about seeking medical care during the pandemic. Physicians know better than anyone how dangerous putting off routine medical care can be, let alone care management for chronic conditions or a new developing condition. These challenges were reflected…

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COVID-19: Practice Reopening Toolkit

NOTICE: All licensed healthcare facilities and healthcare providers may resume elective and non-urgent medical procedures and appointments at 7 AM, May 7, 2020, provided all the required measures are in place, as outlined by this Directive and Order from the Maryland Department of Health, released May 6. Take these requirements seriously; noncompliance is punishable by both…

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COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus: Updates & Resources for Physicians

  What to Tell Patients   |   Practice Protocols & Preparedness   |   What to Look For & How to Test Precautions & PPE   |   Telehealth Resources   |   Employment Law Resources Emergency Loans, Grants, & Tax Relief   |   Volunteer Opportunities   |   Resources for Physicians Last Updated May 19, 2021  The following guidance is drawn primarily from the…

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Q&A with CareFirst Leadership: Your Questions Answered

Two representatives from CareFirst, Brian Wheeler, VP, Practice & Payment Transformation and Deb Rivkin, VP, Government Affairs for Maryland participated in a Q&A session on issues critical to our membership at our September 10, 2019 Executive Board Meeting. Their opening presentation can be viewed above. The following are their responses during the Q&A, edited for…

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