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Customer Support FAQs about COVID-19 and Your Practice

Resources to help answer common COVID-19 questions related to your practice.

Topics:


"Essential" Business Classification

Question: What makes a business "essential?" 

Answer: As cities and states set new requirements – sometimes changing daily – many are trying to understand how it affects them and the work they do. That includes understanding if your practice is an “essential business.”

Health care workers have been identified as essential. But many DCs and NDs are wondering if that extends to their professions.

The March 28 memorandum from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) identifies chiropractic care as an essential business. See page 5 of their memorandum.

Should I Stay Open 

Question: Should I stay open if my state does not require me to close? 

Answer: This is a personal decision in absence of any order from public health authorities to close. You should be aware of any state or federal recommendations and requirements and make sure you are in compliance. If you have specific questions you should contact your state licensing board, state public health department, or personal attorney for guidance. 

Resource: Protect Your Practice from Coronavirus Info Security Risks

Question: Is my business considered “essential”? 

Answer: This is fluid and will vary by state. Please check with your state licensing board or personal attorney for guidance.  

Resources: 


Telemedicine

Question: Can I practice telemedicine? 

Answer: We have received many questions with respect to telemedicine and malpractice insurance coverage. Our guidance is that based on your clinical judgment and in the interest of continuity of care, please use alternative methods such as telephone and video conferencing as available. For video conferencing, please work with the vendor to ensure the software includes encryption and HIPAA compliance.  

Based on your clinical judgment, consider postponing visits of an elective or non-emergent nature if you think it is not possible to adequately evaluate the patient over telephone or video conference methods. Information on this is evolving quickly and though we have heard that licensure requirements will be relaxed to facilitate telemedicine, we do not have concrete guidance yet. For the most up-to-date guidelines, contact your state licensing board.  

If you are considering providing telemedicine services, check with the health insurance carriers you are an approved provider for and confirm your services would be covered using telemedicine. Please let us know if you have any other specific questions. 

Resources:  

Question: Can I take patient records home with me to counsel patients over the phone? 

Answer: Transporting records away from the office does pose a risk. Make sure the records are secure so they are not confiscated during travel. You should also remain HIPAA compliant; make sure no family members or visitors can overhear/see, or have access to the records. 

Resource: Things to Consider Before Including Telemedicine in Your Practice


Premium Options

Question: I’m struggling to pay my premium.  Are there options if I am not treating patients?  

Answer: We are evaluating all options for our insureds at this time. Please contact our service team to discuss your situation. 

To discuss this topic further, contact our office at 1-800-247-8043 or reference the “Is there a grace period for payments due?” question below. 

Question: Is there a grace period for payments due?

Answer: NCMIC always offers a 30-day grace period for payments due. We have temporarily extended this to 60 days. If you are unable to make your payment within the 60 day grace period please contact our office at 1-800-247-8043 to discuss additional options with one of our Client Representatives. NCMIC understands the current environment because of COVID-19 is challenging, and we may be able to work with you further.  


Protecting Myself & My Business

Question: If I close my practice, do I need to notify my patients to avoid patient abandonment?  

Answer: Yes, you should notify your patients and specify the reason why you are closing.  If you can contact your patients electronically, this would be ideal. Consider calling patients with appointments within 24-72 hours of deciding to close your practice. Post a notice on your door along with the phone number / address of the nearest urgent care and emergency facilities. You can also decide if you would like to provide a method for your patients to reach you for guidance on non-emergent treatment matters, basically telehealth (see comments on this topic) to stay in touch with your patients.  

Question: Is there anything available through NCMIC to help me get through this, such as a low/no-interest loan or line of credit?

Answer: Our Business Lending Group might be able to help. Visit our Working Capital Loans site or call 800-915-3007 ext. 5130 for more information. 

Resource: Protect Your Practice from Coronavirus Info Security Risks


Supporting My Community & Patients

Question: How can I talk to patients to reassure them? What language should I use? What steps can I take to keep patients healthy when visiting my office? 

Answers: We have articles on this topic. You can find them, and new content on this and other relevant subjects, on our COVID-19 Resource page which we update as new information becomes available. We are also developing content ideas to help you maintain your connection with your communities.  

Question: The state has ordered all businesses closed, including chiropractic and naturopath offices, but I want to keep my community healthy, what can I do? 

Answer: We recognize these are challenging times for chiropractors and naturopaths to help their patients stay healthy. If your office is closed, you may be able to keep in touch with them through telemedicine options (check with your state licensing board for DCs and NDs) and frequent communication through social media avenues. You could face criminal charges if you ignore a federal or state order by keeping your office open. We recommend you follow any mandated closures. Your NCMIC policy does not cover criminal allegations or charges.    

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