Day Pitney remains committed to providing quality legal counsel, while protecting our clients and employees. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.
Day Pitney is pleased to offer this practical guide for medical and dental offices seeking useful information related to the impact the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may have on office/practice operations. This guide is intended for small businesses, particularly medical and dental practices, and covers critical employment, financial and tax, and operational considerations.
Layoff vs. Furlough
Employees with COVID-19
Prohibition from Penalizing Employees for COVID-19 Leave
Information to Employees
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Relief
The CARES Act makes loans available to small businesses through its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides the following:
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
Small Business Loans
Other Loan Forgiveness Options
Forgiveness or forbearance for certain loans will vary by state. In New York, for example, state-regulated banks are required to grant 90-day forbearances to certain borrowers. For more information, please visit here.
In the majority of states, physician and dental offices are considered essential businesses and will remain open; however, please consider to the greatest extent possible whether employees can work remotely and whether certain services can be provided via telehealth.
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, depending on the state, the department of public health (or a similar agency) may require your office to close (and not reopen until authorized by the department or agency) and go through special sterilization procedures.
In most states, physicians do not have an obligation to report whether their patients have COVID-19; hospitals and labs performing COVID-19 tests tend to have reporting obligations. If your office is performing COVID-19 tests, standard reporting obligations apply.
Many ambulatory surgery centers are required to reschedule elective procedures. For more information on postponing elective procedures, please visit here.
Properly managing personnel during the pandemic is essential. We suggest assigning employees to teams to help deal with fatigue. Appoint a team leader for each group who can assist in disseminating information to staff.
Quickly assess your contracts (office leases, equipment leases, recurring supply orders, etc.) and consider whether they can be canceled or payments deferred. Please consult a Day Pitney attorney to assist in reviewing your agreements. For more information, visit here.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act still applies during this pandemic. Although the federal government has announced various waivers and enforcement discretion, the overwhelming majority of waivers apply only to facilities such as hospitals. Physician and dental offices should continue to operate as usual.
Provide relevant information to your patients to keep them informed about your office, including revised operating hours, the availability of telehealth services, useful hygiene/wellness tips to reduce the spread of germs, and encouraging messages.
Day Pitney Alerts
For more Day Pitney alerts and articles related to the impact of COVID-19, as well as information from other reliable sources, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.
COVID-19 DISCLAIMER: As you are aware, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, things are changing quickly and the effect, enforceability and interpretation of laws may be affected by future events. The material set forth in this document is not an unequivocal statement of law, but instead represents our best interpretation of where things stand as of the date of first publication. We have not attempted to address the potential impacts of all local, state and federal orders that may have been issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Day Pitney Advisory
Day Pitney Alert
Day Pitney Alert
Day Pitney Advisory
Susan Huntington and Christopher Klimmek were quoted in Hartford Business Journal article, "Gov. Lamont's executive orders have helped CT beat back COVID-19, but some businesses want to curtail his powers."
Susan Huntington was interviewed by anchor Matt Maisel in the Fox-affiliate station WMPT Fox 43 segment "COVID-19 controversy at Pa. Capitol calls into question employer obligations and limitations in telling workers about positive test," discussing employers obligations in disclosing positive tests to employees.
Day Pitney Hartford partner Susan Huntington spoke with the Connecticut Law Tribune, as Connecticut begins to reopen the state in four stages.
Tom Zalewski is quoted in an article, "Careful Care: Health Care Companies Must Be Aware of Legal Risks That Come with New Technology," published by ROI-NJ.
Day Pitney partners Elizabeth Sher and Susan Huntington are recipients of Profiles in Diversity Journal's 18th Annual "Women Worth Watching" Awards, which recognize esteemed women leaders and acknowledge their talents, commitment, achievements and leadership.