The SCMA has continued to push for vaccination access to physicians and in physician offices. Make no mistake - physicians want to be vaccinated and want to vaccinate their patients. The narrative that the front line is not signing up for vaccination is simply not true when it comes to physicians. Physicians were not provided the opportunity to receive the vaccine initially unless they were affiliated with a hospital. Now, sending 70+ patients to websites and long phone ques, and then to a hospital for a vaccination, misses the available network of physicians across South Carolina with patient relationships. The SCMA is continuing to speak on behalf of physicians to improve the vaccine role out, meeting with the Governor and SC DHEC on these issues. Please see our latest correspondence regarding these issues. If you have missed where to sign up to get a vaccine as a Phase 1a worker, click here for the locations.
ALERT! The SCMA needs your help!
The Senate and House are considering legislation to protect physicians from COVID-19 lawsuits. Act now to ensure this legislation is passed. Physicians should not be sued for serving the public during a pandemic.
Ask: Call or email your Senator or House member.
Why: Proposed Senate Joint Resolution 1259 or House Bill 5527 must be passed to protect physicians from liability due to COVID-19 related claims.
When: Now! This week and next week. The Senate is intermittently in this week and next. The House and Senate are in on September 15th.
How: If you know your local Senator and House member, call them. If you do not, you can still easily call or email. Click here and put in your home address. The website will pull up your representatives. Simply click the name of your state Senator or House member and the website will provide the correct phone number and email address.
What to Say: Ask your Senator and House member to vote YES to limiting liability for physicians from COVID-19 related legislation. Let them know that physicians have been protecting the public and appreciate them protecting physicians.
Your voice is best heard when the message comes in YOUR VOICE and not a script. Below is the background for why the legislation is needed, and the important points so that you can effectively tell your legislators why they must protect physicians and pass legislation to limit liability from COVID-19 related lawsuits.
We cannot do this without you! Legislation must be passed to protect physicians from liability due to COVID-19 related claims. Please call and email your Senator and House member and ask them to vote YES and support protections for physicians. Click below to read the proposed legislation in the House and Senate.
BlueCross BlueShield of South Caroilna, South Carolina Hospital Association and South Carolina Medical Association Collaborate On Public Service Campaign Encouraging South Carolinians to “Slow the Spread”
Columbia S.C.— BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) are joining together in an effort to persuade the public to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 even as coronavirus cases are on the rise in South Carolina, hospital beds are filling and deaths are currently numbering in the high hundreds.
The “Slow the Spread” public service campaign will begin airing on T.V. and on social media in advance of the July 4th holiday weekend. In addition, a website, https://slowthespreadsc.com/ , will be updated regularly with useful information sourced by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/.
According to Shawn Stinson, M.D., senior vice president of healthcare innovation and improvement at BlueCross, there is a confluence of factors contributing to increased numbers of cases and deaths in South Carolina caused by COVID-19. He believes people have become weary. They are dealing with the constraints of social isolation; they are reeling from the pressures of an economic downturn and social unrest related to systemic racism; and, some people are skeptical of the seriousness of the disease. He said, “Many people are not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. More fundamentally, these same people are not taking into consideration that their actions could profoundly affect others. We hope to change that mindset.
“Collectively, BlueCross, SCHA and SCMA came together because we want people to stay healthy. This is our second collaboration on a public health crisis. As we learned with our effort to reduce opioid prescriptions and increase communication, we have a unique voice, a unique responsibility and a unique opportunity to get information to the public. After all, so many people who will hear our messages are our members, and current or potential patients who have—or will have—experience with our medical community through their physicians and/or hospitals. We want them all to know that we care about them. Hopefully, we can remind them that by taking precautions they are demonstrating that they care about other people, too.”
In addition, the groups are also looking to support South Carolina-based physicians by providing free access to an online continuing medical education module with updates on the most current COVID-19 treatment information. This effort is being supported in part through K2P, a Maryland-based company dedicated to using digital technology to personalize on-demand learning that measurably improves clinical judgment, critical thinking and patient care. The company is donating nearly $1 million worth of online, COVID-specific educational material.