R. Austin Wallace, MD
Chairman, President and CEO

Letter from the ChairmanAugust 2020

"COVID-19 Response"

Obviously, the crisis has caused extensive disruption in the provision of healthcare services. Your Mutual staff has been functioning extremely well with most of our fantastic team working remotely. In March, our Underwriting and Risk Management staff authored an excellent document regarding the usage of telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis. This white paper contains valuable information about the relaxation of the rules regarding telemedicine during the crisis and offers best practices to physicians as they have adapted to it.

With regard to federal guidelines, I feel sure you know by now that telemedicine is being reimbursed at the same rate as face-to-face visits during the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, hearty congratulations are in order for the West Virginia Board of Medicine, including Dr. Kishore Challa, its President, Dr. Ashish Sheth, its Vice- President, and Mr. Mark Spangler, its Executive Director. These gentlemen were successful in lobbying federal officials at HHS and CMS to reimburse telephone telemedicine at the same rate as video telemedicine, which is of great importance to those rural West Virginians who are without adequate broadband access.

Your Mutual has been and continues to actively lobby the governor and the legislature for needed COVID-19 lawsuit immunity protections during the time of the emergency that many states have already enacted. You can be assured that we will always advocate for you.

Physicians Insuring Physicians.

Sincerely,
R. Austin Wallace, M.D.