Up-to-Date Information for Medical Groups on What They Need to Know about Rapidly Changing COVID-19 Policies and Announcements

As the country works to combat the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), MGMA will keep medical group practices apprised of the latest developments that could affect patient care and practice operations. MGMA’s COVID-19 Action Center is routinely updated as new information is made available. Each section  is meant to provide medical group practices with up-to-date information on what they need to know about rapidly changing COVID-19 policies and announcements.

COVID-19 Prior Authorization and Ongoing Patient Care Updates from UnitedHealth

UnitedHealthcare is working to help people access health care to the fullest extent possible as we come together to address this national emergency. We’re adopting measures that will reduce administrative burden for physicians and facilities, helping members more easily access the care they need under their benefit plan, and adjusting programs and services, as needed, to protect members and help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus in communities. Visit their page for regular updates: https://www.uhcprovider.com/en/resource-library/news/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19/pa-covid19-updates.html

UnitedHealth Group Accelerates Nearly $2 Billion in Payments and Support to Health Care Providers to Help with COVID-19 Financial Challenges

Please see the formal announcement from UHC. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), through UnitedHealthcare and Optum, has announced it is taking steps immediately to accelerate payments and other financial support to health care providers in the U.S. to help address the short-term financial pressure caused by the COVID-19 emergency.

The decision to accelerate claims and incentive payments builds on previously adopted measures taken by the company to streamline processes for health care professionals and facilities, as well as to help members more easily access the care they need. This includes:

  • Suspension of prior authorization requirements to a post-acute care setting
  • Suspension of prior authorization requirements when a member transfers to a new provider
  • Extension of timely filing deadlines for claims during the COVID-19 public health emergency period for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and Individual and Group Market health plans
  • Implementation of provisional credentialing to make it easier for out-of-network care providers who are licensed independent practitioners to participate in one or more of our networks

Official press release:

New Resources Added to WRA Website


CreakyJoints is a digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research. All of our programming and services are always provided free of charge.

  • Education: Constantly updated and informed by the latest research, our educational articles and comprehensive patient guidelines help newly diagnosed and experienced patients as well as caregivers understand their diagnosis, symptoms, and traditional and complementary treatment options. We also provide advice regarding how to communicate effectively with health care providers, insurance companies, and the stakeholders who write our health laws and policies.
  • Support: Through our interactive social media channels, CreakyJoints members can directly connect with the arthritis community and ask questions of health care professionals who participate in regularly scheduled webinars and #CreakyChats. Visit us on Twitter (@CreakyJoints), FacebookYouTube, and Instagram (@Creaky_Joints) for a 24/7 hive of positive support.
  • Advocacy: We believe that patients need to participate in all conversations that relate to our access to treatment, safety, or the quality of our care. Through our 50-State Network, we train and help patients living with any diagnosed, chronic illness to amplify their voice and add their personal perspective to health policy discussions happening in Washington, D.C., the state capitals, hearing rooms, regulatory meetings and other public forums. Whether adding your name to a petition, speaking in front of lawmakers, or contributing an opinion article to your local newspaper, we invite you to join our network to influence the future of health care in the United States.
  • Patient-Centered Research: Created by CreakyJoints and supported by a multiyear, multi-million dollar investment by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as well as additional public-private partnership support ArthritisPower is the first-ever patient-centered research registry for joint, bone, and inflammatory skin conditions. The free ArthritisPower mobile and desktop application allows patients to track and share their symptoms and treatments while also participating in voluntary research studies in a secure and accessible manner. ArthritisPower Patient Governors serve as gatekeepers for researchers who seek to access registry data or solicit the community to participate in unique, voluntary studies. Since 2016, 45 ArthritisPower studies were published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at major medical meetings as abstracts or posters, in partnership with major universities, research institutions and industry. To learn more and join ArthritisPower, visit www.ArthritisPower.org.

Discus Analytics

Discus Analytics, LLC., is a healthcare company specializing in the capture, analysis, and application of actionable clinical data, and believes that specialists who implement a data collection portal capable of tracking patient outcomes and quality metrics in real-time have a decided advantage within the changing landscape of healthcare reform.

For Patients: Making Telehealth Easy

For Providers: Telehealth Helpful Tips and Coding Cheat Sheet

For Providers: How to use the Doxy.me Conferencing Platform

COVID-19 Response

The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), Washington state officials, and the state’s health care community have joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Initially detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, COVID-19 is now spreading in Washington state and other U.S. locations.

WSMA has a dedicated COVID-19 resource page that features patient and professional resources: www.wsma.org/covid19.

The ACCME has compiled a list of educational resources about COVID-19 for physicians, all of which include CME credit. The education consists of online courses, video, or articles, and most of these resources are free: https://accme.org/coronavirus-resources.

Join us for our 14th Annual Conference, September 18-20, 2020 at Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, WA

Exhibitor Registration is OPEN!

2020 Exhibitor Prospectus

2020 Exhibitor Registration Form

About the WRA

The Washington Rheumatology Alliance (WRA) is a physician-run advocacy group created to improve communication between Washington State rheumatologists, third party payers, and government officials. Our mission is to ensure patient access to appropriate therapies, and to provide education for other physician groups and patients about rheumatic diseases and their treatments.

We also set a very high premium on creating and adhering to comparative quality improvement standards, which have the potential to dramatically improve our understanding of optimum rheumatologic care.

The goals for WRA include advocacy for patient access, the dissemination of new information regarding therapeutic advances, improvement of patient care and education, and the fostering of new research.

Members receive newsletters and other electronic communications to keep them up to date on important issues that affect their practices and their patients. In addition, they have access to continuing education including webinars and our annual conference.

Become a member today!

Become a member of the Washington Rheumatology Alliance!

Annual membership dues for physicians, health care providers as well as other rheumatology practice employees is $45 per year.

Membership Application/Member Dues Form

Contact our office: Phone: 206-956-3621  or via email:  admin@warheumatology.org