Doctors’ Orders January 15, 2021

Doctors’ Orders is a weekly podcast designed to give physicians and other listeners concise news and information relevant to the practice of medicine. You can find Doctors’ Orders almost anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Click here to listen to the podcast

This is Doctors’ Orders brought to you by Memphis Medical Society. I’m Clint Cummins.

First, a great educational opportunity on January 16th…

The Minority Health Institute and UCLA BRITE Center for Science, Research and Policy invite you to attend a virtual town hall with some of the nations’ premier

COVID-19 experts and historically Black institution and organization leaders to address facts, fears and myths pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination as we fight to

protect and save Black lives. To register, go to click here.

In national healthcare news…

TMA and the American Medical Association signed on to a letter opposing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Interim Final Rule (IFR) , entitled “Authority of VA Professionals to Practice Health Care.”  The IFR establishes the VA’s authority to allow virtually all non-physician providers, as defined in the U.S. Code (38 U.S.C. 7401(1) or (3)), to practice without the clinical supervision of a physician. In doing so, the IFR preempts state license, registration, certification, supervision or other requirements.  The letter also asserts that the IFR is unlawful rulemaking because the VA did not follow the normal notice and commenting process stipulated by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Basically, the VA is granting full practice authority to certain non-physician providers and possibly not following standard procedure.

Also, nationally, The Washington Post (1/7, Guarino) reports, “People with no symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of the novel coronavirus, according to a model developed by” CDC researchers. According to the model, 59% of transmissions come from asymptomatic people. The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.

A study out of the UK shows promising data regarding COVID-19 immunity from infection lasting as long as 5 months. Spread is still possible, though, so precautions should certainly continue.

At the state level…

Memphis Medical Society and TMA recently hosted several physician groups impacted by balance or surprise medical billing and heard from Senator Bo Watson and Representative Robin Smith regarding their proposed legislation intended to further improve the federal omnibus legislation passed at year-end. We will share a summary of that meeting via email as soon as possible.

Eleven healthcare bills were filed in the first week at the Capitol in Nashville. Stay tuned to our emails and TMA’s for up to date advocacy. You can go to for detailed information.

An update to our earlier guidance encouraging providers to apply to be vaccination sites for their providers: the current supply is currently not making distribution to outpatient clinics possible. The state is still encouraging outpatient clinics to apply for phase 1a2, but there is no guidance regarding when that supply would arrive. Folks, I promise we are advocating for you every day, especially to get you vaccinated. But some things, well…I’ll leave it at that.

On the local front…

The Society continues to work behind the scenes to get all outpatient healthcare workers in Memphis vaccinated against COVID-19 who wish to do so. We have advocated with Shelby County Health Department and local hospitals to get many of you vaccinated. Please monitor email communication from us and Shelby County Health Department regarding future vaccination appointment opportunities.

Quick shoutout to our friends and partners at First Horizon Medical Private Banking. Thank you to Margaret Yancey and Jeff McIlvain for taking care of physicians and taking care of our organization’s financial needs! They have sponsored us for basically one millions years. We can’t thank you guys enough!

And finally, if you’re a physician don’t forget about Thrive, our wellbeing hotline, which connects you to free and confidential counseling with a licensed psychologist. That’s right, it’s free and confidential.

You can find out more about Thrive and all of today’s stories on our homepage at – just scroll down to the News and Events section.

That’s it for this week’s edition of Doctors’ Orders. Thanks for listening. Be safe, be resilient and be well.