Lone Star Alliance: Coronavirus update

March 18, 2020

Updated March 26, 2020.

Coronavirus update
Lone Star Alliance, RRG (LSA) is here to provide any guidance you may need to navigate these uncertain times. Please see our latest LSA coverage FAQs.

However, we want you to be aware that, as of today, Wednesday, March 18, we are asking our team members to work remotely from home. We are taking this measure to protect our employees and to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

That said, it is our deep commitment to you, our policyholders, to maintain business as usual during this crisis. Whether you have questions about your coverage or how to prepare your practice for coronavirus, we remain available to help you.

Premium payment update
We understand that due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it may become difficult for some practices to pay their premium payments. To that end, LSA will not cancel any policy due to challenges related to the COVID-19 emergency that prevent you from paying your premium on time.

If you are unable to pay at this time, please contact our offices to discuss alternate payment options or schedules.  

We remain available for you to submit payments via telephone by calling toll free, 844-595-8866.  Also, for your convenience, guest payments can be made online or by logging in to your myLoneStar account

LSA is committed to working with our policyholders to ease some of the burden created by this uncertain time.

Extended LSA customer service hours
As of March 24, 2020, LSA is extending business hours for its Customer Service Department. This department will be open and taking calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday (central standard time). Customer Service will answer your questions or transfer your call directly to representatives from our Claims, Underwriting & Business Development, or Risk Management Departments. These departments are also open for extended hours to answer your questions. Call toll free, 844-595-8866.

After 8 p.m., callers have the option to follow telephone prompts to report a claim, report a non-claim-related issue, or ask questions.

LSA is extending its hours in support of our physician community during the COVID-19 crisis. We will maintain these new hours until further notice.

Webinars: Coronavirus risk management and FAQs
Two new, on-demand webinars from Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT) on coronavirus are now available to view. The latest, recorded March 24, is COVID-19: Medical liability FAQs. In it, staff members from TMLT's Claims, Risk Management, and Underwriting & Business Development Departments answer your medical liability and regulatory questions related to this public health emergency. It can be viewed on TMLT's Resource Hub or YouTube channel.

The first TMLT webinar addressing COVID-19 is Coronavirus: Answers to your risk management questions, recorded March 13. This webinar covers such topics as HIPAA and patient privacy; sharing PHI with public health authorities; and preparing for coronavirus in your practice. It can be viewed on the TMLT Resource Hub; TMLT's YouTube channel; or AdobeConnect, TMLT's webinar platform. On this platform, you can download documents referred to in the webinar. 

LSA policies and telemedicine
LSA policies cover telemedicine visits. Before this coverage is active, we typically ask policyholders to complete a questionnaire specific to telehealth. However, during this time, LSA is waiving this requirement until further notice if you are providing telemedicine services within the state for which coverage has been approved. We still require a questionnaire in order to extend coverage outside the state(s) for which your LSA coverage currently applies.

On Tuesday, March 17, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it will exercise "enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations" against providers serving patients through "everyday communications" during this public health emergency. This announcement applies to the "good faith" use of such apps as FaceTime or Skype. For more information, read the OCR press release. We strongly recommend that you follow your state medical board rules regarding the use of telemedicine. 

For example, in Texas, the Texas Medical Board has rules for telemedicine and corresponding FAQs. The TMB also recently suspended some areas of existing telemedicine rules, until terminated by the Office of the Governor or the disaster declaration is ended.

If you have any questions regarding telemedicine, please contact your underwriter.

LSA policies and emergency relief work
LSA policies generally provide coverage to policyholders for liability arising out of the conduct of a medical practice including, in this case, any relief work related to COVID-19.

Therefore, our policies will generally extend coverage in instances where you are called upon to perform additional responsibilities outside of your routine practice during this crisis period.

However, if you are employed by a group, your group may restrict coverage only to work done on behalf of the group. Please check your policy to see if this restriction is in place, and work with your group to expand coverage.

We strongly recommend you consult with the resources below, under "Stay informed," for the most current information.

LSA policies and business interruption coverage
LSA policies do not cover business interruption due to epidemic outbreaks. Business interruption coverage is most frequently available as part of a general liability or property insurance policy. Check with your agent or insurance provider to see if this coverage is included in any of your other business policies.

Please contact your underwriter if you have any other coverage questions.

Stay informed
This is a developing issue, and we encourage you to use the following resources to stay informed with the most up-to-date and reliable information.

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