COVID-19 - Coronavirus


NOW AVAILABLE ON DEMAND

Learn more about new details regarding the PPP loan forgiveness rules in the latest #AskAOA Webinar with Jeffrey Michaels, O.D.


Email questions to AskAOA@aoa.org or ask live.

The AOA's Health Policy Institute has opened the second nationwide survey regarding the impact COVID-19 has had on our profession. Share your experiences to quantify how practices have been impacted through this pandemic as well as collect information regarding how doctors of optometry are providing essential urgent and emergency patient care.


Update June 4, 2020, 11 a.m. ET—New legislation allows flexibility in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Late in the day on June 3, the Senate approved a House-passed bill that would make key changes to the PPP. Key aspects of the bill include the following:

  • The covered period is extended to 24 weeks. Borrowers who already received a PPP loan can choose to maintain an 8-week covered period.
  • Loan forgiveness requirements related to percentage use toward payroll have been adjusted. Now 60% of the loan must go to payroll. This is a decrease from the previous requirement of 75%.
  • Loan payoff period is moved to five years, up from two years.
  • Rules regarding reductions of full-time equivalent staff members have been relaxed but not eliminated.

There are many areas that still require clarification and the AOA is working to obtain information and will provide rule guidance as soon as it is available. Unanswered questions include:

  • Will owners be able to pay more than $15,385?
  • Will non-owners wages increase to more than $15,385?
  • Will the loan interest rate change or will it remain at 1%?

AOA will host an updated #AskAOA webinar that complements our previous PPP webinars once critical clarifying information is obtained. In the meantime, send questions or feedback to AskAOA@aoa.org.

AOA patient care guidance to doctors of optometry on coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, April 24, 2020

As doctors of optometry resume delivery of complete, comprehensive eye health and vision care under a new phase of the nation's continuing COVID-19 pandemic response, the AOA recommends that clinical judgment and practice operations should be informed by the April 19 CMS reopening guidance and the Opening Up America Again plan, as well as all state, state board and local health directives.
 
The AOA has confirmed the CDC has removed the agency's March 17 nationwide recommendation to postpone routine eye care is no longer in effect, and that CMS's specific guidance on reopening facilities to provide nonemergent and non-COVID-19 health care is in force. Under this framework, state-by-state decisions will guide when and how doctors and practices can resume delivery of complete, comprehensive care. CDC has followed this guidance with a proposed Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

To assist doctors and their practices, the AOA has posted a guide to practice reactivation and other practice tools and crisis relief resources. In addition, members are urged to submit specific requests and questions to askAOA@aoa.org.


The American Optometric Association (AOA) is closely monitoring developments and will actively provide updates regarding COVID-19 to ensure doctors of optometry and the general public not only understand the risks associated with this pandemic but also have the latest information available for continued patient care. The AOA's priority is to support the health and safety of the public and the optometric community and will continue to assess the situation and update recommendations accordingly.


Urge your lawmakers to support immediate relief (S.3559/H.R.6365) for doctors of optometry and other physicians today!