March 27, 2020 | 5 MIN ReaD
Clinic Operations & Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic
These days we have many questions, fewer answers, and an endless supply of information. While the duration and long term effects of this pandemic remain unknown, we do know there are practical steps your clinic can take to mitigate its immediate impacts. This post is aimed at providing you with helpful resources to aid you in navigating your clinic through this unprecedented time.
This post will cover:
• New income relief for clinic owners, staff, and practitioners
• Employment Insurance rules for self-employed clinic owners, staff, and practitioners
• New government loans available to small businesses affected by COVID-19
• Tools to keep your patients informed
• Common support questions regarding clinic operations due to COVID-19
New Income Relief for Small Businesses: Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
On March 25, the Government of Canada announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
When the legislation passes, CERB will provide a taxable benefit that gives $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to all workers who lose their income because of COVID-19. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April, and Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application.
The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers, and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. If your clinic finds itself in this predicament, this would help keep your employees on payroll, while ensuring you are able to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.
• Applicants that would also qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) would qualify for CERB.
• Workers who are still employed but have no income also qualify.
• If you are already on EI, you should not apply for the CERB.
• If you are on EI, but it ends before Oct 3, 2020, you can apply once EI is expired.
• If you are eligible for the regular EI or sickness benefit, you can still access normal EI benefits if you are still unemployed after the 16 weeks of CERB.
• CERB will be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
EI: Encourage Staff to Apply
Immediately, your staff are able to apply for EI under Canada’s current requirements.
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
Staff that have been laid off or have reduced hours can be encouraged to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits. Applications must be submitted online. The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.
If your staff are directly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are no longer working, you will need to issue a Record of Employment (ROE).
Additionally, the Canadian Government has announced it will be providing small business with wage subsidies as follows:
We are providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
Small Business Loans
Effective March 18, 2020, financial support in the form of loans were made available through the BDC. To support companies impacted by COVID-19, new relief measures for qualified business include:
• Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible repayment terms such as principal postponements for qualifying businesses;
• Flexible repayment terms, such as postponement of principal payments for up to 6 months, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
• Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
Additional details including industry specific support will be released in the coming days.
BDC experts share short-term economic perspectives and advice on how to manage through the crisis. A 30 minute on-demand webinar is available and recommended for all Canadian Entrepreneurs: BDC Webinars.
More information from the BDC: BDC Special Support
Keeping Your Patients Informed: Helpful Juvonno Tools
Although we are physically distant at this time, there are tools in Juvonno that can keep the lines of communication open to your patient community:
The simplest tool? JuvonnoComm. Skip third-party solutions like MailChimp or Constant Contact. JuvonnoComm taps into your EMR database right within Juvonno to send mass emails and texts. Pre-templated message campaigns simplify the process even further. With a few clicks, you can deliver important information to your patients. Key statistics like messages sent, unsubscribes, and clicks will appear on your dashboard instantly and update in real-time.
Note: We are also waiving subscription fees for the next two months to help alleviate some of the financial burden. You will only be charged for messages you send at the rate of $0.01/message.
This report builder is your solution for creating a patient contact list. Report filters allow you to slice, dice, and segment your patient lists by demographic, last invoice date, last appointment date, and more. This means you can filter your data down to view only patients who have been seen in a certain time period (only those who have been within the last 30, 60, 90 days for example). Segmentation is a powerful tool that allows you to tailor a message that is highly relevant to the patient group.
When it comes time to send a message, Patient Insights reports connect directly to JuvonnoComm so you can easily send a message to these patients. Alternatively, you can export this report to Excel and import the file to MailChimp or another email service.
Common Questions: Adjusting Settings in Juvonno due to COVID-19
We’ve been receiving common support questions regarding clinic operations in recent weeks. Here are several Support Docs to help you and your practice respond to COVID-19:
• How to disable the patient portal and online booking
• How to edit email and SMS appointment reminders
• How to turn off all appointment confirmation notifications
• How to turn off all appointment reminders: Contact Juvonno Support at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this information is useful to you and your team during this difficult time. Please reach out if you have any questions. We’ll keep doing everything we can to provide you with up-to-date news and resources, and support you as this situation evolves. Be sure to visit our blog for the latest.
Your Juvonno Team
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