AMA, ISMA seek COVID-19 liability protections, other accommodations
ISMA this week agreed to join the AMA in urging congressional leaders to include liability protections for physicians in the next COVID-19 relief package. The draft joint letter specifically endorses the protections included in the bipartisan bill H.R. 7059, the “Coronavirus Provider Protection Act.”

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, MD, (R-Tenn.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.), would provide targeted liability protections to health care providers, who have had to adapt to constantly changing public health recommendations on how to deliver care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMA said in a news release.

“Physicians and other health care professionals are putting themselves at risk every day while facing shortages of medical supplies and safety equipment, as well as changing directives and guidance from all levels of government,” AMA President Patrice Harris, MD, said. “These health care professionals now face the threat of years of costly litigation due to circumstances that are beyond their control. We commend Reps. Roe and Correa for recognizing that reasonable liability protections are in the best interest of our country as we continue to combat COVID-19 and begin to recover from this pandemic.”

The AMA sent two other letters of interest to physicians in the past week. A June 1 letter urges the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend policies making telehealth more accessible to Medicare patients beyond the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The AMA also signed on to a letter with 19 other health care stakeholders, calling on Congressional leaders to provide additional federal funding to states to support their Medicaid programs.