On May 21, the AMA sent letters (below) to Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representatives Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA), Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) voicing their support for companion bills S. 3741 and H.R. 6644, “the Health Care at Home Act.” These bills would require health plans regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to cover telehealth services. Physicians and other health care providers are unsure of whom, and under what conditions, they are permitted to provide medical services via telehealth under ERISA plans. These bills would close this gap and provide clarity for physicians and patients.
On another issue, AMA also signed onto a letter (below) with 10 other health care organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association, that calls on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to immediately abandon any policy that seeks to separate parents from their children and to end family detention once and for all. This issue is of heightened urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.