May 29: AMA COVID-19 efforts

The AMA released the following COVID-19 update on May 29:

Today representatives Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 7059, the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide targeted liability protections to health care providers who had to change how care was delivered based on public health recommendations that have been constantly changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA is supportive of the bill, and Dr. Harris is quoted in the press release announcing its introduction:

“The AMA applauds Reps. Phil Roe, M.D., and Lou Correa for their bipartisan effort to extend reasonable liability protections to physicians and other health care professionals caring for patients on the front lines during this unprecedented public health emergency. 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. 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 also signed on to a letter with 19 other health care stakeholders that calls on Congressional leaders to provide additional federal funding to states to support their Medicaid programs. Previously Congress passed legislation to provide states with a temporary 6.2 percentage point increase to their Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). With the country’s economic situation deteriorating since the initial legislation’s passage, more financial assistance is needed. Toward that end, this letter calls on Congress to enhance federal financing for the Medicaid program by at least 12 percentage points, with additional support for those states hardest hit.

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