Our National Call to Action Regarding Long COVID


Members & Publications

AAPM&R called on President Joe Biden and Congress to gear up for the next coronavirus crisis, by preparing and implementing a comprehensive national plan focused on the needs of millions of individuals suffering from the long-term symptoms of COVID-19.

According to two recent publications from the Journal of the American Medical Association, ten to thirty percent of individuals who had COVID-19 reported at least one persistent symptom up to six months after the virus left their bodies. That means 3 to 10 million Americans are experiencing symptoms of Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), which are varied and ongoing, including neurological challenges, cognitive problems such as brain fog, shortness of breath, fatigue, pain, and mobility issues.

"We must act now to form and implement a national crisis management plan that will help Americans impacted by PASC not only survive COVID-19 but regain their quality of life and return to being active members of their communities"
- Stuart M. Weinstein, MD, FAAPMR, AAPM&R President

 

The comprehensive national plan should include the following:

Resources to Build Necessary Infrastructure

  • Rehabilitation care infrastructure and funding to meet this crisis.
  • Resources that local health systems need for the necessary facilities and supplies to support patients and provide expert care.
  • Appropriate reimbursement for care.

Equitable Access to Care for Patients

  • Timely and local patient access to multidisciplinary care.
  • Address inequities in the U.S. healthcare system that result in diminished access to sustained quality care because of racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic factors.
  • Access by patients who do not recover quickly to strengthened safety-net care, including disability evaluation and benefits.

Research to Advance Medical Understanding of Long COVID/PASC

  • The Academy applauds Congress for funding research, and the current efforts of the NIH, WHO and CDC to advance our understanding and research of Long COVID-related issues.
  • As research is conducted, results are needed in real-time to support providers in rapidly developing best practices for care.