AAPM&R Applauds New CDC Guidance on Caring for Patients with Long COVID, Calls for Comprehensive National Efforts to Support Execution of New Guidance

Members & Publications


June 16, 2021

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) today applauds the new interim guidance that was released on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guidance provides a framework for healthcare providers in their initial assessment, evaluation, management and follow-up of persons with possible post-COVID conditions.

"Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) is affecting millions of Americans. This new guidance for frontline providers will greatly improve the speed and quality of healthcare's response to people suffering from Long COVID. It will help them regain quality of life and become active members of our community once again," said AAPM&R Vice President Steven R. Flanagan, MD, FAAPMR. Dr. Flanagan is the chair and a professor at Rusk Rehabilitation at New York University Langone Health.

He said that, "AAPM&R thanks the CDC for participating in our Multidisciplinary PASC Collaborative and for inviting us to play a significant role in developing this new guidance. This is a great first step to recognizing and meeting the needs of patients with Long COVID. But our work is far from over."

To comprehensively support the execution of this new guidance and ensure success, Flanagan said, "the U.S. must build an infrastructure to provide clinicians with the resources required to treat patients with Long COVID and ensure equitable access to care. Patients with Long COVID need to be able to see local providers who are equipped and qualified to care for them as soon as possible."

"If we do not build the infrastructure and ensure timely, equitable access to care, our society will continue to function at a deficit. We must restore America to its fullest potential and help millions suffering from Long COVID regain quality of life. PM&R physicians are vital in optimizing outcomes and function early and throughout the continuum of patient care," he recommended.

AAPM&R continues to call for a comprehensive national response to Long COVID to support the needs of millions of patients and meet this crisis head-on.  

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is the national medical specialty organization representing more than 10,000 physicians who are specialists in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. PM&R physicians, also known as physiatrists, treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. PM&R physicians evaluate and treat injuries, illnesses, and disability, and are experts in designing comprehensive, patient-centered treatment plans. Physiatrists utilize cutting–edge as well as time–tested treatments to maximize function and quality of life.

Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.