AAPM&R and Other Medical Societies Urge Congress to Help Physicians Sustain Practices and Ensure Vital Access to PPE
On March 22, AAPM&R joined in collaboration with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, and other organized medicine groups to sign on to a letter urging Congress to include in the final “stimulus” legislation, specific provisions to help physicians sustain their practices and provide their patients with the best possible care during the COVID-19 emergency.
Specifically, the letter asks Congress to include measures that support and sustain physicians and their practices during this unprecedented national emergency in their legislation through tax relief, no-interest loans, direct payments, payment for virtual visits including phone calls, and other measures. The letter also strongly urges Congress to take all possible actions to ensure that every physician, and every health care worker, has access to critically-needed PPE.
As other societies continue to sign-on to the letter, they will be added to the official letter, including AAPM&R.
Practices are experiencing huge reductions in revenue while still having to pay rent, meet payroll, and meet other expenses without patients coming into their practices. In this letter, we are recommending that the stimulus package:
Require all payers, including ERISA plans, to provide coverage and payment for audio-only telehealth visits with patients, at the same level as in-person visits.
- Provide dedicated and direct financial support to physicians and their practices on the front lines of testing, diagnosing, and treating patients at risk of COVID-19, recognizing the increased costs they are incurring in the care of such patients.
- Provide dedicated financial support to all physicians and their practices who are experiencing adverse economic impact on their practices from suspending elective visits and procedures.
We are also urging Congress to increase funding and all possible actions must be taken to increase the capacity to manufacture, acquire, and distribute PPE.
Please read the full letter here. We will keep you updated on the outcomes of this and are continuing to add resources in our COVID-19 Physiatrist Member Support and Resource Center.