Physician Wellness Legislation Signed into Law
On March 18, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., signed the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (P.L. 117-105) into law. Endorsed by the AANS and the CNS, this new law establishes initiatives to address suicide, mental health, burnout and resiliency of health professionals. The measure includes programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration to promote evidence-informed strategies to improve well-being among health care trainees and professionals and a program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage health professionals to seek treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
The law was named after Lorna Breen, MD, an emergency physician at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital working on the front lines of the pandemic, who died by suicide on April 26, 2020. In the wake of her loss, her family and other physicians across the country are pushing for policy changes to make it easier for physicians to seek out mental health care.