COVID-19 Medical Liability Protection Legislation Introduced
On May 28, Reps. Phil Roe, MD, (R-Tenn.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 7059, the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, which would provide health care professionals, and the facilities in which they work, protections from COVID-19-related lawsuits. Examples of increased liability risk that providers are confronting because of COVID-19 include:
- Practitioner shortages that have required providers to treat patients outside their general practice areas and prompted retired physicians to return to the workforce;
- Inadequate protective safety gear that could result in the inadvertent transmission of the virus;
- Lack of essential medical equipment, including ventilators, which may require the rationing of care;
- Inadequate testing leading to delayed or flawed diagnoses; and
- Delayed treatment of elective and non-COVID-19 medical treatments to save resources for coronavirus patients.
The AANS and the CNS issued a press release supporting the measure and sent a letter to the bill’s sponsors endorsing the legislation. Additionally, the neurosurgery groups led the Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) effort in support of H.R. 7059. Finally, the AANS and the CNS joined the American Medical Association and more than 130 state, specialty and national medical associations in a letter to congressional leaders. Click here to read HCLA’s letter and here to read the AMA-led letter.