Let’s Ensure Hospitals Can Fight Coronavirus instead of Frivolous Lawsuits
Patients have been delaying cancer treatments, heart surgeries, and doctors’ appointments so health care providers can focus on fighting the coronavirus—but that wait may get longer if Democrats continue to seek a frivolous lawsuit bonanza for trial lawyers.
Key Message: Patients need care from providers who follow federal and state coronavirus guidelines for best practices at home—yet the American Hospital Association has expressed concern that without extra protection, health care workers and hospitals will be “harassed by a bunch of lawsuits.” The American Medical Association has warned that physicians are “vulnerable to future liability claims, adding stress to this already high-pressure situation.” Health providers need protection.
- Health care providers on the front lines have greater tools, flexibility, and relief thanks to waivers issued by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. These include expanded telehealth, increased utilization of care capacity in the community and allowing clinicians to work across state lines.
- Hospitals and health systems have been hit with significant financial losses by COVID-19—and fighting trial lawyers in court will only make that worse. Working together, Congress and the Administration have distributed over $200 billion to help providers weather the fiscal shortfall caused by the pandemic.
- Republicans have offered reasonable protections to ensure health care providers maintain focus on coronavirus. But Speaker Pelosi has said Democrats “would not be inclined to be supporting any immunity from liability.” (“Negotiators Face More Contentious Issues Than State, Local Aid,” Roll Call, 5/06/2020)
The Takeaway: Let’s let our front-line health care workers focus on fighting the coronavirus, not lawsuits.
Want to read more on the fight against Coronavirus? Read our Coronavirus Bulletin here which contains our extensive FAQ about recent federal actions.
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