ACC Advocates to Congressional Leadership for Fourth COVID-19 Package Priorities
As Congress continues negotiations around the next COVID-19 supplemental package, the ACC sent a letter to Senate and House leaders regarding ongoing patient and clinician needs.
To date, Congress has already passed three supplemental spending packages; however more assistance is needed in the following areas:
- Ongoing critical need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Ongoing financial stability measures for medical practices. Specifically, the ACC is seeking removal of the 25% cap on the use of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds to cover overhead expenses. Additional flexibility is also needed to pay vendors and maintain solvency while protecting the current workforce
- Access to consistent, nondiscriminatory and reliable testing
- Payment parity between telephone evaluation and office visits. The ACC is urging Congress to decouple newly-enacted telehealth flexibilities from "declared national emergency" and instead allow them on a continuing basis, lasting through at least the end of 2020, or when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary deems appropriate.
- Broadened clinician liability protections
- Continuation of cardiovascular disease research projects at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they relate to COVID-19
- Expanded Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots and workforce development
- Encouragement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to pressure Medicare Advantage plans to waive prior authorization requirements
- Delayed/relaxed administrative program requirements, including the Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) program, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, and interoperability and data blocking changes
ACC Advocacy staff continue to monitor legislative and regulatory updates and actively engage with members of Congress, as well as CMS, HHS, and the Food and Drug Administration, to ensure clinician and patient needs are met during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ACC members are encouraged to share their experiences regarding COVID-19 with their lawmakers and urge continued support in the next funding package. Take action here.
Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Infections, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), United States Food and Drug Administration, Personal Protective Equipment, Prior Authorization, COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
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