American Medical Association COVID-19 Efforts
July 2, 2020
The U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis asked the American Medical Association (AMA) to submit comments on personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages. Our recommendations include establishing a national response strategy on this issue that delineates federal and state responsibilities; focusing on the needs of all practice settings; the creation of a permanent home for federal logistical planning; and strict measures again price gouging that can occur during national emergencies.
The second item is a letter that the AMA sent today to Congressional leaders calling on them to find common ground on a path forward on effective and equitable policing reforms. In our letter, we press for AMA policy including research into the public health consequences of violent police interactions; reporting of legal intervention deaths and law enforcement officer homicides to public health agencies; cautioning against excessive use of tasers and calling for law enforcement departments and agencies to have specific guidelines, rigorous training and an accountability systems in place for the use of such devices; support for the wearing of and funding for body-worn cameras by police; prohibitions on the use of choke and sleeper holds as the use of deadly force with the potential to kill; juvenile justice reform; and implicit/unconscious bias training for law enforcement. This is a critical time on this issue, and it is imperative that Congress takes action.
Finally, the AMA and over 100 other organizations sent a sign-on letter to Secretary Azar at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) calling on HHS to use its authorities and flexibilities under the COVID-19 public health emergency to waive the requirement for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adjust Medicare physician payments for budget neutrality when it implements the office visit coding and payment changes that it has finalized for 2021.