Important Due Process Legislation Update
H.R.6910 - To Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services Issue Regulations to Ensure Due Process Rights for Physicians Furnishing Emergency Medical Services
We are excited to announce that U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation to protect emergency physician due process rights. This marks a definitive step towards protecting your rights as a physician and ensuring that we can deliver quality care to our patients without fear of unjust termination. It is a top federal legislative priority for the Academy and we are proud to have worked closely with the sponsors on this legislation. We will provide more information and a bill number when it becomes available.
This is a topic of huge importance for both AAEM and AAEM/RSA and one of the driving forces of both organization's mission statements.
"The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) is proud to support Representative Marshall and Representative Ruiz to ensure every emergency physician has medical staff due process rights. There is no greater policy imperative for patient safety and quality care than enacting this due process legislation." said David A. Farcy, MD FAAEM FCCM, President of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.
"Due Process is more than just a safeguard against wrongful termination. It's a means by which physicians can advocate for their patients without fear of retribution by the corporate medical machine that has annexed medicine. AAEM/RSA supports this bill not only because of the principle of Due Process, but because our residents and medical students deserve to enter fair and just working environments when they finish their training and become full-fledged emergency physicians." said Haig Aintablian, MD, President of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association.
Below you will find the press release from Representatives Marshall and Ruiz. We will keep our members updated as we know more about the status of this proposed legislation.
MARSHALL AND RUIZ INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO ENSURE PATIENT SAFETY IN ER CARE
May 22, 2020
Washington - Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) and Raul Ruiz, M.D. (R-CA) recently introduced H.R. 6910, the ER Hero and Patient Safety Act, legislation that would ensure all emergency room (ER) physicians are able to keep their public promise to practice medicine ethically and put their patient’s health first. To meet complex organizational challenges of their ERs, some hospitals have outsourced their entire ER department to physician staffing companies. Unfortunately, federal law has not been updated to these reflect changes in the industry and due process rights are not guaranteed to physicians who are not directly employed by the hospital. This bill would ensure due process rights for ER physicians that are employed by a third-party contractors or physician staffing companies.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has brought this issue to nation’s attention,” said Rep. Marshall. “In major headline news, we’re seeing ER physicians being fired or threatened with termination just for addressing issues that jeopardize the safety of their patients, their colleagues, and themselves. Without due process in our nation’s greatest safety net, physicians are unable to act as their patient’s best advocate. This is not what America’s public health heroes deserve, especially in the wake of COVID-19. Our bill updates federal law to ensure that all physicians working in a hospital’s ER have due process rights.”
“Patient health and safety is my number one priority as a physician and a member of Congress,” said Rep. Ruiz. “It’s more important now than ever that health care providers are empowered to make decisions based on quality of care and patient safety – not whether they could be fired for reporting dangerous conditions in the hospital. I am proud to co-author this bill to guarantee that doctors are afforded due process rights and whistleblower protections.”
Several studies and surveys have demonstrated that a lack of due process distorts the practice of emergency medicine, contributes to the physician workforce shortage, can prioritize financial incentivizes over appropriate clinical care, and undermines a physician’s Hippocratic Oath.
This legislation is supported by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association, Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine, American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, and the American College of Medical Toxicology.