AAEM Sends Letter to Congress for Further Protections during COVID-19
On April 10, 2020 the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) sent a letter to Congress calling for further protections for emergency physicians during COVID-19. The letter asked Congress to consider two additional provisions to help emergency physicians and other healthcare professionals that may be unable to work or suffer severe illness or death during the course of treating COVID-19 patients:
- Enact an income protection program for emergency physicians and other healthcare professionals who become unable to perform their jobs during a period of self-isolation or infection resulting from their treatment of COVID-19 patients. Neither these workers nor their families should be asked to forego this income as a result of providing care for the very sick. This income protection program should apply retroactively from the inception of the public health emergency and remain in effect for the duration of the emergency. While Congress enacted legislation to expand sick leave, our employers can be exempted from these new requirements because they employ health care providers.
- Provide funding to cover medical expenses incurred by emergency physicians and other healthcare professionals who contract COVID-19 during the course of caring for patients. These expenses should be fully covered regardless of the site of care or insurance implications, and these services should include any COVID-19 treatment furnished from the outset of the public health emergency.
It also requested specific actions be taken for emergency physicians under the CARES Act.