Coalition thanks Congress for protecting medical workers

Coalition thanks Congress for protecting medical workers

A coalition of 138 organizations recently sent a letter to congressional leaders, applauding the lawmakers for their efforts to help frontline medical facilities and personnel fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter also asked for more protections for physicians.

The organizations thanked Congress for expanding the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program for the duration of the pandemic but stated Congress could do more.

The program should reduce the per-claim recoupment amount from 100 percent to 25 percent, postpone recoupment for 365 days after the advance payment is issued, and extend the repayment period for physicians to at least two years.

Congress should leverage Medicare and Medicaid to provide financial assistance to physicians caring for patients during the pandemic, the letter said. This could be done by extending sequestration relief through Dec. 31, 2021, to provide financial relief as physician practices resume normal operations, increase Medicaid and TRICARE payment rates to assure parity with Medicare fee-for-service payments for the duration of the public health emergency, and waive budget neutrality for the Medicare payment changes for evaluation and management services that will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2021.

In addition, the coalition urged direct financial support for physician practices, resident physicians and students, and broad liability protections.