18 healthcare groups urge Congress to act immediately on 3 mission-critical requests

Trade associations from every sector of the healthcare industry sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders and Vice President Mike Pence, requesting immediate action on three time-sensitive requests to help address supply and capacity challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The 18 groups that signed the March 18 letter represent hospitals, physicians, nurses, clinical laboratories, health insurers, biopharmaceutical manufacturers, specialty and post-acute facilities, pharmacy benefit managers, and distributors. Below are the three requests detailed in the letter.

1. The groups said the most critical supplies needed are equipment for testing, personal protection for providers, and respiratory support for patient care. "We recognize that the President has invoked the Defense Production Act and urge the federal government to expeditiously move to spur massive, increased production, distribution, and access to gowns, masks, gloves, testing kits, testing swabs, and respiratory machines," the groups wrote.

2. The groups said action needs to be taken to strengthen provider capacity and to drive patients to appropriate sites of care. They recommended modifying existing facilities in and around hospitals, constructing temporary units, ramping up use of telehealth, expanding clinician capability to work at top of license and removing regulatory restrictions that limit in-home care.

3. Ensuring continued access to medications is also a top priority, according to the groups. They said it's vital to protect "the free flow of medicines, pharmaceutical ingredients and related goods, while avoiding mandates that could disrupt the supply chain." They also said it's necessary to provide regulatory flexibilities to allow home delivery and early refills when needed.

Here are the 18 groups that signed the letter:

  • America's Health Insurance Plans
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Clinical Laboratory Association
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • Association of Accessible Medicines
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Children's Hospital Association
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • Healthcare Distribution Alliance
  • Healthcare Leadership Council
  • HIMSS
  • Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

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Medicare pricing for coronavirus tests: 3 things to know

 

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