Clinicians fighting pandemic seek HHS support 'against financial peril'

More than 100 physician organizations wrote a letter urging HHS to provide one month of revenue to each physician, nurse practitioner and physician assistant enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid to account for financial hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter states that physicians across the country are facing financial burdens as a result of the pandemic, including staying in hotels or renting apartments so as not to infect their loved ones with COVID-19. Also, physicians practicing in office-based setting and ambulatory surgical centers are not seeing patients for nonessential visits and procedures to preserve medical supplies for the COVID-19 response.

The letter also states that physician practices will face financial hardship. Small practices may not be able to bounce back from the loss of revenue and large practices will not qualify for the small business assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, and thus they are considering laying off staff and physicians.

The organizations urge HHS to provide financial assistance by providing one month of revenue that clinicians enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid would have received from the programs prior to the pandemic.

"Physicians are continuing to put their patients’ needs first to combat this unprecedented public health emergency," the letter states. "We urge you to support them against financial peril while they put their lives and businesses at risk."

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