AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and other hospital leaders met on March 11 with Vice President Mike Pence and key administration officials to provide recommendations on how the federal government can enhance its response to COVID-19 and to discuss the needs of the nation’s hospitals as they are mobilizing on all fronts.
On the same day, the AAMC sent a letter to congressional leaders and Vice President Pence on additional actions that both the administration and Congress can take to mitigate the outbreak and help teaching hospitals and faculty physicians deliver optimal care to their patients. It begins by requesting that the president declare a national emergency to authorize additional flexibility to address immediate challenges and prevent further issues.
Additional recommendations span five categories:
- Increasing the availability of testing.
- Ensuring adequate supplies and stewardship of personal protective equipment.
- Holding patients harmless for the cost of testing and treatment.
- Increasing the availability and use of telehealth.
- Supporting hospitals’ efforts to expand capacity to meet surging needs.
The letter also thanks Congress and the administration for the supplemental package and urges them to continue to look to the expertise of academic medicine as they advance the next phase of the nation’s response.
Congress and the White House are currently negotiating a second legislative package related to COVID-19 (see related story). The president signed an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental spending bill on March 6 [see Washington Highlights, March 6].