The Senate agreed by voice vote on Feb. 17 to pass and send to the president’s desk the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R. 1667), AAMC-supported legislation authorizing initiatives to address suicide, mental health, and burnout of health professionals.
Included in the measure are programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration to promote evidence-informed strategies to improve well-being among health care trainees and professionals and a program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage health professionals to seek treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
In a Feb. 18 statement, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and the three other bipartisan lead Senate sponsors of the bill, Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.), applauded Senate passage.
“Our health care workers have long suffered significant burnout, and it’s been exacerbated by serving on the front lines combatting COVID-19,” said Kaine. “We owe these healers not only a debt of gratitude, but more robust support. This legislation will take steps to provide them with greater resources to cope with the mental health challenges they face.”
Both the House and the Senate had passed a version of the bill in 2021 [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 10, 2021], but a technical issue required the Senate to vote a second time to clear the bill for the president’s signature.