AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement after the Senate came to an agreement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748):
“We are heartened and grateful to congressional leaders and the administration for the agreement on the supplemental funding package. It is a crucial step toward ensuring that teaching hospitals, academic physicians, and all health care providers get essential support to fight the growing coronavirus pandemic and care for patients.
The new $100 billion emergency fund will help stabilize teaching hospitals and faculty physician practices that are challenged by lost revenue attributable to the treatment of patients during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – losses estimated at millions of dollars per day. Other emergency investments in research and public health will help bolster our nation’s response. Additionally, delaying the Medicare sequester beginning May 1 through the end of 2020 and providing an increase in the Medicare reimbursement rates for COVID-19 patients, among other provisions, will ease the financial burden on hospitals and physicians who are critical first responders in this pandemic.
Because of their expert faculty physicians, health care teams, and cutting-edge medical research and technology, AAMC-member teaching hospitals, and their physicians, provide care for complex patients and routinely maintain a heightened level of preparedness to mobilize rapidly in response to any health care crisis at any time.
As in previous crises, major teaching hospitals and their medical school faculty physicians have mobilized on all fronts to develop and perform diagnostic tests, advance research on vaccines and other potential countermeasures, and provide front line patient care during an unprecedented emergency. This supplemental package will provide an important level of relief for these heroic efforts, and we urge swift enactment and implementation.
We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to ensure a continuing commitment to the nation’s teaching hospitals and medical schools so that they can continue to serve their communities and the nation throughout this crisis.”
The AAMC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their 173,000 faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.