Grassroots Action Alert

As a cardiovascular clinician and an active member of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), we’re writing to ask for your urgent grassroots action as we manage the COVID-19 pandemic in our communities and across the country. Cardiovascular clinicians are collaborating on the front lines to best serve our patients and lead COVID-19 response planning for our institutions. Thought leaders from all corners of the College continue to highlight several areas as gaps where additional resources are essential as they attempt to execute social distancing while preparing for an expected surge.

In an effort to help members who are tirelessly serving their patients and communities, ACC and other medical society partners helped secure a substantial telemedicine victory in the first bipartisan emergency funding package that was signed into law on March 6th. This provision will increase access to telehealth services and protect vulnerable patient populations during the COVID-19 emergency. The College will continue to work towards improved healthcare delivery for patients while protecting clinician wellbeing throughout this crisis.

Please CLICK HERE to urge Congress to include the following in the next COVID-19 emergency response package:

Concerns about rationing care
Clinicians want to ensure all patients have access to the necessary supplies to fully treat their condition and provide the best chance at a full recovery. There is a growing concern for shortage of ICU equipment such as ventilators which will limit treatment and result in increased death rate, as has been seen in other countries. Congress should include resources to help bolster the supply chain of these life-saving necessities.

Continued emphasis on access to personal protective equipment
Members of the cardiovascular care team have shared that access to personal protective equipment (PPE) remains an obstacle. Severe shortages of this equipment – including N95 masks, sterile gloves, and surgical gowns – leaves many health professionals insufficiently protected amid this outbreak. We join with the medical community to urge policymakers to take strong steps to increase availability of these products in the next COVID-19 supplemental package.

Clarity on the specifics of caring for at-risk patients via remote and telehealth mechanisms
Aggressive implementation to allow telehealth management of all patients will go far in stemming disease transmission to all patients. Additional support from the federal government to ensure alignment with private payers would be helpful. Federal authority to care for patients across state lines in this emergency would allow even greater use of remote technology.

Clinician protections during a declared emergency
American healthcare clinicians are on the front lines of an unprecedented healthcare crisis and will be called upon to treat patients with limited supplies and protective gear while doing everything in their power to address an overwhelming need. It is essential that we support them now with reasonable protection from lawsuits while they serve their communities and our nation in these extraordinary times. Urge Congress to include S. 1350/H.R. 6283, the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, which would apply limited civil liability protections to volunteer clinicians during a federally declared disaster.

Please CLICK HERE to take action now!

Thank you,
ACC Advocacy