ACR calls on Congress to approve financial support for practices impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns – Healio

Ellen Gravallese

Physicians and advocates from the American School of Rheumatology are set to satisfy — just about — with legislators Friday, Could 22, to push for direct federal aid for susceptible specialty practices which were financially impacted by efforts to curb the unfold of COVID-19.

“Suppliers are grateful for the preliminary funding assist obtained from the CARES Act, nonetheless it’s clear from speaking with my colleagues throughout the nation that these funds won’t be ample to take care of affected person entry to care and guarantee supplier solvency over the long run of this pandemic,” Blair Solow, MD, chair of the ACR’s Authorities Affairs Committee, mentioned in a press launch. “CARES Act funding isn’t required to assist staffing or the upkeep of employees salaries, so funds obtained by bigger well being care techniques and organizations could not forestall job loss, furloughed positions or wage cuts.”

“To guard affected person entry, we’re calling on Congress to go even additional within the subsequent emergency aid legislative package deal,” she added. “We’re additionally encouraging rheumatology professionals to contact their legislators immediately by the ACR’s Legislative Motion Middle or on social media to allow them to know in regards to the affect of their state.”

In keeping with the ACR, many rheumatology practices are struggling to make payroll and lease, with some even compelled to shut, within the identify of defending sufferers from contracting the coronavirus. Those who have stayed open have deferred affected person visits and adopted telehealth for lab overview, cellphone calls, prior authorizations and drugs refills, all of which require employees and doctor sources. Different practices have been compelled to extend employees or prolong work hours to deal with regular volumes of sufferers, attributable to limits on the variety of folks allowed within the clinic at anybody time.

 

Physicians and advocates from the American School of Rheumatology are set to satisfy — just about — with legislators Friday, Could 22, to push for direct federal aid for susceptible specialty practices which were financially impacted by efforts to curb the unfold of COVID-19.

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Moreover, bigger hospital techniques have introduced billions in loses, the discharge added.

As Congress strikes, in its personal manner, towards with the subsequent potential section of COVID-19 aid laws, the ACR is urging lawmakers to think about the next measures to help rheumatology and different susceptible specialist practices:

  • Authorize direct, one-time grants for suppliers which might be equal to their complete payroll and overhead prices courting from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2019, as beneficial by the American Medical Affiliation;
  • Grants and forgivable mortgage applications geared toward rectifying furloughs and wage cuts amongst well being care suppliers and employees; and
  • Mandate that any extra funding for CARES Act applications first be directed at defending the salaries and jobs of the suppliers and employees employed by the recipient practices and organizations.

The ACR can be calling on Congress to go the Well being Care at Residence act (H.R. 6644), which it says would prolong parity for audio-visual and audio-only telehealth visits in employer-based insurance coverage protection.

“Such assist for telehealth entry and ample reimbursement will enhance entry to take care of these in rural and underserved areas and assist suppliers ship extra environment friendly well being care to sufferers in want even after this disaster has handed,” the ACR mentioned within the launch.

The ACR can be urging lawmakers to assist CMS’ Doctor Charge Schedule updates scheduled for January 2021. In keeping with ACR, the updates are mandatory to make sure that specialties that deal with power illness can proceed serving sufferers.

Ellen Gravallese, MD, president of the ACR, mentioned within the press launch: “Through the COVID-19 pandemic, after we are counting on our well being care techniques, practices and suppliers greater than ever, we should be sure that rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals — who’re already experiencing a extreme workforce scarcity — can hold their doorways open to serve sufferers.” – by Jason Laday

Disclosures: Gravallese and Solow reviews employment with ACR.

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