AMA weighs in on PPE, police reform & Medicare payments

The American Medical Association (AMA) has submitted a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to address personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages. AMA’s recommendations include “establishing a national response strategy on this issue that delineates federal and state responsibilities; focusing on the needs of all practice settings; the creation of a permanent home for federal logistical planning; and strict measures again price gouging that can occur during national emergencies.”

AMA has also sent a letter to Congressional leaders calling for them to “find common ground on a path forward on effective and equitable policing reforms.” AMA policy calls for “research into the public health consequences of violent police interactions; reporting of legal intervention deaths and law enforcement officer homicides to public health agencies; cautioning against excessive use of tasers and calling for law enforcement departments and agencies to have specific guidelines, rigorous training and an accountability systems in place for the use of such devices; support for the wearing of and funding for body-worn cameras by police; prohibitions on the use of choke and sleeper holds as the use of deadly force with the potential to kill; juvenile justice reform; and implicit/unconscious bias training for law enforcement.

And AMA was one of more than 100 organizations that signed a letter that was sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) calling for HHS to “use its authorities and flexibilities under the COVID-19 public health emergency to waive the requirement for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adjust Medicare physician payments for budget neutrality when it implements the office visit coding and payment changes that it has finalized for 2021.”