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Advocacy Update: COVID-19 Medical Liability Protections

Updated September 23, 2020: During the COVID-19 crisis, The Doctors Company has continued to advocate broadly for comprehensive liability protections for healthcare providers and facilities. Our advocacy efforts include protections for healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients (or suspected COVID-19 patients) and for providers who have had to change the way they practice in response to emergency orders. Required practice changes have included actions such as suspending or delaying treatment for other patients, shifting to or increasing telehealth services, and triaging non‒COVID-19 patients differently during emergencies in areas hit hard by the pandemic. Healthcare providers are facing a backlog of patient needs as states begin easing restrictions on nonemergency care.

Early in the public health crisis, we and our allies worked to include the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act in the federal government’s initial comprehensive emergency response bill related to COVID-19. This legislation provided limited protections for volunteer healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients.

We are joining medical and specialty societies across the country to advocate for liability protections for all healthcare providers who are responding to the public health emergency. We are also continuing advocacy efforts at the state level to secure bipartisan legislation that would apply needed liability protections for all healthcare professionals. Thirty states have adopted protections.

At the federal level, we are supporting the medical profession by advocating to include commonsense bipartisan protections for all healthcare providers. We are asking Congress to include the provisions of HR 7059, the “Coronavirus Provider Protection Act,” in the next coronavirus legislative relief package.

We will continue to raise the issue of liability protections for all healthcare providers dealing with the fallout of COVID-19 and to keep this issue at the forefront of policy options. As circumstances change in the days and weeks ahead, we will be ready to act quickly. Visit our Legislative, Regulatory, and Judicial Advocacy page to learn more about our efforts and how you can get involved.

Read more about how COVID-19 highlights regulatory impact on the practice of medicine.