AAHKS joins the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and nearly 60 specialty, state and other health care groups in requesting Congressional leadership include the following in a fourth COVID-19 relief package:
- Direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of the Treasury to prioritize relief provided within CARES for physician practices in communities at risk of losing access to needed musculoskeletal care should those practices be unable to remain open.
- Direct CMS to extend the recoupment deadline in the Medicare accelerated payments program provided for in CARES to December 31, 2021, to allow for loan forgiveness for providers and facilities that cannot afford repayment at that date, and to clarify the tax liability for recipients. Without this extension, many orthopaedic practices have reported the accelerated payment program will not provide the intended relief.
- Include the Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Senator John Barrasso, MD (R-WY) to extend a critical lifeline to physicians and facilities most at risk of closing their doors.
- Expand eligibility within the Paycheck Protection Program for physician practices with over 500 employees who desperately need access to forgivable loan programs in order to maintain staff.
- Add blanket liability protections for physicians who are working outside their normal practice area in order to provide surge capacity but not volunteering and therefore not covered by the “good Samaritan” language in CARES.
- Ensure physicians, healthcare workers, and first responders are included and covered under the paid sick leave provisions instituted by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.