April 3, 2020

Federal Advocacy: Protecting Access for Patients

The following are talking points to use in conversations, interviews and social media about ACEP’s federal advocacy around COVID-19.

  • As emergency physicians remain on the frontlines of caring for those affected, there is a continued need for policymakers to implement changes to effectively combat COVID-19.
  • At a federal level, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is focused on protecting patients’ access to care, securing the health care workforce, and ensuring adequate resource allocation during this growing public health emergency.
  • We urge the federal government to exhaust every option available to rapidly increase PPE production and prioritize distribution to emergency physicians and other frontline health care providers.

Protecting Access for Patients

  • Congress should ensure that insurance companies fully cover the cost of testing, diagnosis, and treatment provided, without patient cost sharing.
  • Beyond just boosting production of necessary medications and equipment, we must prioritize distribution to health care facilities.
  • The federal government should foster opportunities to advance telehealth and technology that enables care delivery from alternative settings, such as drive through testing.
    • Giving people more options to receive appropriate care and advice can lead to faster, more cost-effective testing while freeing up hospital capacity for those who need it most.
    • Telehealth also allows a person that suspects they have COVID-19 to remain at appropriate social distance or quarantined.
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