If there was ever a moment to be proud to be an emergency physician, now is that time. You have shown courage, skill, and ingenuity in the face of terrible crisis.
Today, ACEP is issuing a statement that the College is standing up for emergency physicians who, despite serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, are having their livelihoods threatened.
We are fighting a war with insufficient armor, and yet emergency physicians’ commitment remains unshaken. However, that battle gets exponentially harder if employers or elected officials fail to step up and protect us.
There are shocking reports of health care workers being threatened or silenced for speaking out about public safety concerns. Some are being removed from their duties when they are needed most, an unconscionable choice whether driven by economic necessity or worse, the self-preserving discretion of an employer.
Many emergency departments in rural or underserved communities are seeing a decline in patient volume - likely a positive outcome from official mandates to stay home. But this is one of several economic realities that puts emergency departments, which already operate on razor-thin margins, in a precarious position.
Cutting benefits or reducing shifts in today’s environment is akin to signing a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order for many emergency departments and the physicians who care for patients, especially those in rural or underserved areas. Turning off the lights at these vital emergency departments eliminates the best, and sometimes the only, option for care for these communities.
Now more than ever we need to rally behind you, our members, and that means ensuring you have the resources and support you need as we fight this protracted battle.
This pandemic will end at some point, and this country may look and feel very different when we emerge. It is often said that crisis reveals character. You on the frontline are risking your lives to do your jobs. And in these challenging times, emergency physicians must not be taken for granted.
ACEP4U: Supporting You Financially
Here are just a few tangible ways that ACEP is fighting to protect your livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- ACEP stopped the insurance companies from attaching "surprise billing" into legislation designed to help the economy and us.
- ACEP supported and promoted legislation that will provide the stimulus dollars for our economy and dollars directed to health care professionals. ACEP is pushing hard to ensure that funding included in the bill goes to you - because we have your back and know that you are risking your lives caring for patients.
- ACEP is already working on business resources to save our small groups and will be there to guide all groups on applying for funding.
- ACEP is already providing free counseling services to our members, and will have robust resources for your personal financial health when you are ready.
- ACEP worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to broaden regulations that will permit payment for telehealth and teletriage no matter where you or your patient is located. We are also working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to re-examine return to work recommendations.
- ACEP is pursuing every lead to identify generous partners willing to offer discounts to our members – Hilton, Avis, Freshly and more.