Lifting Barriers to Better Care
COVID-19 exposed a tragic reality: America’s healthcare system – your healthcare system – is undermined by too much bureaucracy and red tape that prevents doctors, nurses, and medical researchers from helping people.
We all saw that from the start. Faulty tests. Too few beds and ventilators. Delays in supplying protective gear. Not enough doctors and nurses in hardest-hit areas. Each of these problems was the result of some misguided policy that until now went mostly unnoticed.
In response to the crisis, state and federal authorities removed many of the bureaucratic barriers that stood in the way of doctors, nurses, and researchers doing their jobs.
- Telemedicine restrictions were waived to allow safer doctor visits from home.
- Researchers were allowed to develop better and faster tests and market them outside the government system.
- Licensing laws were suspended, giving medical professionals the ability to work where they were needed most.
- And restrictions on hospital beds and equipment were lifted.
The result? American lives were saved.
The success of these reforms shows the good we can achieve when we completely reimagine our approach to healthcare and put our trust in doctors, nurses, researchers, and patients. It’s an approach that finds the American people on common ground. Recent polling found that 83 percent of Americans said they want health professionals to have more flexibility in providing care as they and their patients see fit.
TELEHEALTH – Telehealth is a perfect tool for social distancing because it keeps people at home, helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus and saving lives. Under the administration’s emergency waivers, Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country for all beneficiaries. It also allows providers to forward videos and images to other doctors, known as “store and forward.” Telehealth has proven very popular with Medicare beneficiaries, with one CMS data analyst reporting telehealth visits for Medicare beneficiaries went from about 10,000 a week to 300,000 as of the last week in March.
PROFESSIONAL LICENSING –In response to hospitals in hard-hit areas resorting to retirees and medical students to fill gaps, CMS relaxed a variety of guidelines regulating how physicians, nurse practitioners, and occupational therapists can do their jobs. Under the relaxed guidance, clinicians can now practice at the top of their licenses and across state lines. Automatic licensing recognition would be a godsend for patients and could help to ease local physician and nurse shortages
PHYSICIAN SUPERVISION – Cutting out non-essential physician supervision and signoff requirements – for example, a requirement that mandates that a physician (as opposed to a nurse or physician assistant) must physically order home health services, sign the patient’s plan of care, and/or re-certify that the patient is eligible for services – can be counterproductive in a critical situation like a viral pandemic.
PATIENT PRIVACY –The Department of Health and Human Services’ current policy allows for more software platforms to be used in provider-patient communication, which would be otherwise prohibited by HIPAA. This is helping more patients get access to effective tracing, testing, and treatment.
Social Media Challenge: Share Your Story, Share Your Opinion:
Share Your Story, Share Your Opinion! Telehealth is a perfect tool for social distancing because it keeps people at home, helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus and saving lives. Under the administration’s emergency waivers, Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country for all beneficiaries.
Help us get this message to policymakers by signing the letter to your congressman demanding to Make Effective Health Care Reforms Permanent!
- Grab a recording device that provides you with the best audio/video quality.
- Center yourself in the frame and make sure the camera is at eye level.
- Do a “soundcheck.” Record a short video of yourself and replay it to make sure that you can see and hear yourself clearly.
- In approximately 30-60 seconds, share with the audience why Congress needs to take immediate legislative steps to make permanent many of the regulatory reforms instituted by federal agencies to fight COVID-19.
- Share your video on your social media channels and encourage 5 of your friends to do the same.
Spread the Word
Post the following graphics on your social media accounts to help spread the word.
We encourage you to think of your own captions but here are some suggestions to share with the graphics:
- The American people support immediate legislative steps to make permanent many of the regulatory reforms instituted by federal agencies to fight COVID-19. What is Congress waiting for?
- Once federal agencies like the FDA, CMS, CDC, and others began waving unnecessary regulations, health care providers were able to begin addressing critical shortages of health care professionals, medical equipment, and other necessities.
- It’s time for the White House and lawmakers – on both sides of the aisle – to put partisanship aside and stand together to take immediate legislative steps to make permanent many of the regulatory reforms instituted by federal agencies to fight COVID-19.e.
Help us amplify by sharing these graphics: