Press Releases

Reps. Correa & Burgess Introduce Legislation to Provide Health Care Liability Protections During COVID-19 Pandemic

May 10, 2021

Washington, DC — Today, Congressmen Lou Correa (D-CA) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3021 - the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act. This bipartisan legislation protects doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Correa said, "For the past year, medical professionals have been in unchartered waters. Our frontline medical workers, including doctors and healthcare workers, are fighting for us the best they can with the technology and information available to them right now. This bill assures that our frontline healthcare professionals continue to do what they do best—save our lives."

Rep. Burgess said, "Before this pandemic even started, frontline health care workers, honestly frontline heroes, have stepped up and have done so tirelessly. Over the last year, they have continued to work with the technologies and treatments currently available to combat this virus. The name of this virus explains it all – the novel 2019 Coronavirus. It is novel. We are learning more and more about it each day. This bill ensures that our heroes are protected while they continue to protect us."

"The American Medical Association (AMA) commends Reps. Lou Correa and Michael Burgess, M.D., for introducing bipartisan legislation that ensures physicians and other health care providers are afforded limited, common-sense protections from medical liability while treating patients during this public health emergency. While millions of Americans are now vaccinated against this highly transmissible and lethal virus, physicians and other health care professionals consistently have put themselves in harm's way for the benefit of patients from the very beginning of the pandemic," said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. "Whether it was finding solutions for shortages of medical supplies and safety equipment or navigating ever-changing directives and guidance from all levels of government, physicians accepted the herculean effort of healing patients afflicted with COVID-19. We are proud to support the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act and its bipartisan commitment to ensuring physicians and other health care providers receive limited protections from the threat of costly litigation due to circumstances beyond their control."

BACKGROUND: H.R. 3021 - the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, offers liability protection to health care providers who act in good faith and abide by government guidelines while caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, the bill maintains critical protections for patients harmed as a result of gross negligence or misconduct. Examples of increased liability risk that providers are confronting because of COVID-19 include:

  • Suspensions of elective in-person visits and delays in treatment for patients with symptoms unrelated to COVID-19;
  • Workforce shortages that are forcing physicians to provide care outside of their general practice area;
  • Shortages of equipment – such as ventilators – that can result in providers having to ration care;
  • Delayed or inaccurate diagnosis due to inadequate testing supplies

Read the full text of the bill here.

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