May 19, 2021
ASA Supports Legislation to Address Covid Liability Issues
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), along with other members of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA), applaud the introduction of H.R. 3021, the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, by Congressmen Michael Burgess, MD, (R-TX- 26) and Lou Correa (D-CA- 46). The bill, which was introduced earlier this month, will help ensure that health care professionals and facilities who have served on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are not drawn into unwarranted lawsuits for the care they have provided during the public health emergency. HCLA sent a formal communication (link to letter) to the bill’s co-sponsors thanking them for their leadership on this issue.
The patchwork nature of state protections reveals that federal action is still needed. H.R. 3021 will not only reduce lawsuits but will also maintain necessary mechanisms to protect patients harmed by substandard care. The narrow liability protections guaranteed in this bill will only apply if:
- The act or omission occurred during the declared COVID-19 public health emergency or within 60 days of termination of the emergency;
- The act or omission occurred while providing or arranging care;
- The services were within the provider's scope of licensure/certification, without regard as to whether the service fell within the usual scope of practice;'
- The services were within the provider’s scope of licensure/certification, without regard as to whether the service fell within the usual scope of practice; and
- The services were provided in good faith.
Until the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act is passed, anesthesiologists who provided COVID care will remain vulnerable to the threat of unwarranted liability lawsuits. ASA joins a host of health care organizations in endorsing this bill and looks forward to working with Representatives Burgess and Correa to ensure this threat is avoided.
Read the bill text
Find out if your lawmaker is a cosponsor