House lawmakers are taking another stab at ensuring COVID-19 liability protections for frontline healthcare providers and workers.
The legislation, H.R. 3021, or the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, was introduced by Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) on Monday in a second push to provide protections for nurses, doctors and other frontline healthcare workers.
The bill offers liability protection for healthcare providers who “act in good faith and abide by government guidelines” while caring for patients during the COVID-19 publish health crisis.
The sponsors argued that providers have faced increased liability risk during their COVID-19 response for issues such as: workforce shortages that may have forced them to provide care outside their typical practice areas; a lack of equipment that may have resulted in rationing care; and delayed or inaccurate diagnoses due to inadequate testing supplies.
“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,” Correa said in a statement. “This bill assures that our frontline healthcare professionals continue to do what they do best — save our lives.”
Long-term care stakeholders have pushed for liability protections for the industry on both the federal and state level — with some states enacting measures that protect providers from most COVID-related suits and others repealing immunity orders.
The most recent win for providers came in Arizona in early April.
“Without this legislation, frivolous lawsuits will happen at an increased rate,” David Voepel, CEO of the Arizona Health Care Association, said at the time. “It only takes one to bankrupt a business and to put more people out of work.”
This legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for further action.