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Over the last several weeks, Congress and the Administration have taken swift actions to protect Americans during this public health emergency and to help physicians on the frontlines continue to deliver care and consult with their patients as needed.

The programs created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748, the CARES Act) and strengthened by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266) have allowed dermatologists, their practices and staff to receive economic relief in these unprecedented times. Furthermore, the additional flexibility and coverage for telehealth services has allowed dermatologists to maintain continuity of care for their patients.

To build on this momentum, the AADA is asking Congress to ensure an adequate physician workforce across the country now and beyond the pandemic. Below are the latest advocacy priorities the AADA is fighting for on behalf of the specialty.

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the Provider Relief Fund

Requesting that the PPP and the Provider Relief Fund be maintained with proper oversight until every state has completed its process to allow physicians to fully return to practice, including providing care to patients previously determined "non-essential."

Medicare reimbursement and relief

  • Extending Medicare sequester relief through December 31, 2021

  • Receiving positive payment updates for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

  • Waiving budget neutrality for the Medicare payment changes for evaluation and management (E/M) services that are scheduled for 2021

  • Postponing MIPS payment penalties through 2021

  • Requesting flexibility for those who have received payments under the Medicare Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program, which was suspended in late April 2020; and asking CMS to quickly reinstate payments to physicians

Telehealth expansion to ERISA plans

Requiring ERISA group health plans to provide coverage for the same telehealth and telephone services being provided by Medicare for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic .

Liability coverage

Seeking broader liability protections for physicians, other clinicians, and facilities, that have been forced to forego procedures .

Assistance to associations

Asking for the inclusion of 501(c)(6) organizations in the current SBA emergency financial relief and loans programs, and insurance protection for businesses in the case of a pandemic, much like has been provided under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) .

To view our advocacy letters during this public health emergency, visit the COVID-19 library.

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