Health Industry Provides Joint Recommendations on Immediate Actions to Fight COVID-19
Healthcare Leadership Council Joins Other Leading Health Associations in Letter to Vice President, Congressional Leaders Regarding Capacity, Supply Priorities
WASHINGTON – The Healthcare Leadership Council, comprised of leading companies from every health sectors, has joined with other associations representing the full continuum of American healthcare in a joint letter to federal leaders recommending “mission-critical, time-sensitive” actions to ensure that necessary medical resources are delivered to communities with the greatest need in combating the COVID-19 virus.
In the letter to Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the Administration’s coronavirus task force, and the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate and House, the healthcare associations offered solutions to “immediately increase medical capacity and testing, enhance our national supply of critical medical equipment required to meet unprecedented demand, protect our front-line providers and lab technicians, and improve treatment to patients. Those recommendations include:
- The federal government should expeditiously spur “massive, increased production, distribution and access to gowns, masks, gloves, testing kits, testing swabs, and respiratory machines.”
- Provider capacity must be strengthened through numerous steps including making use of surplus government property and quickly constructing temporary patient care units where needed, maximizing the use of telehealth, enabling providers to practice to the top of their license, easing restrictions to allow providers and distributors to work across state lines, directing patients to appropriate care alternatives when hospitals are not required, and improving patient flow and information sharing between facilities to ease the burden on acute care facilities.
- The free flow of medicines, pharmaceutical ingredients and other critical supplies must be protected while avoiding mandates that could disrupt the supply chain. Regulatory flexibilities should be instituted to facilitate home delivery and early refills of medicines where needed, while guarding against stockpiling that could lead to drug shortages.
In the joint letter, the organizations wrote, “From expanding public health capacity and access to and the availability of testing, to taking action to mitigate the economic and social impact, we know these are serious and significant times. But we also know that immediate, collective action – by the private sector and all levels of government – to address the critical needs of capacity and supply can help resolve this challenge.”
Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, said of the collaborative effort, “This is a daunting challenge and the nation’s healthcare companies, organizations and employees are responding with an extraordinary, tireless effort to provide patients with the care they need and to develop the medical innovations needed to fight this virus. We are proud to work in partnership with our fellow healthcare associations and governmental leaders to meet this challenge.”