WASHINGTON, July 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) today offered its support of S. 4317, the Safeguarding America’s Frontline Employees To Offer Work Opportunities Required to Kickstart the Economy Act (SAFE TO WORK Act), introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). This legislation includes liability protections that will be considered as part of the next COVID-19 relief package.

The SAFE TO WORK Act contains critical language protecting pandemic health care responders, and the facilities in which they work, from the unnecessary risk of medical liability lawsuits for acts or omissions arranging for or providing coronavirus-related health care services.

This bill is necessary because healthcare professionals and facilities have put themselves at serious risk throughout the pandemic while facing workforce shortages, inadequate safety supplies, and changing guidance from federal, state, and local government officials.

The SAFE TO WORK Act would cover coronavirus-related medical liability claims against healthcare providers retroactively to December 1, 2019, and continuing through the next five years. It would still allow damage awards in situations of gross negligence or willful misconduct, preserving the ability of plaintiffs to be compensated.

“The patchwork of state laws and executive orders are insufficient to address the medical liability threat that is beginning to emerge for COVID-19 responders. As such, we call upon Congress to take the necessary steps to protect our healthcare system to ensure that patients have access to the care they need,” said HCLA Chair Mike Stinson.

“The HCLA is encouraged that these protections are a priority as Congressional leaders negotiate another round of pandemic relief legislation.”

For more details, visit www.hcla.org. The Health Coalition on Liability and Access is a national advocacy coalition representing physicians, hospitals, health care liability insurers, employers, health care providers and consumers. HCLA believes federal legislation is needed to bring fairness, timeliness and cost-effectiveness to America’s medical liability system.

SOURCE Health Coalition on Liability and Access

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