COVID-19 has brought uncertainty and fear into the lives of Americans and the world, and we have seen the country come to a screeching halt in order to slow the spread of this novel coronavirus. Due to the overwhelming increase in COVID-19 infections in long-term care facilities throughout the United States, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of nursing home residents, recently issued a memorandum outlining new guidelines for nursing homes to help control and prevent the spread of the disease. The CMS is working hand-in-hand with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to provide nursing homes with guidance how to keep residents safe.
We provide insights and analysis for physicians, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists and other health professionals on issues impacting their practices.
Health care providers on the front-lines of the battle against COVID-19 should be provided every weapon that can be mustered. This includes protection from lawsuits while fighting this deadly, insidious and invisible foe. However, health care providers must temper their reliance on the recently enacted laws, executive orders or declarations of civil immunity, as they are not a cloak of unassailable malpractice PPE as reported in the news media
Department of Health and Human Services Declares Liability Immunity for Activities Related to COVID-19
On March 10, 2020 the Secretary of Health and Human Services issued a declaration of liability protection under the Public Health Service Act pursuant to a seldom used section of the Act titled the “Targeted Liability Protections for Pandemic and Epidemic Products and Security Countermeasures.” The Declaration, effective February 4, 2020, immunizes licensed health professionals, manufacturers, distributors, program planners, and those that prescribe, administer, or dispense drugs, biological products, or devices, used to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat COVID-19.