SNMMI Advocates for Frontline Healthcare Workers

May 8, 2020

Today, SNMMI joined various other medical professional societies in advocating for all frontline members of the healthcare delivery system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Society and coalition strongly urged Congress to:

Provide additional direct, focused financial support to physician and non-physician practices and their management partners, hospitals, and ASCs across the health care delivery system

  • To support the long-term stability of our health care delivery system, SNMMI supports further Congressional authorization of direct assistance—including grants, loans, and any other mechanisms—for physician and non-physician practices and their management partners, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers to ensure they can weather this storm in order to continue providing necessary care to millions of patients across the country.   

Waive budget neutrality for the Medicare payment changes for evaluation and management (E/M) services that are slated to be implemented on January 1, 2021

  • SNMMI requests that Congress waive the budget neutrality provisions for E/M services in the Medicare rule and prevent further economic burdens for healthcare providers.

Support all essential medical imaging and radiology workers, including sonographers, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine, and radiologic technologists, by providing HEROES/ hazard pay

  • SNMMI urges support, through enactment of HEROES/hazard pay, for inclusion of these frontline medical imaging and radiology workers as they continue to deliver high-quality patient care in a much higher-risk environment.

Reduce liability for health care workers and emergency responders in this crisis

  • SNMMI encourages Congress to extend broad civil immunity to all health care personnel for any injury or death alleged to have been sustained directly as a result of an act or omission in the course of providing medical services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with exceptions for gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Temporarily waive prior authorizations during pandemic/state of emergency

  • SNMMI is urging all payers to temporarily suspend prior authorization requirements for six months, or such period as reasonable based on pandemic conditions, to ease the burden on practices working through their backlog of patients.

Delay appropriate use criteria (AUC)

  • SNMMI recognizes there have been significant delays in implementing the AUC program, which we believe can be addressed with several technical changes to the PAMA law. Therefore, SNMMI requests that Congress work with us to incorporate these no-cost perfecting changes in the next pandemic legislation. If those changes cannot be addressed by year’s end, and to avoid potential claims processing issues while recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we request an extension of the current educational testing period through 2021.