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Internal Medicine Physicians Say Congressional Action Needed to Ensure Continued Access to COVID-19 Testing and Treatments

WASHINGTON, D.C. March 16, 2022 –In a letter sent today to congressional leadership, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said that Congress must pass legislation to fund efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In the letter ACP noted that without additional funding patient access to lifesaving vaccines, anti-viral treatments, and COVID testing would be in jeopardy while we are still in an ongoing public health emergency.

“Sustained and adequate funding is essential for the federal government and public health agencies to support the country’s ongoing efforts to prevent and mitigate the harmful effects of COVID-19 on patients. Without additional federal resources these critical efforts are in jeopardy of not continuing,” said George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, FIDSA, president, ACP. “With an uptick of the COVID virus detected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in testing of U.S. wastewater and the increasing prevalence of the BA.2 variant making up 23 percent of COVID cases, time is of the essence.”

ACP specifically called on Congress to pass the COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (H.R. 7007) which would provide $15.6 billion in additional funding. The letter noted that without additional funding the country would be in jeopardy of not being able to purchase enough vaccines for all the patients who need them or afford to develop variant specific vaccines. It also called attention to the need for funding to ensure we can obtain an adequate supply of monoclonal antibody treatments and continue to have robust COVID testing capacity. The letter further pointed out that as of March 22, physicians will no longer be able to submit for reimbursement claims for COVID testing, treatment or vaccination for their patients who are uninsured.

“The COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, and its accompanying funding are necessary to maintain the federal government’s ongoing response to the COVID pandemic;” concluded Dr. Abraham. “Without additional funding, patients will not have access to the vaccines, treatments, and testing needed to mitigate the harmful effects of COVID.  We urge both the House and Senate to quickly pass this legislation to avoid any gap in access to these critical services for our patients and avoid any surge of COVID due to a lack of resources.”

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572,  jblaser@acponline.org