|Pandemic Prevention Legislation Contains AAOS Priorities|
The most recent version of a large disaster prevention bill contains initiatives to increase disaster preparedness in trauma care and protect physicians traveling to disaster zones. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (H.R. 6378) was passed by the House last week before that chamber recessed until after the November midterm elections. The bill includes the MISSION ZERO Act and a modified version of the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, two key AAOS priorities.
The MISSION ZERO Act (S.1022, H.R.880) will help maintain military surgical readiness and improve civilian access to trauma care. Introduced by Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the legislation establishes a grant program to enable military providers and trauma teams to offer trauma care and related acute care at civilian trauma centers.
The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act (H.R.1876, S.781) will also help to ensure that vital health care services remain available during federally-declared disasters. Introduced by Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the legislation increases liability protection for medical volunteers who are often turned away or limited in scope of practice due to the potential of a lawsuit.
PAHPAI now awaits consideration in the Senate, where concerns have been raised about the total funding levels. AAOS expects action in the Senate before the end of the year.