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June 29, 2020

What You Need to Know

 

AACOM Advocates for COVID-19 Relief

 

As COVID-19 outbreaks increasingly surge across the country, it is now more important than ever to ensure that we have robust infrastructure in place to protect the health of our communities. AACOM is from Congress to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic and address the serious challenges it poses to health care and higher education. As noted in a recent U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, we are entering a critical phase of controlling the spread of COVID-19. The next few weeks are crucial to reducing spikes in cases, and AACOM encourages Congress to consider our requests as it negotiates the next COVID-19 relief package.

On The Hill

AACOM Sends Letter to Congress Requesting OME Support in COVID-19 Relief Package

 

Last week, AACOM a letter to the Hill outlining its osteopathic medical education (OME) priority requests for the next COVID-19 aid package, including robust investment in national public health infrastructure; expansion of the physician workforce; federal emergency relief funding for osteopathic medical schools; debt and economic relief for frontline workers; funding for rural hospitals and physician practices impacted by the pandemic; and funding for federal research agencies. AACOM appreciates Congress’ ongoing efforts to combat the devastating effects of COVID-19 and looks forward to continuing its work with the federal government to address the challenges faced by osteopathic medical schools, students, residents, educators, and the larger health care and higher education communities.

Congressional Committees Discuss Telehealth, Government’s Response to COVID-19

 

U.S. House and Senate committees recently held hearings to examine telehealth and the Administration’s response to the pandemic. In a June 17 , telehealth leaders testified in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on changes in telehealth policy and lessons learned from the expansion of telehealth visits resulting from COVID-19. Committee members and witnesses voiced their support for many of the new Medicare telehealth policies issued by the Administration in response to the pandemic, with some lawmakers suggesting that Congress could permanently expand access to telehealth beyond the public health emergency. On June 23, top health officials briefed the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a that focused on the recent surge of cases, vaccine prospects, and racial disparities. The panel included National Institutes of Health National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, MD; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, MD; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett Giroir, MD. All four officials warned that the health threat posed by COVID-19 is ongoing and advocated for sustainable public health funding to address current and future pandemics.

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Advocacy

Safe and Effective Advocacy in the Time of COVID-19

 

We may not be able to shake hands with our lawmakers or speak face-to-face with our elected officials, but we can still keep our advocacy efforts strong. Learn how you can continue raising your voice as an ED to MED advocate .

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Administration and Federal Agencies

Supreme Court Rejects Administration’s Attempt to End the DACA Program

 

On June 18, by a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Administration’s attempt to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program in Department of Homeland Security v Regents of the University of California. The DACA Program was established by the Obama Administration through a and provided renewable, two-year work permits to individuals known as “Dreamers” who were under 31 years old, entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday, and met certain additional requirements. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the that found the current Administration’s attempt to rescind the DACA Program to be “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling, however, did not address whether rescinding DACA was unlawful due to discriminatory intent and remanded it back to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Presidential Proclamation Extends and Expands Immigration Suspension

 

On June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation, effective June 24, that through December 31, 2020. The proclamation applies to nonimmigrants in visa categories H-1B, H-2B, J, and L, with exceptions provided for health care professionals engaged in combatting COVID-19 and for foreign nationals whose entry is deemed to be in the national interest by certain federal agencies or officials. This action follows the proclamation signed in April that suspended entry of certain immigrants for 60 days, deemed as performing essential work to combat the spread or otherwise alleviate the effects of COVID-19. AACOM will continue to monitor and provide updates on this issue and its impact on the OME community.

View AACOM-Member Webinar Recording on Complying with Title IX

 

In response to the recent U.S. Department of Education revising schools’ responses to sexual harassment and assault under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, AACOM facilitated a member-exclusive webinar to outline the new regulations that will go into effect, with the full weight of law, on August 14. The webinar, led by Debbie Osgood, Partner of Hogan Marren Babbo and Rose, LTD, addressed topics including how the rule revises sexual misconduct policies and procedures, what colleges of osteopathic medicine must do to comply with the new Title IX requirements, and more. Please view the webinar and for more information.

HHS Announces $107M to Increase the Health Workforce in Rural and Underserved Areas

 

HHS recently $107.2 million through its Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve the quality and diversity of health professionals across the country. Funding supported awards for programs including the and the . COVID-19 shined a bright light on health and health care access disparities throughout the country, and these grants to more than 300 recipients across 45 states will provide financial and professional support to retain clinicians in rural and underserved communities.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Reminder: Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Applications Due July 13: HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is accepting applications for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) – Planning opportunity through July 13. RCORP – Planning is a multi-year effort aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality resulting from substance use disorder and strengthening and expanding the capacity of rural communities to address the opioid crisis. .

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Publishes COVID-19 FAQs Web Page: HRSA’s FORHP recently published a frequently asked questions (FAQs) web page for rural health program recipients and stakeholders concerning COVID-19. The page will be updated regularly and will answer questions on emergency preparedness in rural settings and feature rural health funding opportunities. .

HHS Publishes CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Distribution Timeline: HHS recently published a one-page summary providing general information on the distribution pathways, as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The summary includes a timeline of funding, along with information on eligibility and how formulas are used to make distributions. .

Copyright ©2020 American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. All Rights Reserved.

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