Public Health

AMA COVID-19 Guides for health care professionals

Updated March 31, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an enormous threat to public health and an extreme challenge to physicians. The AMA has closely monitored the global outbreak of COVID-19 and compiled up-to-the-moment information for physicians, residents, medical students and health care professionals. Find more information on the pandemic in the AMA COVID-19 resource center

General

  1. AMA Physician’s Guide to COVID-19

    This is a quick start guide that provides information on how to prepare your practice, address patient concerns and answer your most pressing questions from curated trusted sources such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, JAMA and the World Health Organization.

  2. COVID-19 frequently asked questions

    The FAQs provide evidence-based perspectives from AMA’s physician leaders and subject matter experts to answer physicians’ pressing questions.

  3. Managing mental health during COVID-19 

    1. These strategies and resources will help health care workers manage their mental well-being while also caring for patients during the pandemic or any other crisis.

Ethics

  1. AMA Code of Ethics—pandemic guidance

    The AMA Code of Medical Ethics offers foundational guidance for health care professionals and institutions responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Prescribing medications responsibly in a pandemic 

    1. This guidance, based on the AMA Code of Medical Ethics Opinions, provides information for prescribing medications responsibly when the decision can be clinically and ethically challenging, such as during a pandemic. 

  3. Providing patient care remotely in a pandemic

    1. The AMA Code of Medical Ethics offers guidance for responsibly offering health care services and information remotely via telecommunications technologies during a pandemic.

  4. Fair access to limited critical care resources

    Guidance from the AMA Code of Medical Ethics looks at physicians’ dual obligations to serve both the well-being of their individual patients and that of other patients and the community at large during a pandemic.

  5. Clinical research versus patient care: Conducting clinical trials

    1. The AMA Code provides guidance on the importance of keeping in mind the differences between clinical research and patient care. 

  6. Caring for patients at the end of life 

    Guidance from the AMA Code indicates that even when crisis standards of care have been invoked during a pandemic, it is important to ensure that every patient reaching the end of life receives appropriate supportive care. 

  7. Clinical research versus patient care: Access experimental treatment 

    The AMA Code advises physicians to refrain from applying for expanded access on a patient’s behalf when if, in their professional judgment the investigational therapy is not in the patient’s best interest. 

  8. Restrictive covenants and care in a pandemic

    The AMA Code has guidance on whether physicians can provide care outside of a non-compete agreement or restrictive covenant during a pandemic.

  9. Graduating early to join the workforce

    Guidance based on the AMA Code of Medical Ethics advises on when it is appropriate to involve medical students in providing direct patient care to supplement the physician workforce.

CPT® coding 

  1. COVID-19 coding and guidance

    1. A new CPT® code has been created that streamlines novel coronavirus testing offered by hospitals, health systems and laboratories in the United States. CPT Assistant is providing a fact sheet for coding guidance for the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) test in relation to the use of the new CPT code.

Health systems & private practices

  1. Caring for caregivers during COVID-19

    A list of practical strategies for health system leadership to consider in support of their physicians and care teams during COVID-19.

  2. AMA quick guide to telemedicine in practice

    This quick guide supports physicians and practices in expediting the implementation of telemedicine, so care can continue to be provided to those who need it most.

  3. Helping private practices manage non-essential care

    A curated list of actions and recommendations for private practices to help safely deliver care to non-urgent patients and consider needs for clinician services, the supply of laboratory test kits and access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

  4. Tips for keeping your practice in business during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Quick tips to help practices implement a process for rapid decision-making and planning, make a financial contingency plan, strategize for employee furloughs, and more.

Senior physicians

  1. Senior physician COVID-19 resource guide 

    A curated list of resources to provide guidance to senior and retired physicians who may wish to return to work or are called upon to do so during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Residents & medical students

  1. Resident & medical student COVID-19 resource guide 

    A selection of resources to assist residents and medical students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to help manage the shifting timelines, cancellations and adjustments to testing, rotations and other events at this time.

Federal & state advocacy

  1. Policy options for states to address COVID-19

    View some of the policy options, such as costs for testing, access to care and vaccines, for states to implement to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

  2. COVID-19: Advocacy Progress Report

    The report chronicles the federal AMA actions that have been taken to help frontline personnel, practices and hospitals remove the obstacles physicians face while confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. CMS payment policies & regulatory flexibilities during COVID-19 emergency

    1. Recommend specific actions to improve Medicare coverage of services and reduce regulatory burdens on physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  4. COVID-19 policy recommendations for OUD, pain, harm reduction 

    Recommendations to help guide policymakers reduce the stress being experienced by patients with an opioid use disorder (OUD) and pain as well as support efforts to continue harm reduction efforts in communities across the U.S. 

  5. Patient care for SUD, mental illness, chronic pain during COVID-19

    Guidance to help ensure continuity of care for patients with a substance use disorder (SUD), mental illness or chronic pain.