Updated June 9, 2020
The AMA has been working with state and national medical specialty societies to ensure patient access to care and increase protections for physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below is a collection of AMA resources to help advance states’ responses.
State policy recommendations
- State policy options: A collection of policy recommendations for state regulators and legislators to increase access to care during the pandemic.
- State policy guidance on telemedicine (PDF): AMA’s state policy guidance on expanding telemedicine during COVID-19. Includes links to state best practices.
- State activity chart (PDF): Summary of state executive orders, Medicaid policies, Department of Insurance directives in response to COVID-19. Existing state laws are also highlighted.
- AMA letter to National Governors Association (NGA) (PDF): Includes recommendation to expand access, coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine. Similar letters were sent to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Council of Insurance Legislators.
- Recommendations for pursuing liability protections at the state level (PDF): AMA and Medical Professional Liability Association joint document outlining actions states can take to secure civil immunity for health care professionals and facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Letter to the NGA: Letter from the AMA to NGA encouraging governors to adopt health care emergency response protections for physicians providing COVID-19 related care and those following federal, state and local directives related to COVID-19.
- AMA letter to NGA: Urging statewide stay-at-home orders.
- Letter to NGA: Includes asks to temporarily suspend all prior authorizations. Similar letters were sent to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Council of Insurance Legislators.
- Prior authorization issue brief (PDF): Summary of state action on prior authorization during COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations for additional relief.
- Fact sheet: State action related to delay and resumption of “elective” procedures concerning the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF): This resource highlights (1) what procedures the state orders postponed; (2) state guidance regarding how to distinguish between elective and non-elective procedures; (3) states that have issued orders that appear to relax prior mandated delays or stoppages of elective or non-urgent procedures; and (4) other important considerations.
- Process of resuming elective or non-urgent procedures: Alabama through Mississippi (PDF)
- Process of resuming elective or non-urgent procedures: Nebraska through West Virginia (PDF)
Opioid use disorder
- COVID-19 policy recommendations for OUD, pain, harm reduction: Specific policy recommendations for states and national organizations to support patients with opioid use disorder and pain as well as support for harm reduction efforts.
- AMA recommends exceptions to facilitate opioid use disorder treatment: AMA and American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) urge states to support methadone take-home dosing for patients in opioid treatment programs (OTP); AMA also urging Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase flexibility for OTPs to use telemedicine.
- AMA urges governors to adopt Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) guidance for opioid use disorder: AMA urges governors to authorize telephone-only initiation of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.
- New Minnesota law protects patients with chronic disease: AMA supports new legislation as best practice for states to support increased refill policy for patients with chronic pain and other conditions.
- AMA urges states to adopt new Maine needle, syringe exchange policy: AMA supports new action in Maine as best practice for states to reduce spread of infectious disease and other benefits.
- Issue brief: Reducing barriers to vital pain medication during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF): The AMA is strongly urging legislators, regulators, governors and policymakers to remove additional barriers to pain treatment to help ensure that patients with pain have access to the treatments prescribed by their physician while remaining safe, reducing travel and unnecessary exposure to potential infection.
- The AMA urges parents and all those with medications in the home to remember the importance of safe storage and disposal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support for science-based determinations
- AMA, American Pharmacists Association (ApHA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) issue joint statement on ordering, prescribing or dispensing COVID-19 medications: Provides detail about key areas that have evolved in recent weeks, including in-patient use of certain medications compared to prophylaxis, the distribution/supply chain, safety considerations and the need for adverse-event reporting, and further supports the need for evidence/science to guide discussions and decisions.