Key considerations in evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on medical professional liability claims – both directly related to COVID-19 infection and the strain it is putting on medical resources as well as the indirect impacts from economic and societal changes:
- Federal Immunity for Healthcare Providers The federal government is addressing potential liability issues through several measures.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a new federal law which includes Good Samaritan language that provides additional federal liability protections for volunteer healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 emergency response.
- The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act provides broad immunity protections to those who manufacture, distribute, administer, use, or coordinate the provision of covered countermeasures. Covered countermeasures include antiviral, biologic, diagnostic, or other drugs; any other device; or any vaccine use to treat, diagnose, cure, prevent, or mitigate COVID-19, or the transmission of the virus or another mutation of the virus.
- The Facilitating Innovation to Fight Coronavirus Act has been introduced, which would limit liability for healthcare providers providing treatment outside of their specialties, using or modifying a medical device for an unapproved use or indication, or seeing patients outside the premises of a standard healthcare facility related to COVID-19 for the duration of the national health emergency.
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