Protecting Our Health Care Heroes

Nov 2, 2020

The recent spike in coronavirus cases in Maryland and nationwide puts your hospitals and dedicated caregivers in the spotlight again.

Our state’s strong support for hospital workers was on view this week when Gov. Larry Hogan visited Mercy Medical Center to thank them, as a representative of all our hospitals, during National Respiratory Care Week. It’s great to see him acknowledging hospitals’ central role in the ongoing fight against COVID.

MHA intends to leverage the remarkable goodwill your hospitals and employees have gained as we advocate for the field’s priorities and fend off bad bills in the upcoming General Assembly session.

That includes our top legislative priority—the Health Care Heroes Protection Act—which would enhance liability protections for health care facilities and clinicians saving lives during the COVID pandemic and public health emergencies yet to come.

Your hospitals and health care heroes must not be distracted by the threat of litigation as you treat patients—all patients, not just COVID patients—under these extraordinary conditions. This legislation updates our state’s public health immunity statute to ensure hospital staffs have fair latitude to deal with COVID and future crises.

MHA, through its Liability Work Group, began focusing on winning this vital support last spring. While we expect the upcoming legislative session to be limited in scope (and primarily virtual) we are pushing for the Health Care Heroes Protection Act, which will be introduced as an emergency bill, to have a hearing in the very first week.

It is a priority for our industry and, ultimately, will improve health and health care during COVID.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO