Legislation Seeks to Provide COVID-19 Liability Protections to Frontline Health Care Workers

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2021

From the beginning of the pandemic, PAMED, working with several stakeholders, repeatedly pressed Governor Wolf to provide broad liability protection to all physicians and other health care providers who are treating COVID-19 patients, not just the limited health care providers covered in his previous executive order.

Senator Lisa Baker has introduced COVID-19 liability protection legislation (SB 273), which PAMED strongly supports. Read Sen. Baker’s co-sponsorship memo here.

The liability protection provisions of SB 273 provide for limited, temporary, and targeted COVID-19-related liability protections for health care workers engaged in the care and management of patients with or suspected of having COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, and in an effort to minimize the impact on hospital emergency departments, Governor Wolf continues to encourage Pennsylvanians to contact their primary care physician if they suspect they have contracted COVID-19.  Unfortunately, the governor’s pandemic related executive orders fail to provide liability protection to physicians who treat COVID patients independent of a hospital or health system. SB 273 seeks to address the disparity between independently practicing physicians with those associated with hospitals.

The full text of SB 273 can be accessed here.

PAMED will continue to seek broad protections for all physicians and other caregivers engaged in the care and treatment of COVID-19 patients. 

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