On March 15, the Comprehensive Access to Resources and Education (CARE) for Long COVID Act, was reintroduced by Senators Tim Kaine, Edward Markey and Tammy Duckworth. Initially introduced in the 117th Congress in March 2022, this legislation is intended to improve Long COVID research as well as provide resources for people living with the condition. AAPM&R has been a long-time advocate for this bill. We have not only officially endorsed it, but significantly impacted the language used in the legislation and helped its development, particularly about the need for interagency coordination and the acknowledgement of multidisciplinary care.
Endorsing this legislation aligns with our vision to ensure physiatrists are indispensable leaders in directing rehabilitation and recovery. Showcasing the specialty’s medical expertise in assessing and treating patients with Long COVID helps us continue to advance our Long COVID advocacy efforts to position PM&R physicians as leaders in multi-disciplinary care.
The CARE for Long COVID Act would:
- Accelerate Long COVID research by authorizing the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), to centralize and synthesize robust datasets regarding patient experiences with Long COVID and related conditions for future research
- Improve understanding of Long COVID treatment efficacy and disparities by authorizing HHS to study the healthcare system’s response to Long COVID and provide recommendations for how to improve that response
- Educate Long COVID patients and medical providers through efforts at the CDC to develop and disseminate information on common symptoms and treatment for Long COVID and related conditions
- Facilitate interagency coordination to educate the public, including employers and schools, on the impact of Long COVID and the rights associated with employment, disability status and education for individuals with Long COVID
- Develop partnerships between community-based organizations, social service providers and legal assistance providers to help individuals with Long COVID access needed services
Thank you to Senators Kaine, Markey and Duckworth for reintroducing this critical legislation! And, thank you to all of our members who are treating Long COVID patients and our volunteer leaders involved in our multi-disciplinary PASC Collaborative. We will continue to work with Senator Kaine and other key Congressional champions as they bring further attention to this important issue in Congress. Learn more about the Academy’s Long COVID efforts.