AAPM&R is Calling for a Comprehensive National Plan to Address the Needs of Millions Suffering from Long COVID

According to two recent publications from the Journal of the American Medical Association, ten to thirty percent of individuals who had COVID-19 reported at least one persistent symptom up to six months after the virus left their bodies. That means 3 to 10 million Americans are experiencing symptoms of Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), which are varied and ongoing, including neurological challenges, cognitive problems such as brain fog, shortness of breath, fatigue, pain, and mobility issues.

AAPM&R called on President Joe Biden and Congress to gear up for the next coronavirus crisis by preparing and implementing a comprehensive national plan focused on meeting the needs of millions of individuals suffering from the long-term symptoms of COVID-19, and help them regain quality of life and return to being active members of their communities. The plan must include a commitment to three major components:

  • Resources to build necessary infrastructure to meet this crisis
  • Equitable access to care for patients
  • Research to advance medical understanding of Long COVID

PM&R physicians are uniquely qualified to help guide the multidisciplinary effort needed to develop a plan for this crisis. As a specialty, physiatrists are investigators, team leaders and problem solvers. PM&R physicians see the whole patient AND the whole picture of the rehabilitation ecosystem. Physiatrists are exactly what this crisis needs. Learn more about our Multidisciplinary PASC Collaborative, launched in March 2021, which is working on quality improvement initiatives.

AAPM&R Advocacy, Healthcare Collaborations and Partnerships, and Customized Resources to Support PM&R During This Crisis

AAPM&R is working to ensure PM&R is part of the national conversation about healthcare amidst COVID-19 and advocating for the federal support, legislation, regulation relief and resources that physiatrists need now. One way we are doing this is through our partnerships and collaborations with other specialty societies. The Academy continuously works to represent PM&R through these collaborations, and it is through these partnerships that we are able to discuss and share a variety of resources with you that you critically need.

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U.S. House of Representatives passes HALT Fentanyl Act

Jun 01, 2023

On May 25, 2023, the U.S. House passed the Halt all Lethal Tracking of (HALT) Fentanyl Act by a bipartisan vote of 289 – 133. Under the bill, fentanyl-related substances would be automatically, and permanently placed in Schedule 1, under the Controlled Substances Act. The bill would also make changes to registration requirements for conducting research with controlled substances, including:

  • permitting a single registration for related research sites in certain circumstances,
  • waiving the requirement for a new inspection in certain situations, and
  • allowing a registered researcher to perform certain manufacturing activities with small quantities of a substance without obtaining a manufacturing registration.

The bill would also treat fentanyl-related substances by the same quantity thresholds and subject to the same penalties as offenses involving fentanyl analogues (e.g., offenses involving one hundred grams or more trigger a 10-year mandatory minimum prison term).

As the HALT Fentanyl Act is specific to fentanyl-related substances, it does not impact medical fentanyl, which is a Schedule II drug. 

The bill now heads to the Senate for further action. Members with questions about this legislation can contact healthpolicy@aapmr.org