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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AAPM&R Telehealth in PM&R: Past, Present and Future in Clinical Practice and Opportunities for Translational Research White Paper Released

Jun 28, 2023

We are thrilled to share AAPM&R's newly-released white paper, Telehealth in PM&R: Past, Present and Future in Clinical practice and Opportunities for Translational Research.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has quickly become a more prominent aspect of clinical practice in physiatry and a fundamental part of the healthcare delivery system. AAPM&R recognizes the significant value telehealth holds in delivering and receiving care and the importance of exploring forward-thinking strategies to address the opportunities and challenges in using technology to provide services outside of traditional face-to-face healthcare. In response, the Academy convened an expert group of leaders to examine telehealth innovation across various practice settings and areas of care unique to the PM&R specialty. This white paper summarizes the cutting-edge use of telehealth in our specialty, identifies current knowledge deficits and technological limitations, outlines the strength of available evidence, and explores new and transformative opportunities for PM&R to advance translational research and patient care.

"Telehealth expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic created a unique opportunity to explore the capacity of this method of healthcare delivery for our patients,” said Adam Tenforde, MD, FAAPMR, co-chair and lead author of the white paper. “I am proud of the writing group and grateful for the support of our Academy to review the multiple ways that telehealth allows us to optimize care of our patients and future directions in research."

Academy members are encouraged to share this white paper with your colleagues and interested stakeholders.  Please reach out to healthpolicy@aapmr.org with any questions.

AAPM&R thanks the white paper co-authors:

Adam S. Tenforde, MD, FAAPMR; Co-chair

Joshua Alexander, MD, FAAPMR; Co-chair 

Marca Lee Alexander, MD

Thiru Annaswamy, MD, MA, FAAPMR

Conley Carr, MD, FAAPMR

Philip Chang, DO, FAAPMR

Monique Diaz, MD, FAAPMR

Mary A. Iaccarino, MD, FAAPMR

Stephen Lewis, MD, FAAPMR

Sindhu Pandit, MD. MBA, FAAPMR

Claudia Ramirez, MD

Robert Rinaldi, MD, FAAPMR

Todd Rowland, MD, FAAPMR, Chair of AAPM&R’s Telehealth Innovation Workgroup

Chloe Slocum, MD, MPH, FAAPMR

Gene Tekmyster, DO, FAAPMR

Deborah Venesy, MD, FAAPMR

Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, FAAPMR

Richard Zorowitz, MD, FAAPMR