PANDEMIC PULSE

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U.S. House Introduces Legislation to Support Long COVID Patients

On November 17, 2021, US. Reps. DeGette (D-CO) and Upton (R-MI) introduced “21st Century Cures 2.0,” in the House of Representatives. This legislation follows-up on the original 21st Century Act with policy proposals that address public health, the needs of patients and caregivers, and regulations issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Importantly, the legislation contains several provisions that support patients with long COVID, including the COVID-19 Long Haulers Act championed by Reps. Beyer (D-VA) and Bergman (R-MI).

Specifically, 21st Century Cures 2.0 contains the following section: 

Sec. 101. Further Understanding the Implications of Long COVID:

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a national survey of long COVID patients to collect data regarding sources of health coverage, long-term care coverage, and disability coverage.

Directs the Secretary of HHS to convene national meetings to develop a long COVID learning collaborative.

Establishes research grants administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research the long-term effects of COVID-19 in children.

Directs the National Academy of Medicine to study the disparities in long-COVID.

Directs the Secretary of HHS to develop and distribute culturally-competent information to the public regarding long COVID and up-to-date treatment guidelines for health care providers.

These provisions fully align with the mission and values of Pandemic Patients. Pandemic Patients celebrates the introduction of this critical legislation and anticipates its enactment.

Pandemic Patients Submits Letter of Support for California’s Proposed Workplace Safety Standards

On July 29, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) proposed to implement new workplace safety standards for large employers operating in the state. Referred to as General Industry Safety Orders, the proposed standards would require employers to play a more active role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

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J.B. Asked: Can I Appeal a Disability Insurer’s Medical Review?

“I have long COVID and I recently filed a claim for disability insurance benefits through my workplace disability policy. The insurance company relied on a clinician’s review of my medical records to deny my claim. The clinician is employed by the insurance company, they never examined me in-person, and they do not specialize in a field of medicine relevant to my long COVID symptoms. Can I appeal the insurance company’s decision?”

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