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PA MAAC guidelines for allocating lifesaving resources during COVID-19 crisis

Early this morning, the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Advisory Committee (MAAC) unanimously approved the following:

Resolution by the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Advisory Committee (MAAC) Urging Governor Wolf to Develop Principles and Guidelines for Allocating Lifesaving Resources and MA Funding During COVID-19 Crisis

Recognizing that Pennsylvania will have limited hospital capacity to respond to the grim epidemiological projections associated with the COVID-19 virus:

The Medical Assistance Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (MAAC) urges Governor Wolf to develop and release principles and guidelines (Guidelines) for how scarce lifesaving resources (e.g., ICU units, personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and any emerging & recommended anti-viral pharmaceutical interventions) will be equitably allocated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidelines and principles must ensure that when it comes to the allocation of life-saving treatment:

  • Patients are not discriminated against because of their Medical Assistance Insurance status; and
  • People with disabilities are not given lower priority because of pre-existing disabilities, even when those conditions require more scarce resources.

In developing guidelines for allocating lifesaving resources, we urge the Governor to consult with the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, and provider and advocacy organizations representing older adults and people with disabilities, whose constituencies are represented among our membership.

Medical ethicists should also be included to help ensure an ethical framework, and the established guidelines should be messaged by the Governor and made available to health care providers and the public.

Furthermore, the MAAC resolves and urges to the Governor and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to utilize all of the additional funds received as a result of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) provision contained in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) and other Acts to provide for the care, services, and equipment necessary to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance participants and those providing their care and services.