Bi-Partisan Legislation is Signed by President Biden into Law
Gary Price, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation, today issued this statement:
“The Physicians Foundation celebrates the official signage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act into law, which will support our medical community in preventing burnout, relieving workplace stressors, administering stress first aid and increasing access to mental health care services.
“Physician burnout is a complex challenge—one that requires a paradigm shift from a system where physicians think that burnout, mental health conditions or suicidal thoughts are something they must overcome by themselves to one where they see the support system around them willing to help them seek mental health care. The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act is a first-of-its-kind, national endeavor to support health and hospital systems, medical professional associations and other health care organizations to start making this paradigm shift a reality for physicians collectively and individually.
“The pandemic has highlighted the necessity to better support the mental health and wellbeing of our physicians. Our 2021 Survey of America’s Physicians, COVID-19 Impact Edition: A Year Later found that 61% of physicians report often experiencing feelings of burnout, showing a significant increase since 2018, though despite this high incidence of mental health symptoms, only 14% of physicians sought medical attention. Much of this is because there is a long-standing culture of silence around physician mental health in the medical community coupled with underlying structural barriers, including intrusive questions on medical board, credentialing and malpractice insurance applications. The strategies within the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act are critical to fixing this culture and making it acceptable and normalized for physicians to seek mental health care.
“We are grateful that this new law will help provide mental and behavioral health resources at a critical moment for the people putting their lives at risk each day to care for their patients and colleagues.”
About The Physicians Foundation
The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit seeking to advance the work of practicing physicians and help them facilitate the delivery of high-quality health care to patients. As the U.S. health care system continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in strengthening the physician-patient relationship, supporting medical practices’ sustainability and helping physicians navigate the changing health care system. The Physicians Foundation pursues its mission through research, education and innovative grant making that improves physician wellbeing, strengthens physician leadership, addresses social drivers of health and lifts physician perspectives. For more information, visit www.physiciansfoundation.org.