Advocacy and Health Policy |

ACOG Gains Ground on Medical Liability Protections for Physicians


ACOG is advocating to strengthen state civil liability immunity laws so that you can continue to deliver the medical response needed during the pandemic and provide quality care while following emergency directives.

As part of this effort, ACOG’s first state advocacy brief specific to COVID-19 provides a roadmap for policy action on liability. It calls for state legislators and regulators to broaden appropriate liability protections and also provide medical liability premium relief. In partnership with District and Section leaders, ACOG will continue to leverage relationships with medical societies, grassroots mobilization, and other strategies to protect you and your practices. To date, New York, Massachusetts, and other states have successfully passed strong immunity for physicians. 

As health care provision has shifted during the pandemic, there is concern about potential liability for frontline and volunteer physicians; physicians who have shifted their practices to telemedicine; and physicians adhering to government directives, including postponing elective, nonurgent services. While existing federal and state laws protect volunteer physicians during emergencies, more can be done. For example, physicians must have assurance that they will not later be judged or sued for abiding by COVID-19 directives or making care decisions based on their best judgment and determination during the pandemic. Physicians also want to know they will get relief from burdensome administrative and reporting requirements and medical liability premiums that could inhibit their COVID-19 response. 

Liability protection for ACOG members is one of ACOG’s top advocacy priorities, and our commitment to smart policy action that will advance your practices and protect your patients is highlighted in our call to action for women’s health.