White House Announces Long-COVID Plan
On April 5, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to coordinate a new effort across the federal government to develop and issue the first-ever interagency national research action plan on Long COVID. The effort will advance progress in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and provision of services, supports, and interventions for individuals experiencing Long COVID and associated conditions. The Presidential Memorandum also directs HHS to issue a report outlining services and supports across federal agencies to assist people experiencing Long COVID, individuals who are dealing with a COVID-related loss and people who are experiencing mental health and substance use issues related to the pandemic. This report will specifically address the long-term effects of COVID-19 on high-risk communities and efforts to address disparities in access to services and supports
Some highlights of the plan include launching Centers of Excellence through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to invest in a multi-year initiative, beginning with $20 million in FY23, to investigate how health care systems can best organize and deliver care for people with Long COVID. The plan would also expand and strengthen Long COVID clinics in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA will expand these programs by establishing additional Long COVID programs, robust referral, and follow-up systems across its facilities. It also seeks to promoting provider education and clinical support by working with providers to advance our recognition and understanding of Long COVID and associated conditions, including by sharing culturally competent information and resources through platforms like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Finally, it would bolster health insurance coverage for long-COVID cases.
A complete Fact Sheet of the Memorandum can be found here.