Some PPE Vendors Will Not Sell to Doctors with Smaller Practices; Or, Worse— Sell at Exorbitant Prices
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
Telephone: (516) 488-6100
For Immediate Release
June 3, 2020
Some PPE Vendors Will Not Sell to Doctors with Smaller Practices;
Or, Worse— Sell at Exorbitant Prices
Statement Attributable to:
Bonnie Litvack, M.D.
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“As the acute threat of COVID-19 begins to recede, physicians are anxious to return to providing in-person care to their patients. Telehealth has been essential in this crisis and remains an important and safe way for patients to receive treatment when an in-person visit is difficult or impossible. However, many conditions cannot be diagnosed or treated via telehealth and require a face-to-face visit.
“Masks, gowns, gloves, and other materials prevent the inadvertent transmission of viruses and germs between physicians, medical staff, and patients. As community physicians look forward to re-opening their offices, a major barrier to resuming regular patient care is the shocking shortage of this essential personal protective equipment (PPE).
“The contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus makes it necessary to change PPE frequently. Unfortunately, over the last several months some vendors refused to sell their products to smaller physician practices. Instead, they only contracted with larger institutions or government entities. In instances when suppliers would contract with physicians, there were outrageous price increases or supply limits that prevented physicians from receiving more than a few days’ supply.
“To ensure physicians can continue to serve their communities, these disgraceful business practices must be addressed. Otherwise, patient care will be compromised, as many patients may be unable to be seen and treated by their physicians.
“The State Legislature recently passed a measure to provide greater clarity under the law. Now, vendors who take advantage of a public health crisis to charge grossly inflated prices for needed medical equipment may be prosecuted. This is an important step to prevent price gouging but does not go nearly far enough. Currently, some vendors will not even attempt to sell to community physicians!
“The state and federal governments need to take immediate steps to require medical supply vendors are dealing fairly with physician practices. Should health care institutions receive all the medical supplies they need? Absolutely! However, community physicians play an essential role in treating patients on the front lines. However, without adequate PPE, some will be unable to open their offices and others will unable to stay open.
“We urge the Cuomo Administration and the Trump Administration to take the necessary steps to ensure that New York’s and America’s doctors have the basic tools to, once again, care for their patients and guarantee their safety during their office visits.”
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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.
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Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302