Sen. Marshall Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Restore Due Process Rights in Health Care

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), and his colleagues, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Representatives Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA), Katie Porter (D-CA), and Greg Murphy, M.D. (R-NC) introduced the Physician and Patient Safety Act to restore due process rights for physicians. 

Federal law has not been updated to reflect changes in the medical industry, and due process rights are not guaranteed to physicians who are contracted but not directly employed by hospitals. This bill would address this oversight and ensure due process rights for physicians who are employed by third-party contractors or physician staffing companies.

Keeping integrity front and center, this legislation ensures physicians uphold their commitment to practice medicine ethically and put their patient’s health first in America’s hospitals- ultimately protecting both the patients and the physicians. 

“Due process rights allow physicians to confidently advocate for their patients without the concern of facing termination,” Senator Marshall said. “Over time, these protections have gradually diminished across various departments, posing risks to patient safety. Our legislation aims to address this issue by closing loopholes, and enabling all physicians to uphold the integrity of the health care system.”

“Physicians should never worry that raising alarms about patient safety could get them fired, but that’s exactly what happens when private equity and Wall Street buy up physician staffing agencies,” Senator Warren said. “It’s time to shield physicians from corporate greed so that they can provide the best care possible and keep patients safe.”

“As an emergency medicine physician, I have always placed the safety and well-being of our communities at the forefront,” Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. said. “I bring the same commitment to collaborative, bipartisan action in Congress, and that is why I introduced the Physician and Patient Safety Act. This bill is a crucial step towards ensuring that physicians can advocate for their patients without fear of losing their jobs. By extending due process rights to all physicians, we’re protecting the integrity of our health care system and making sure that physicians can focus on what they do best: providing top-of-the-line care to every patient who walks through their doors.”

“When doctors speak out against corporate greed that threatens patients, they should be safe from retaliation,” Rep. Katie Porter said. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan legislation that’ll help grant due process to doctors, so they can focus on keeping our communities healthy.”

The Physician and Patient Safety Act is supported by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine,  American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Radiology, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine, Free2Care, Kansas Chapter American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

“The Kansas Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians is proud to support Senators Marshall and Warren and Representatives Ruiz, Joyce, Murphy, and Porter in their support of practicing physicians nationwide. Protecting the rights of physicians is not just a matter of professional respect, but a cornerstone of patient safety and quality healthcare. The Physician and Patient Safety Act helps ensure that physicians facing potential termination, restriction, or reduction of their professional activity are granted due process rights. This upholds the integrity of medicine and fosters an environment of accountability and trust. It is a big step for both doctors and patients, safeguarding the pillars of our healthcare system.” said Howard Chang, MD FACEP FAAEM, President of the Kansas Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

“The American Academy of Emergency Medicine is proud to support Senators Marshall and Warren as well as Representatives Ruiz, Joyce, Murphy, and Porter in their introduction of legislation to ensure emergency physicians and all physicians have medical staff due process rights. There is no greater policy imperative for patient safety and quality care than enacting this due process legislation, which is a driving force of our organization’s mission statement,” said Robert Frolichstein, MD FAAEM FCCM, President of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

“The American Osteopathic Association is proud to support Senators Marshall and Warren and Representatives Ruiz, Joyce, Murphy, and Porter to ensure physicians practicing throughout the country have due process rights. Partnering with our patients is at the heart of osteopathic medicine, and this legislation is integral in enabling physicians to uphold their commitment to practicing medicine ethically, serving as their patient’s strongest advocates, and protecting the patient-physician relationship,” said Ira P. Monka, DO, FACOFP (Dist), President of the American Osteopathic Association.

“As the percentage of physicians working for hospitals and health systems is growing, it’s more important than ever to understand the challenges that employment presents to the medical profession and what principles should undergird physician employment. Due process is one of those fundamental principles for employed physicians, and this legislation would enshrine that principle. We commend the sponsors of this bill (Sens. Roger Marshall, M.D. R-Kan., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Reps. Raul Ruiz, M.D., D-Calif., John Joyce, M.D., R-Penn, Katie Porter, D-Calif., and Greg Murphy, M.D., R-N.C.) for recognizing health care’s changing landscape,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH.

“Safeguarding the foundational right to due process for emergency physicians helps ensure that we can fully advocate for the health and well-being of our patients without fear of retaliation or termination. The ‘Physician and Patient Safety Act’ will help dismantle the current two-tiered system wherein many emergency physicians are not afforded due process protections like other physicians within the same hospital. ACEP is grateful for Senators Marshall and Warren and Representatives Ruiz, Joyce, Murphy, and Porter for their bipartisan leadership to ensure that those who provide our nation’s health care safety net can effectively advocate for our patients.” – Aisha Terry, MD, MPH, FACEP, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)