Statement on Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act
(WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2022) – The Joint Commission commends Congress for passing the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, a bipartisan bill to help reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care providers. The bill also calls for a review of the barriers that health care clinicians face when seeking and accessing care and treatment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased to a devastating degree with the amount of burnout and stress among physicians, nurses and other health care providers,” said Ana Pujols McKee, MD, interim president and CEO, executive vice president, chief medical officer, and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, The Joint Commission. “While we share in the deep sadness of Dr. Breen’s death from across the health care community, it is not without hope for positive change. It is critical that we increase awareness and provide resources to support our nation’s health care providers as they continue to work tirelessly into the third year of the pandemic.”
Research has shown that clinicians fear seeking mental health treatment because of questions related to their mental health history. To address this, The Joint Commission issued a statement on removing barriers to mental health for clinicians and other providers by clarifying that Joint Commission accreditation standards do not require health care organizations to ask about past mental health conditions or treatment during the credentialing process. Additionally, The Joint Commission developed a Quick Safety and Sentinel Event Alert on the well-being of health care staff.
About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.