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Dingell, Burgess Bill to Protect Patients from Robocalls Advances Out of Committee

Washington, July 17, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) introduced the Protecting Patients and Doctors from Unlawful Robocalls Act of 2019, legislation that will help hospitals and patients combat the constant waves of unlawful robocalls that inundate patients’ cell phones and hospital phone lines.  The lawmakers added the legislation as an amendment to legislation passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee today.

“Robocalls are something we all live with, and the relentless ringing of our phones prevent us from using them in the way they’re intended to be used – to call people.  Hospitals and patients are also not immune, and in situations where seconds could make the difference between life and death, there simply cannot be a delay due to robocallers plugging up the phone lines,” Dingell said. “This bill will bring together the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), voice service providers, and hospitals to come up with solutions to this growing problem. This bill, coupled with other bipartisan efforts on the Energy and Commerce Committee, will stem the tide of constant ringing and give consumers peace of mind that when they pick up their phones they aren’t at risk of being scammed or denied medical treatment.”

“Hospitals have a critical role in providing lifesaving care to American patients. It is wrong for any hardworking physicians, nurses, or staff to be distracted by illegal robocalls that are plaguing our nation’s hospitals. It is even worse that malicious actors are spoofing hospital phone numbers to obtain sensitive health information and financial data from American patients. Establishing a hospital robocall protection group advisory committee at the Federal Communications Commission would help to end these illicit calls, and I am pleased to work with Rep. Debbie Dingell to promote this commonsense solution,” Burgess said.

The Protecting Patients and Doctors from Unlawful Robocalls Act directs the FCC to establish an advisory committee comprised of:

  • Voice service providers
  • Companies focused on mitigating unlawful robocalls
  • Consumer advocacy organizations
  • Hospitals
  • State government officials
  • FCC Commissioner
  • Federal Trade Commissioner (FTC)

These advisory board members will be tasked with issuing best practices regarding:

  • How voice service providers can better combat robocalls
  • How hospitals can better protect themselves
  • How Federal and State governments can help combat robocalls

To read the Protecting Patients and Doctors from Unlawful Robocalls Act of 2019, please click HERE.


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