Regulatory Flexibility

Executive orders and regulatory changes to promote the effective use of the health workforce.

(08/30/21) Missouri Reduces State of Emergency Guidelines to Focus on Health Care
Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, has issued a new executive order which focuses on continued assistance for the state’s health care system. The previous executive order held more than 600 regulatory waivers, however, the number of waivers were reduced to 163 under the new order. The new executive order includes ongoing waivers allowing an expansion of telemedicine for physicians and pharmacists among other regulatory flexibilities.

(08/20/21) Look to Nurses to Help Accelerate the Transformation of Health Care
This opinion piece from STAT News highlights the nursing workforce’s profound impact on the U.S. health care delivery system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses have primarily led innovative advancements of the health care delivery system and have also played a critical role in reshaping clinical practice. A recent collaborative market research study conducted by Johnson & Johnson, the American Nurses Association, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership suggests solutions for supporting and continuing nurse-led advancements, including an expansion of the pipeline of new nurses.

(08/18/21) Nursing Shortage Leads MSDH to Authorize Paramedics and EMTs to Care for Patients at Hospitals
A fourth wave of COVID-19 infections has caused a hospital staffing crisis in Mississippi. In response to the current state of the pandemic, Mississippi Department of Health has issued an order which allows paramedics and advanced emergency medical technicians to care for patients in any part of a Mississippi hospital.

(08/17/21) More Pharmacy Vaccines Could Allow Docs to Take on Thousands of New Patients, Researcher Says
The COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent vaccination rollout has highlighted pharmacists and their impact on the delivery of vaccines. A new research study conducted by the New Brunswick Institute for Research Data and Training at the University of New Brunswick has found that allowing pharmacists to continue to provide a wider variety of publicly funded vaccines could improve cost savings, access to care, and health outcomes.

(08/02/21) Radiologists Express ‘Serious Concerns’ With New National Practice Standards Superseding State Laws
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) has decided to develop new national practice standards which may expand the scope-of-practice for several health care providers. The VA has initiated this process in efforts to expand access to care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the American College of Radiology, American Society of Neuroradiology, and approximately 100 other physician groups have written a letter to the VA’s leader expressing serious concerns about the potential impacts of developing new national practice standards.

(05/25/21) Broadened Scope of Practice in Assisted Living Should Continue After Pandemic, Association Argues
The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, has lifted several COVID-19 restrictions and announced that the state of emergency would end on June 15, 2021. This announcement has caused much concern among assisted living facilities as the state of emergency permitted the state to waive regulations that define the scope of practice for several health professionals. Since this announcement, the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association has advocated for permanent expansion of the scope of practice for assisted living facility nurses.

(05/04/21) State Lawmakers Mull Out-of-State Nurse Licenses After Pandemic Rollbacks
As COVID-19 cases surged, several states temporarily waived state licensure requirements and allowed out-of-state providers to practice in other states without obtaining licensure in the new state. This action contributed to increasing the supply of Registered Nurses as traveling nurses began to practice in other state COVID-19 hotspots. However, several of the executive orders that allowed regulatory flexibility are set to expire. State lawmakers are exploring strategies to avoid future nursing shortages which include adding states to the Nursing Licensure Compact agreement.

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