Regulatory Flexibility

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

(11/30/20) The Future of State Telehealth Policy
This paper from the National Governors Association provides a summary of the many types of regulatory flexibilities put in place across the nation at both the state and federal level in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper also provides insight on further considerations for Governors on long-term goals in telehealth policy.

(11/16/20) VA Clinicians Can Practice Across State Lines, Interim Rule Affirms
A new ruling from the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced VA clinicians are allowed to practice across state lines, even if their practice conflicts with requirements of the individual states in which they are practicing. This ruling is expected to better prepare the VA health care system for effectively managing surges in COVID-19 cases.

(09/16/20) A Brief History of the Future: Healthcare Amid the Pandemic
Regulatory flexibility, reimbursement expansion, and scope of practice changes are just some of the ways COVID-19 has impacted the health care industry in a legal capacity. This brief from McAfee & Taft highlights much of the notable changes experienced from the initial stages of the pandemic to today.

(09/09/20) Medicaid Managed Care Rates and Flexibilities: State Options to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic
This issue brief released from the Kaiser Family Foundation describes many of the flexibilities and other changes states have implemented to their Medicaid programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reimbursement changes seeking to increase access and coverage for COVID-19 related visits are common themes.

(09/03/20) Lessons Learned and Insights Gained: A Regulatory Analysis of the Impacts, Challenges, and Responses to COVID-19
This regulatory analysis published in The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing takes a look at many of the regulatory changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As nurses have been at the forefront of the pandemic, nursing regulators across the United States have made many changes rapidly, with review of much of the direction only now being analyzed.

(09/01/20) CMS Proposes Significant Changes to Remote Patient Monitoring Coverage
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced clarifications in rules that enable providers to establish and operate remote patient monitoring programs. The flexibility seen during the COVID-19 pandemic has been restricted.

(08/31/20) How COVID-19 Has Unburdened US Physicians In Some Ways
This podcast, produced by Health Affairs, features a discussion with Christine Sinsky of the American Medical Association about relaxed regulation and expansion of physician capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

08/24/20) COVID-19 Pandemic Sends Many State Licensing Exams on Furlough
The Professional Licensing Report published this article covering some of the state licensing exams impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In efforts to reduce in-person numbers, some tests have been furloughed and some moved to alternate formats.

(08/21/20) It’s Time to Permanently Suspend Regulatory Barriers to Telehealth
The use of telehealth technology to deliver quality health care has risen substantially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency regulations have enabled access and utilization like never seen before, and many are calling for permanent suspension of regulatory barriers to enable telehealth technology to continue to thrive.

(08/13/20) Treats Act Aims to Expand Use of Telehealth to Treat Substance Use Disorder
This article in the National Law Review covers the introduction of a new bill called the Treats Act with a goal of reducing regulatory barriers health care providers face in writing prescriptions through telehealth services. The bipartisan legislation has entered the committee process and aims to develop a pathway to specifically address controlled substance prescriptions for those with substance use disorders.

(08/05/20) Senators Eye Telehealth Licensure Freedom During COVID-19 Emergency
An article covering a new bipartisan bill proposed by Senators Chris Murphy and Roy Blunt with the purpose of allowing interstate licensure for telehealth treatment. State specific licensure requirements are a major barrier to telehealth expansion.

(08/03/20) Key Questions About Nursing Home Regulation and Oversight in the Wake of COVID-19
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation investigating the impact of regulation and oversight of nursing homes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As reports are becoming available it is evident that the majority of nursing homes met the needs of infection control, however nursing home quality of care has been raised as a significant issue.

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