Regulatory Flexibility

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

(03/06/21) It’s Time to Eliminate Bureaucratic Barriers to Health Care Access
This opinion piece from The Hill discusses the regulatory and policy barriers that exacerbate access to health care issues. As COVID-19 cases surged, many states responded with efforts to build workforce surge capacity and support safer ways for patients to access services. Regulatory and policy changes included expanding scope of practice for some health professions, relaxing state health professional licensing requirements and supporting the provision of telehealth services. This article advocates for regulatory and policy reform that includes continued usage of COVID-19 response strategies as a method to expanding the health workforce and access to care.

(02/25/21) Dental Practice Stability, Vaccine Scope Expansion Head CDA’s Legislative Priorities in 2021
California Dental Association is sponsoring four bills in 2021, including a bill that could require dental and medical plans to support their provider networks during future state emergencies and a bill by Assembly member Jim Wood, DDS, to give dentists permanent authority to administer COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

(02/24/21) Pharmacy Students, Dentists, Other Health Care Providers Can Administer COVID-19 Vaccine in Kansas
Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order allowing pharmacy students, dentists, paramedics and others in health care professions to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

(02/17/21) Armed and Ready for the Future: Dental Hygienists and Dentists Administering Vaccines
This opinion piece calls for increased regulatory flexibility to allow dentists and dental hygienists to administer COVID-19 vaccines. In 2009, New York and Massachusetts allowed dentists to administer H1N1 vaccines, and following a similar pattern may allow further access to vaccination.

(02/04/21) Lawmakers Reintroduce COVID-19 Telehealth Licensure Bill
A new bill submitted to the United States House of Representatives and the Senate seeks to allow health care providers to use telehealth to treat patients across state lines both throughout and for 6 months following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Current rules have been relaxed in some states during the public health emergency, but barriers due to differences between state and federal licensure requirements remain.

(02/03/21) The Pandemic’s Effect on the Health Care Workforce
A public health expert discusses how occupational licensing impacts the health workforce during COVID-19.

(01/16/21) COVID-19: We Can’t Bounce Back With Only Physicians
This opinion piece published in The Hill covers the importance of keeping in mind health professional regulation for non-physicians, including physician assistants and advanced practice nurses, as a way to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

(01/04/21) Massachusetts Governor Signs Law Safeguarding Telehealth Coverage
Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has signed a law to make permanent many of the telehealth-related regulations put in place to enable better access to virtual treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new bill will require permanent rate parity on certain health services and an expanded scope of practice for some providers, among other provisions.

(01/04/21) Supporting Health Care Competition in the Era of COVID-19: 3 Legislative Models for States
This post to the Health Affairs blog provides some recommendations on ways for states to target legislation to improve competition and bring down costs in the era of COVID-19. These recommendations include bans on anticompetitive provider contract clauses, implementing certification of public advantage laws, and modifying scope-of-practice laws for providers.

(12/09/20) Waiver of State Licensure Requirements for The Delivery of COVID-19 Countermeasures via Telehealth
This article from The National Law Review covers amendments waiving state licensure requirements when providing Covered Countermeasures for COVID-19 treatment using telehealth services. This is significant in that it helps some providers provide some services that were previously limited due to state laws regarding cross-state practice of medicine using telehealth.

(12/04/20) HHS Expands COVID-19 Telehealth Capabilities in PREP Act Amendment
This article covers a new amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This amendment aims to ease the regulatory burdens on health care providers seeking to provide telehealth services to patients across state lines.

(11/30/20) The Future of State Telehealth Policy
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.

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