Regulatory Flexibility

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

(06/29/20) Is It Fair? How To Approach Professional Scope-Of-Practice Policy After The COVID-19 Pandemic
A blog post discussing scope of practice laws and regulations that have changed how health care providers practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic continues, there is an ongoing question of which regulations should remain beyond the emergency.

(06/22/20) Idaho Gov. Little Signs Executive Order Easing Telehealth Restrictions Permanently
An article describing a new executive order signed by the Governor of Idaho, Brad Little, to make some of the regulatory changes enacted to address the COVID-19 pandemic permanent. The state has seen widespread adoption of telehealth services compared to before the pandemic.

(06/17/20) Senate HELP Committee Weighs the Future of Telehealth
An article covering the debate among members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on which changes to telehealth should be maintained following the COVID-19 pandemic. Two regulatory changes likely to be maintained include the changes to originating site reimbursement and the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth visits.

(06/08/20) COVID-19 Reveals the Power of Deregulation
An article from Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the free-market think-tank the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, covering some of the emergency regulatory changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/03/20) FTC Asks CMS to Lift Telehealth Access, Reimbursement Restrictions Permanently
An article discussing a new letter sent from the Federal Trade Commission to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calling for removing regulatory barriers for both telehealth and increasing the scope of practice of some non-physician practitioners.

(05/26/20) CMS Modifies Rules to Allow for COVID-19 Tests Without Physician Orders, Expanded Telehealth and Enhanced Payments for Hospital Owned Practices
An article describing new waivers that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have enacted in order to further regulatory flexibility to impact COVID-19 testing, care capacity and the health workforce, and an expansion of telehealth services

(05/26/20) COVID-19: Occupational Licensing During Public Emergencies
This frequently updated page on the National Conference of State Legislatures website describes individual state’s emergency actions related to health care licensure.

(05/19/20) HHS Issues Blanket Waivers for Stark Law – Physician Self-Referral in Response to Pandemic
An article discussing the United States Department of Health and Human Services new announcement of blanket waivers of the Stark Law, which will allow health care providers more ability for self-referral of procedures.

(05/14/20) COVID-19 Telehealth Waivers Won’t Last Forever, But Permanent Regulatory Changes Are Afoot
An article discussing the changes to telehealth regulations from the federal level that are set to expire after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Congress may be interested in greater regulatory freedom for telehealth practices based on the widespread rapid adoption of telehealth by health care providers.

(05/14/20) COVID-19 and State Medical Liability Immunity
A blog post advocating for the changes many states have made to regulations to protect the health workforce from medical liability during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. The post contains a link to a rating system for the medical liability protections by each state.

(05/13/20) COVID-19 Related State Actions
An updated list from the Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy on regulatory changes to telehealth and telemedicine practices across the United States, with clear descriptions of legal changes and sources linked for each state.

(05/08/20) COVID-19: Bill Seeks To Bring 40,000 Green Card Doctors, Nurses To US
An article describing proposed legislation from a bipartisan group of senators to address the shortage of doctors and nurses and issues with access to health care in the United States. The legislation would provide for up to 40,000 immigrant visas that were unused between 1992 and 2020 to finalize green card applications for foreign nurses and doctors.

(04/30/20) COVID-19 Telehealth Coverage Policies
An updated list from the Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy on federally made changes to telehealth laws from CMS, including specific non-permanent emergency actions taken for COVID-19.

(04/25/20) Cuomo Announces Expanded Virus Testing in New York
An article describing an executive order by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that is allowing all pharmacies in New York State to conduct coronavirus tests. The executive order will also allow all first responders, health care workers and essential employees to be tested even if they do not show symptoms..

(04/17/20) California Resists Push to Lift Limits On Nurse Practitioners During COVID-19 Pandemic
An article discussing the political battle in California regarding the scope of practice of nurse practitioners addressing COVID-19.

(04/17/20) COVID-19 Executive Orders
A collection from the New York State Education Department on regulatory changes for healthcare professionals practicing in New York.

(03/26/20) 50-State Survey: Temporary Medical Licensure Measures in Response to COVID-19
This chart compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges describes emergency medical licensure measures by states, categorized by in person and telehealth/mental health services.

(03/26/20) Indiana’s Executive Orders That Relate to COVID-19 and the Health Workforce
This webpage on the Bowen Center website summarizes Indiana’s executive orders that relate to COVID-19 and the health workforce.

(03/24/20) States Use Federal Waivers to Expand Health Care Resources to Confront COVID-19
This page on the National Academy for State Health Policy website explains how states have used Medicaid waivers to expand health care capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.