As the COVID-19 crisis deepens it’s hold on the United States, the need for trained and healthy healthcare professionals continues to grow. Whether it is local hospitals and medical offices looking for added help or country outbreak hot-spots needing an influx of caregivers, more and more healthcare professionals are being called up to serve.
Many of these individuals answering the call are new – or nearly new – healthcare graduates. Others are retired professionals who are dusting off their scrubs to head back to the front lines. To help make the process smooth and expedited, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently authorized and permitted licensed healthcare providers to render care outside of their state of enrollment. At the same time, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun to work on new policies and regulations that would allow medical professionals to work across state lines.
AS the CMS and HHS regulations roll out, many states across the country have begun to waive or relaxe licensure and renewal requirements in an effort to assist in meeting the increased demand for medical professionals to handle the COVID-19 crisis. Here are a few examples of the states who are leading the way in helping healthcare professionals get to work. See the full list and find more resources online here.
The Governor of New York issued Executive Order No. 202.5, suspending sections of the Education Law and the New York Code, Rules and Regulations to the extent necessary to allow physicians, physician assistants and nurses licensed and in good standing in any state to provide services in New York.
The Education Department also altered regulations for continuing education requirements for healthcare providers and is allowing those licensees whose registrations are due to renew between March 1 and June 1, 2020 to complete 100% of the continuing education as self-study as long as the other requirements are met.
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine established an Emergency Temporary License Application for out-of-state physicians. Physicians must generally hold an active and unrestricted medical license to qualify, however, physicians who have retired within one year may have their license reactivated.
The Joint Order from the Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency allows out-of-state healthcare providers to provide healthcare services in Delaware for the duration of the State of Emergency.
Healthcare providers whose Delaware licenses have become inactive, expired or lapsed within the last five years may provide healthcare services as well, providing their license was in good standing.
Students currently enrolled in a Delaware Board of Nursing-approved school are authorized to conduct medical examinations and tests in the event such activities are supervised by a healthcare provider with an active Delaware license.
The New Jersey Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs have waived regulatory requirements allowing medical professionals licensed in other states to obtain temporary licensure in New Jersey during the public health emergency. In an astounding move, criminal background checks, licensing fees and submission of proof of sufficient medical malpractice insurance are currently waived.
There have been no formal changes related to licensing or renewals in Rhode Island. However, the Director of Public Health has stated that a professional with a medical license in good standing in another state can practice in Rhode Island under a temporary, 90-day license after filling out a form.
The Governor of Pennsylvania granted a number of the Department of State’s requests to suspend several provisions that create barriers to temporary licensure of healthcare professionals. Currently, administrative requirements are waived in order for the Department to grant temporary licenses on an expedited basis to out-of-state practitioners so they can provide in-person services for Pennsylvanians. Several continuing education requirements have also been suspended. Further, certain administrative requirements for nurses, including temporarily extending license expiration dates and waiving associated fees, are suspended as well.
As More States Waive Regulations, Stay Informed
As the pandemic continues to unfold, more states are loosening regulations to help healthcare professionals gain the ability to help serve legally. If you are currently looking for ways to begin serving in your area of healthcare education, contact us for helpful links and information.