Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar yesterday asked the nation’s governors to immediately allow health professionals licensed or certified in other states to practice in their state in person or through telemedicine. In addition, he asked states to:

  • Waive certain statutory and regulatory standards “not necessary for the applicable standards of care to establish a patient-provider relationship, diagnose, and deliver treatment recommendations” using telehealth technologies;
  • Relax scope of practice requirements for health professionals, including allowing them to practice in all care settings;
  • Allow physicians to supervise a greater number of other health care professionals and to do so using remote or telephonic means;
  • Allow for rapid certification/licensure and recertification/relicensure of certain health care professionals;
  • Develop a list of their state liability protections for in-state and out-of-state health professionals during this national emergency and modify, rescind or waive any medical malpractice policies that may prevent coverage of health professionals responding to the COVID-19 emergency in another state;
  • Modify laws or regulations as appropriate to allow medical students to triage, diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of licensed medical staff; and
  • Allow pharmaceutical deliveries without signature to prevent delivery person contact with recipients.

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