AHCA/NCAL supports coalition efforts to extend State healthcare licensure flexibilities throughout PHEletter to all 50 state governors. The letter urges them to maintain and expand licensure flexibilities enacted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for the duration of the federal public health emergency (PHE), to better address patient needs during the ongoing pandemic.
During the PHE, governors across the country used emergency authority to waive some aspects of state licensure requirements to facilitate greater patient access to care, allowing providers more flexibility to treat patients across state lines. However, over the past few months, many states have allowed such flexibilities to expire along with the expiration of COVID-19 emergency declarations, leading to a reduction in access to vital care as the pandemic continues.
Many patients relied on telehealth throughout the pandemic to see their specialists who reside in another state. This was made possible by licensure flexibilities enacted at the start of the pandemic, so as not to risk exposure to the virus and to maintain continuity of care through virtual options. These patients are now faced with canceling these vital appointments or risking an in-person visit and thus exposure to COVID-19. As such, this letter implores state governors to act now to ensure patients can access the care they need where they reside and when they need it and outlines a set of principles to consider for licensure policies that should be in place right now to ensure patient access to care.
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