There’s been a flurry of government action to keep up with the rapidly changing COVID-19 outbreak. Action is certainly needed and great care should be taken to balance stopping the spread of the virus while limiting lasting negative economic or constitutional impacts. Governor Kelly has already taken some steps towards that end such as and deserves applause for…
Expand access to telehealth to limit doctor-patient contact.
Limiting KDHE testing criteria to encourage more COVID-19 testing from commercial labs
Fast-track the temporary licensing of out of state physicians.
Suspend requirements of transporting medical supplies.
However, there is more regulatory relief that can provide immediate care to Kansans and healthcare providers. Below is a list of regulations and rules Kansas should suspend to combat COVID-19.
Streamline Medical Licensure
Recognize hours worked responding to COVID-19 as hours toward continuing education courses or programs required for licensure. (Iowa)
Allow temporary (~30 days) registration as a certified nurse aide to applicants who complete needed coursework but have not completed examination requirements.
Allow temporary medical licenses for individuals who held a license within the last five years but whose license is now inactive or lapsed. (Iowa)
Allow retired physicians who are Kansas residents that have been placed on retired status for less than two years to apply for a return to active status. (Texas)
Fast-track the temporary licensing of out of state nurses, and physician assistants, etc. (Texas)
Allow Kansas medical students in their final year to practice in Kansas early. (Italy)
Loosen Hospital Regulations
Grant waivers to allow any hospital in Kansas to construct, acquire, or operate a temporary, or mobile facility for any healthcare purpose, regardless of where the facility is located.
Allow non-nursing assistants such as activity coordinator, social worker, or volunteer to help feed or transport a patient or resident in a manner consistent with the patient’s or resident’s care plan.
Extend state tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 (IRS Statement)
Allow pharmacies to make hand sanitizer. (Massachusetts)
Allow drivers of a motor carrier or commercial motor vehicle to drive with expired licenses if said license expired 60 days prior to the suspension of regulation. (Iowa)
Ensure CDL processes continue amidst different office closures
Allow alcohol and groceries to be delivered in the same truck. (Texas)
Waive child requirements concerning capacity, care categories, license transfers, and drop-in centers. (Tennessee)
Allow emergency (longer than 30 days) refills on essential medications (Alabama).
Suspend local regulations that prohibit home-based business and work-from-home arrangements (Arizona)
Suspend funeral regulations regarding facility requirements, training requirements to lower prices for Kansas families if they lose a loved one to COVID-19.
Allow business exemptions to declarations of minimum gathering and/or shelter at home orders to ensure availability of needed goods and services (toilet paper manufacturing, oil derrick safety checks, etc.)
It seems every day there’s new COVID-19 information to consider. As such, government policy should allow greater flexibility in processing such information and addressing Kansans’ needs. This list, though not exhaustive, is a guideline to further help those in need and keep the cogs of society turning.