David E. Matyas, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Modern Healthcare, in “APPs Hope That Temporary Scope of Practice Tweaks Bring Lasting Change,” by Alex Kacik and Michael Brady. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
The CMS has temporarily expanded the scopes of practice for several allied health professions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but once the crisis ends it will be up to states to make permanent changes.
The CMS issued new waivers on Thursday that will allow providers to practice across state lines and at their top of license.
The new flexibilities permit physicians to treat patients at rural hospitals via telehealth, even if they’re out-of-state. Nurse practitioners can perform select medical exams for Medicare patients in skilled nursing facilities, even if they’re not related to COVID-19. Occupational therapists can do initial and comprehensive assessments for homebound patients, and hospice nurses no longer have to participate in hospice aide in-service activities, among other waivers. …
The CMS can point the way forward by modifying Medicare’s conditions of participation and reimbursement policies, but it’s up to states to make lasting change.
Even aligning licensure requirements could take time, since some states’ policies vary greatly. Some states allow anesthesiologist assistants to practice at their top of license while others like New York don’t even recognize them as a type of healthcare professional, said David Matyas, a lawyer for Epstein Becker Green.