Northam extends orders bolstering healthcare workforce, giving flexibility to Medicaid providers

Virginia covid-19

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Gov. Ralph Northam today extended Executive Orders Fifty-Seven and Fifty-Eight, which were originally signed in April and were due to expire on June 10.

Executive Order Fifty-Seven, originally signed on April 17, implements several policies designed to expand Virginia’s health care workforce to assist with the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response. The order allows for the expanded use of telehealth and authorizes out-of-state licensees to provide in-state care at hospitals, nursing facilities, dialysis facilities, physician offices, and other health care facilities.

The order permits Virginia-licensed nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborative agreement. It also provides additional flexibility to hospitals in the supervision of interns, residents, and fellows, and allows hospitals to use fourth year medical students in the provision of care.

“While our key health indicators are trending in the right direction, we must remain prepared for all scenarios, including an unexpected surge in COVID-19 cases,” Northam said. “Extending these two executive orders will ensure our hardworking medical professionals have the capacity and flexibility to meet the health care needs of all Virginians amid the ongoing pandemic.”

Northam also extended Executive Order Fifty-Eight, originally signed April 23, which helps ensure Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) members have continued access to care during the ongoing public health emergency.

The order waives copayments for individuals receiving coverage through the FAMIS program and streamlines admission to nursing facilities by suspending preadmission screening requirements. It also allows Medicaid members to obtain replacements for prosthetics, orthotics, and other durable medical equipment and supplies that are lost or damaged without requiring in-person verification or paperwork.

The order also extends the allowable timeframe that personal care, respite, and companion providers can work while background checks are conducted from 30 days to 60 days. Supervision and training requirements still apply. And the order waives the 30-day public notice and comment period requirements for the Department of Medical Assistance Services, which helps the agency to communicate immediate information on flexibilities in access to care to health care providers.

The two executive orders will remain in effect for the duration for the COVID-19 state of emergency unless amended or rescinded by a further order.

The full text of amended Executive Order Fifty-Seven is available here.

The full text of amended Executive Order Fifty-Eight is available here.


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