As COVID-19 spreads in the United States, it’s essential that Nevada prepares for this pandemic. There are many potential reforms that Governor Steve Sisolak can make to ready Nevada for additional coronavirus patients.
1. Scope-of-practice reform: Allow physician assistants to practice without physician supervision and permit nurse practitioners to prescribe medication without completing 2,000 hours of physician-supervised practice. This would free up additional medical professionals to deliver care to populations who need it most.
2. Loosening unnecessary license restrictions: Allow all health care professionals with out-of-state licenses to practice in Nevada, both in-person and through telemedicine, as both Colorado and Massachusetts did. What’s more, Nevada should renew expired Nevada licenses, certificates, permits, and registrations for health care providers, as both Colorado and Maryland did. These reforms would unshackle medical workers and allow them to fight the pandemic
3. Expand telemedicine: Allow Medicaid to reimburse providers who deliver telemedicine to diagnose and monitor patients. This would ease the burden on health care providers and increase social distancing.
4. Suspend certificate-of-need processes (CON): CON regulations limit the number of acute hospital beds, air ambulances, ambulatory surgical centers, nursing homes, long-term beds, and other essential medical equipment. They should be suspended during this crisis.
Urge Governor Sisolak to make these reforms today.