The Covid-19 pandemic has created a shortage of healthcare workers in some states. This means that healthcare workers from other states are needed to fill the demand for healthcare staff to take care of sick patients. Before healthcare workers volunteer or decide to go work in a different state, they must be aware of the legal aspects of working across state lines.
The federal government has cleared the way for the licensing of healthcare workers who want or need to work in a different state due to the coronavirus outbreak. As long as healthcare workers are licensed in one state, they can receive payments from the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid if they work in a different state.
A closer look at the federal waivers reveals that the federal government has empowered state leaders and agencies to waive licensing requirements for healthcare professionals to practice medicine within their state. Instead of going through a lengthy vetting process and having to obtain a license, states can allow health workers from other states to quickly begin filling roles in their hospitals and helping the sick.
It is essential to realize that the federal legal action has cleared the way for healthcare providers to receive payment from federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This means that healthcare practitioners need not worry about getting paid for providing medical services outside the state where they hold a license. The state waivers focus more on the licensing needed to practice healthcare in their states. State governments are getting rid of the requirement that you need to be licensed in their state to care for patients.
Although healthcare workers are safe when it comes to being reimbursed by the federal government and being allowed to practice in other states despite lacking a license, there could be an issue with malpractice and worker’s compensation. Workers planning to go across state lines should double-check on whether they will be covered under their insurer’s worker liability coverage if they go practice medicine outside state lines. Healthcare professionals should also consult with the state’s emergency management laws to see if they will be covered by worker’s compensation in case they get sick or injured while providing care to Covid-19 patients across state lines. Besides checking with state emergency laws, it is also a good idea to check with the organization you are volunteering or working through to see if they will cover you with liability and worker’s compensation.