Iowa suspends health care worker license requirements amid COVID-19 crisis

Iowa suspends health care worker license requirements amid COVID-19 crisis

Nurses and doctors are at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis.  At a time when our country is trying to avoid an overrun of our healthcare system, technicalities and license requirements need to be relaxed.  We can look to Iowa for a perfect example of this.

Governor Kim Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency and a portion of that directly impacts the state’s nurses and doctors:

SECTION TEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 147.10 and Iowa Admin. Code rules 653-9.13(6) and 9.14, rules 655-3.7(5), rules 645-261.8, and rules 645-326.9(8), and all other implementing administrative rules which prohibit the practice of medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, nursing, respiratory care, and practice as a physician assistant, by a licensee whose license is inactive or lapsed.  Suspension of these provisions is limited to licenses which have lapsed or expired within the five (5) years prior to this Proclamation and is further limited to the provision of medical and nursing care and treatment of victims of this public health disaster emergency and solely for the duration of this Proclamation.

This does not mean the public will be at harm, but it means that if a healthcare worker is available to treat a patient then they are able to do so without the burden of re-activating their license.  I’m sure we all know that retired doctor in town that still gives perfectly good medical advice.  If it’s been 5 years or less, then they can help under this type of regulatory suspension.  Actions like this are a great way to mitigate the overrun on healthcare. 
Nebraska needs to look at doing something similar, especially since we have rural areas of the state that are in constant need of healthcare when we aren’t in a crisis.

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!