BOSTON (SHNS) – New flexibilities in the health care system, particularly around telehealth and how and where different types of providers can practice, should remain permanent features post-pandemic, according to a new report from the Pioneer Institute.
The report makes the case for permanently knocking down barriers to telehealth for all providers and recommends building on a temporary Department of Public Health order that allowed Massachusetts residents to access telehealth services from out-of-state providers.
Study author Josh Archambault points to a Minnesota law — which has providers register with a state board and provide basic information about their licensing, along with a $75 fee — as a model.
The report recommends against mandates that require insurers to cover and bill for telehealth at the same rate as in-person services, and suggests that the state “consider removing our staffing ratios and ensuring full scope of practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.”
It also recommends that physician assistants be allowed “to have more control of their career and not be 100 percent dependent on one supervising physician,” and that the state create a “streamlined licensing pathway” to vet the credentials of international medical graduates so that those foreign-trained professionals could receive a full state licenses after passing required state exams and paying fees.