Department of Health and Human Services Urges Governors to Remove Barriers to PA-Provided Care during COVID-19 Response

HHS Secretary Alex Azar Recommends Extending Capacity of State Healthcare Workforces

April 2, 2020

In a letter sent to all 50 governors on March 24, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urged governors to extend the capacity of their states’ healthcare workforces, including PAs, to address the COVID-19 pandemic. AAPA commends these recommendations and echoes the Department of Health and Human Services’ urgings to suspend state regulatory barriers that limit access to PA-provided care.

The letter asked that governors take immediate action to allow providers to practice across state lines; relax scope of practice requirements (including allowing providers to practice in all settings of care); expand telehealth; and to authorize rapid relicensure or recertification of certain retired providers, including PAs, to allow them to reenter the workforce quickly.

AAPA has been working with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce barriers for PAs, and has encouraged both to urge governors to remove barriers to PA care at the state level.

These recommendations are in line with what AAPA is working toward at the state level, and AAPA would like to thank Secretary Azar for his support for expanding PAs’ response to the coronavirus.

AAPA has partnered with state chapters to remove barriers that prevent PAs from fully practicing to the top of their education, training, and experience, and is calling on governors to use executive orders to waive supervisory or collaborative agreements for PAs during a declared disaster or emergency.