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Learn About Newly Updated Federal Regulatory Changes That Impact Credentialing and Scope of Practice During COVID-19

May 15, 2020

In an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has relaxed rules related to credentialing and scope of practice to expand the medical workforce.

These are changes in Federal rules; therefore, waiver authority only applies to Federal requirements and the waivers do not apply to Illinois statutory or regulatory requirements for licensure or scope of practice.

ISMS offers a newly updated Issue Brief covering the latest about CMS’ emergency waivers and regulatory changes, which include:  

  • Medicare will no longer require an order from the treating physician or other practitioner for beneficiaries to receive a COVID-19 test and certain laboratory tests that are required as part of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Pharmacists are now allowed to work with a physician or other practitioner to provide assessment and specimen collection services, and the physician or other practitioner can bill Medicare for the services. Pharmacists will also be able to perform certain COVID-19 tests if they are enrolled in Medicare as a laboratory, in accordance with a pharmacist’s scope of practice and state law.
  • Nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants can now provide home health services, implementing a change mandated by the CARES Act.

Policy is changing rapidly, and this document will be updated frequently as CMS continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by sending an email.

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