Alabama cuts medical ‘red tape’ to speed COVID-19 response

Alabama cuts medical ‘red tape’ to speed COVID-19 response
Thursday, the Ivey administration said it would “cut red tape” to help relieve any potential strain on resources in the medical field. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey’s office says she’s continuing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in several new ways.

Thursday, the Ivey administration said it would “cut red tape” to help relieve any potential strain on resources in the medical field and provide for quick expansion of medical facility capabilities.

“First, we’re cutting red tape for health care providers,” Ivey’s office said, calling it an effort to “expand the human infrastructure of our healthcare system.”

That means things like an expansion on the scope of practice for health care professionals that will relax, though not eliminate, the degree of supervision needed for certain non-MD health care professionals so they can care for patients.

Ivey’s office said the process will speed up the process to welcome out-of-state health care workers like pharmacists, nurses, and doctors to get temporary licenses to practice in Alabama.

There’s also an expedited process to reinstate medical licenses for retired doctors so they can quickly return to practice.

Because of the increase in COVID-19 patients and the strain that creates on medical facilities and pharmacies, Ivey’s proclamation also gives temporary relief from certain laws and rules regarding the state’s healthcare infrastructure.

It requires the State Health and Planning Development Agency, or SHPDA, to allow for temporary expansion of nursing homes and hospitals and gives the Alabama Pharmacy Board the ability to expedite procedures to establish temporary pharmacies.

Ivey recently tightened a state health order that forces the closure of “non-essential” businesses, venues, and activities, but she has resisted calls to order a statewide shelter-in-place.

As of Thursday, there were more than 1,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Alabama with 17 confirmed deaths.

RESOURCES FOR ASSISTANCE:

If you are looking for food, work, or other assistance during the pandemic, check out the resources available HERE.

State officials opened a toll-free number for people who develop symptoms and need to be tested. For more on how to get tested, you can call 1-888-264-2256. This is not a medical helpline.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserve