This week, the R Street Institute published an article on the small regulatory reforms states could make to help their citizens during the Coronavirus outbreak. States like Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington have taken steps to reduce regulatory burdens so that medical professionals in other states “can be licensed… as quickly as possible.” Recently, the federal government has waived in-state licensure requirements for physicians during this crisis.

For pharmacies, R Street suggests expanding their scope of practice:

  • First, expand pharmacists’ prescriptive authority for certain basic medications like hormonal birth control pills, tobacco cessation products and statins; as well as drugs for basic conditions like strep throat, urinary tract infections and cold sores…
  • Additionally, allow pharmacists to furnish one-time prescription refills for basic medications without doctor approval, as long as the patient has a history of taking the medication…
  • Finally, pharmacists should be allowed to provide early prescription refills to ensure further adherence to medication regimens.

In arguing for Certificate-of-Need (CON) waivers, R Street looks to a piece written by Carolina Journal’s Julie Havlak:

The following measures have recently been advanced to address this issue:

  • Indiana Representative Jim Banks’ Hospital Competition Actwould incentivize more states to get rid of their CON laws and attempts to introduce more competition into healthcare.
  • North Carolina recently suspendedits CON laws temporarily, which means hospitals won’t need state permission to add beds. This is a helpful move, although the time to do that was earlier, in preparation for the outbreak—not as it’s underway.

Havlak’s story shares:

DHHS temporarily lifted a regulation requiring hospitals to get state permission to add beds…

Before NCDHHS suspended the rules, hospitals couldn’t add or relocate acute care beds without applying for a CON. Applying for a CON can cost as much as $500,000, and the state board which grants CONs doesn’t meet for months.

Read Havlak’s full story in Carolina Journal here. Read the full R Street piece here.