Using Pharmacists to Provide Care in Rural Areas

Rural communities tend to have older and sicker residents as compared to urban and suburban communities. The increased need for medical care and prescription drugs, coupled with scarcity of primary care physicians in rural areas, exacerbates many barriers to accessing necessary health care. Maximizing the utilization of pharmacists as part of the health care delivery … Continued

Mitigating Health Workforce Barriers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an effort to help states manage the unprecedented demand for health care workers in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, both state legislatures and the federal government have adopted policies to enhance workforce capability. On March 18, the Trump administration announced a new regulation that temporarily waives Medicare and Medicaid billing requirements that out-of-state … Continued

Teledentistry: Connecting Rural Communities to Dental Care

Rural Americans are more likely to experience tooth decay and twice as likely to lose their adult teeth as their urban counterparts.  Access to oral health care is one of the most common reasons cited for the disparity in oral health in rural communities. Geographic isolation, acute provider shortages, and providers who may face challenges … Continued

States Continue to Enact Legislation to Address Health Care Workforce Shortages

Access to health care remains a challenge for many Americans, especially those living in rural and underserved communities. As state legislatures return to session in January, legislators will continue to look for ways to increase access to health care for these residents. Examining scope of practice of laws is likely to be among the top … Continued

Utilizing Addiction Counselors to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Services

Lack of access to behavioral health providers in rural areas continues to affect millions of Americans. State policymakers continue to look for innovative ways to address this workforce shortage. Utilizing addiction counselors to provide services in areas that lack behavioral health providers is one strategy states are increasingly examining. Addiction counselors, also known as substance … Continued

Behavioral Health Professions Now Featured on Scope of Practice Policy Website

As health provider workforce shortages continue to affect rural and underserved areas in the wake of the opioid crisis, state policymakers will look to address access to care in their communities this legislative session. Many lawmakers are considering strategies to expand the behavioral health workforce. Behavioral health providers assist people with a variety of mental … Continued

Scope of Practice Bills Introduced During the 2018 Session

State legislators have introduced more than 80 bills so far this year relating to scope of practice for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists, dental therapists, community health workers, community paramedics and peer support specialists. Maryland, Virginia and Washington legislatures have introduced bills outlining training and certification standards for community health workers. Bills pending in … Continued

Scope of Practice Policy Celebrates 1 Year

February marks the one year anniversary of the website, an important national resource for state policymakers about scope of practice issues for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists and dental therapists. The site features 11 interactive maps for policy areas such as supervision requirements and prescriptive authority. The website continues to track legislation, detailing … Continued

Two Dozen Scope of Practice Laws Enacted in 2017 tracked a total of 139 bills during the 2017 legislative session. Thirty-seven bills were enacted into law from 24 states, including 13 bills related to oral health providers, 12 bills related to nurse practitioners and 15 bills related to physician assistants. There are currently three bills awaiting a governor’s signature. Oral Health Provider Legislation … Continued

Dental Hygienists and Dental Hygiene Therapists in Maine

In 2016, Maine enacted a new Dental Practice Act establishing the scope of practice for dental hygienists and dental therapists. The law outlines education and training requirements, prescriptive authorities, and supervision requirements for these and other oral health professions. Maine’s Board of Dental Practice is a state regulatory agency established to protect the public through … Continued