News and Commentary
The “Arizona model” of universal licensing reciprocity is catching on. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that allows professionals licensed in another state to be licensed upon moving to Pennsylvania.
April Simpson writing for Pew has an article about the dearth of lawyers in rural America. Many counties in less-populous states, such as North Dakota, have only a handful (if any) lawyers, as many of these licensed professionals move to larger practice areas in more heavily populated regions.
An opinion piece in Time authored by former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and David Hebert of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners argues that expanded scope-of-practice for nurse practitioners could help address the opioid crisis by expanding access to healthcare practitioners, particularly in rural areas. Addiction treatment is labor-intensive, making an expansion of practitioner supply essential.
Utah has made significant progress on reforming its occupational licensing laws, but Ken Greene and Michael Melendez give a 30,000-foot view of how the Beehive State can further improve these labor market regulations in Deseret News.
A Wisconsin bill awaiting Governor Tony Evers’s signature would liberalize the state’s licensing regulations for sign language interpreters. The most onerous regulation this would correct is the restriction on interpreters renewing their license more than twice before taking a test to advance. Failure to advance means forced exit from the profession, affecting over 100 interpreters.
Azita Emami’s opinion piece in Crosscut makes a comprehensive argument for expanding the supply and, more importantly, scope-of-practice for nurses and non-MD healthcare practitioners. Non-MD practitioners tend to be closer to patients, cost less, and spend more time engaging with those being treated.
While we like to focus on what non-MD practitioners can do more of, it’s also important to consider what we should have MDs do less. Davis Warnell and Andrea O’Sullivan find that while surgeons are obviously the most qualified professionals to perform surgery, they experience more burnout then necessary when they are burdened with performing administrative tasks better suited for a Physician’s Assistant or other non-MD.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its annual report on statistics related to certification and licensing. It finds that about 17% of the workforce had either a certification or license, with about 22% of the employed holding some form of occupational license. Workers with these credentials also had a 1/3 boost to their wages, but this difference decreases with educational attainment.