News and Commentary
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, just signed a occupational licensing reform bill that Reason‘s Eric Boehm calls, “the most sweeping occupational licensing reform in history”. The state’s Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act is a big step forward for the fight to lessen occupational licensing restrictions. The law affects occupations as diverse as hair braiders and nutritionists and allows stylists to begin making house calls, removes duplicate business and individual licensing requirements for certain professions, and expands recognition of out-of-state licenses. The law also clarifies that health and safety regulation of food trucks falls under state authority and bars local jurisdictions from placing additional restrictions on food trucks. The law also expands scope of practice (SOP) for a variety of healthcare professionals. Nurse practitioners can now serve as autonomous primary care providers in the state and pharmacists may now enter collaborative pharmacy practice agreements with physicians which allows pharmacists to provide specific patient care to a physician’s patients.
The Pocono Record reports that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, recently signed an occupational licensing reform bill that disallows occupational licensing boards in the state to deny license applicants because of a previous criminal conviction, so long as the individual’s conviction was not for a crime involving their job. Boards will also be required to individually review applicants with criminal background and create public lists of criminal offenses that may bar licensure. The bill also grants temporary barbering and cosmetology licenses to individuals who performed those professions while incarcerated.
Michael McGrady writes in The Center Square about a new occupational licensing portability bill that was recently signed into law by Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis. The law created an occupational licensing portability program that streamlines access to temporary licenses for individuals with out-of-state licenses. The bill also eases restrictions on military spouses stationed in the state.
The Massachusetts Senate has begun consideration of a wide-ranging healthcare reform bill, reports the Arlington Advocate. The bill requires insurers to cover telehealth services, expands SOP for three types of advanced practice nurse as well as optometrists, and creates a new mid-level practitioner license for dental therapists, among other reforms.
Alden Yuanhong Lai, Susan M. Skillman, and Bianca K. Frogner write in the Health Affairs blog about fairness in SOP laws. The article discusses how states have rapidly expanded SOP for various healthcare professions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how states can eventually transition to a post-pandemic normal concluding that, “decisions on whether to roll-back SOP changes should not be equally swift” as the decisions to expand SOP regulations.
Kristen Mizzi Angelone and Allison Corr write in an article for The Pew Charitable Trusts about a dental licensure reform in Maine that seeks to expand access to dental care in the state. The article discusses how the state’s dental board recently issued final rules that create a dental therapist license in the state, a vital mid-level practice license that will allow more Mainers to access oral health services.
A press release on Insider New Jersey discusses the New Jersey Senate’s recent approval of an occupational licensing reform bill that removes barriers to professional licensure for immigrants to the state.
An article in JD Supra examines regulations from the Department of Education that have recently come into effect on July 1st. The rules govern disclosure requirements for professional licensure programs offered by educational institutions in the U.S.
Jeffrey A. Singer writes in the Cato Institute blog Cato At Liberty about race and medical licensing laws. In his article, Singer traces the history of racial exclusion in medical licensing laws across the U.S. and how these laws continue to have disparate impacts on people of color.
A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the effects on physician characteristics on patient survival by examining the availability of physicians in hospitals. The author explains that, “the main finding is that when heart failure patients enter the hospital when more cardiologists are available, they are more likely to be treated directly by a cardiologist, have more invasive procedures, and survive over the following year”.
A Brookings Institution article by José María Barrero, Nick Bloom, and Steven J. Davis finds that the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to constitute a reallocation shock, both in job reallocation across firms and sales reallocation.