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AFP-CO and LIBRE-CO Urge Gov. Polis to Take Additional Actions to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 17, 2020 by AFP

DENVER, Colo. – Americans for Prosperity-CO (AFP-CO) and The LIBRE Initiative-CO (LIBRE-CO) sent a letter to Gov. Jared Polis urging additional actions to address public safety and economic challenges associated with the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The letter was in accordance with a memo AFP issued that included guidance for state-based reforms to address the spread of COVID-19.

Jesse Mallory, Colorado state director for Americans for Prosperity, issued the following statement:

“Although Colorado has fewer regulatory restrictions to health care when compared to other states, there are still barriers getting in the way of medical professionals being able to provide critical health care services. Gov. Polis can take immediate action to reduce some of these regulations and ensure that Coloradans are receiving the care they need without unnecessary delay.”

Angel Merlos, coalitions director for the Colorado chapter of The LIBRE Initiative, issued the following statement:

“No one is being spared for COVID 19’s wrath – including Colorado’s Latino community. We are thankful for the efforts being undertaken by our elected officials but urge Gov. Polis to use all of his available tools to ensure that we can reduce or eliminate unnecessary red tape in our state’s health care system. We look forward to working with the governor to ensure that the Latino community can come out of this crisis stronger.”

 

Background:

On March 17 Americans for Prosperity issued a guidance memo for state-based reforms that policymakers should adopt to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and expand access to critical health care services for those who need it. In accordance with that memo, on April 15, Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to the governor encouraging him to take executive action to:

  • Allow licensed health care practitioners, as well as doctors and nurses in training, from other countries to freely practice in Colorado. This will increase the availability of medical professionals to provide care and increase access to health services.
  • Lift regulatory barriers on telehealth and telemedicine for all patients, including those on public health programs such as Medicaid. Providers who deliver store-and-forward telehealth services should be reimbursed under Medicaid, better positioning them to forward patient data to other providers for further consultation. Clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives should also be able to deliver telehealth to Medicaid patients. These reforms will allow medical professionals to provide services to a larger number of patients while also limiting the potential spread of the virus which could result from traditional, in-person office visits.
  • Waive scope of practice restrictions for nurses and non-physician providers. For the duration of the health emergency, physicians assistants should be able to practice without physician supervision and nurse practitioners should be able to prescribe medications without completing 1,000 hours of physician-supervised practice. This will empower these health care professionals to deliver more within hospitals and provide more care in patients’ homes.