The AMA and a number of other physician organizations are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to resist calls to extend temporary waivers involving scope of practice and licensure when the public health emergency declared in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

“Some organizations have already been advocating to make the temporary waivers permanent—permanently diminishing physician oversight and supervision of patient care,” notes the letter from the AMA and others.

Health systems have taken many steps during the pandemic to “reassess how they allocate human resources,” says the letter. That includes postponing or canceling elective procedures.

CMS, meanwhile, has “temporarily relaxed the direct oversight and licensure requirements to allow health care systems to stretch their capacity to treat more patients.” But such measures should not be open-ended.

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