The AARC was among more than 230 organizations that signed on to a letter to all 50 state governors urging them to maintain and expand licensure flexibilities enacted at the start of the pandemic for the duration of the federal public health emergency to better address patient needs during the ongoing pandemic.
Through Executive Orders over the course of pandemic, respiratory therapists have benefited by states waiving statutory and regulatory requirements related to licensure, renewals, fees, and continuing education. They have provided temporary licensure for respiratory therapist retirees who meet certain criteria to come back into the system and allowed flexibilities for students who have completed their course work from an accredited program and applied for licensure to be issued a temporary license or permit to work during the pandemic. They have made it easier for respiratory therapists to get temporary licensure in other states. Most important, states have lifted telehealth or telemedicine requirements that would allow respiratory therapists to furnish telehealth services within their scope of practice for the duration of the pandemic.
With some states starting to pull back on previous waivers or allowing them to simply expire despite the continuing pandemic associated with the Delta variant, the AARC is hopeful that such a strong showing of support will encourage Governors to continue or extend the flexibilities previously granted to meet the demand of health care professional shortages throughout the country, especially those in the field of respiratory care, for the duration of the federal public health emergency.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.