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With pandemic regulation waivers set to expire, healthcare groups call for extension

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Healthcare groups warn that without an extension of pandemic regulation waivers, the industry could see another staffing crisis. HARRISBURG, Pa. — Healthcare regulation waivers that helped Pennsylvania hospitals and clinics stay fully staffed through the pandemic are set to expire at the end of the month — and healthcare groups warn that without an extension, the industry could see another staffing crisis.

During the pandemic, Governor Tom Wolf signed nearly 100 waivers easing rules on healthcare workers and systems.

They covered things like expanded telehealth and more flexible staffing requirements. One waiver allowed pharmacists to give vaccines to minors. One allowed physicians in teaching facilities to practice and teacher in more buildings than the usual two-building limit. Another allowed hospitals more flexibility in using their space for patient influxes.

“Keeping that kind of a waiver is incredibly helpful,” said Warren Kampf, senior vice president of advocacy and external affairs at the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

The waivers were part of Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration. The GOP-controlled legislature voted to end the disaster declaration in June, and to extend the waivers through Sept. 30.

Several groups are advocating for an extension of some — if not all — of the waivers.“The waivers that […]

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