VA clinicians can practice across state lines, interim rule affirms

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued an interim final rule to confirm authority for VA healthcare clinicians to practice across state lines, regardless of if it conflicts with state requirements.

VA officials published the interim final rule in the Federal Register Nov. 12. They said it gives the agency flexibility to mobilize and bring on qualified healthcare professionals from any state and quickly place them where they are needed most during the pandemic. This includes at VA medical centers, in addition to specific private hospitals, state veterans homes and nursing homes.

"As the nation's largest integrated health care system, it is critical VA healthcare professionals are able to deliver services in regions other than where they may be licensed, registered, certified or limited by a state requirement," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a news release. "Whether we are assisting states dealing with natural disasters or even more so now with their pandemic response, VA is working diligently to get the appropriate, qualified staff to those communities in need as quickly as possible."

The news comes at a crucial time in the pandemic, when cases are surging across the U.S. 

Public comments on the VA's interim final rule must be received on or before Jan. 11.

Read the full interim final rule here


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