Legislative Update 3.28.22


Devon Green, VP of Government Relations
Thank you for supporting hospitals!
I’m very superstitious when it comes to the legislature. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to knock on wood and to never proclaim anything as a win until the final gavel falls. This past week, however, two bills became law that will help our hospitals in very different, but hugely impactful ways.
COVID Regulatory Flexibilities: Act 85 extends much-needed regulatory flexibilities to help alleviate the current workforce crisis for health care providers and any subsequent COVID variants, including:
  • The Agency of Human Services can modify rules
  • The Green Mountain Care Board can waive rules and shall consider labor costs
  • Provider enrollment/credentialing requirements by Medicaid and commercial insurers remain relaxed
  • The Department of Financial Regulation can adopt rules re: insurance coverage for COVID
  • Out-of-state health care workers can work in a facility by registering with a licensing entity for up to six months—once working longer than six months, the health care worker needs a license
  • Out-of-state health care workers can provide telehealth without a license if they register with the licensing entity
  • Health care workers with recently expired (within three years) Vermont licenses can provide telehealth or work in a facility if they register with the licensing entity
This could not have happened so seamlessly without the health committee chairs, Sen. Lyons and Rep. Lippert, holding joint hearings and moving the bill along quickly. Thank you for your work! 
Prohibition of Firearms in Hospital: Gov. Scott signed S.4, a law that prohibits guns in hospitals and closes the “Charleston Loophole” on Friday. We appreciate Sen. Baruth taking up this issue and the chairs of the Judiciary Committees, Sen. Sears and Rep. Grad, moving this bill through the process. We really appreciate the willingness of both the legislature and governor’s office to come to a compromise on this bill while maintaining protection for our hospital workers, patients, and families.