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California Governor Authorizes Expansion of Health Care Workforce and Facilities

By Procopio Partner Robert G. Marasco and Rachael A. Harrington

California health care facilities should now have additional flexibility to provide necessary and emergent care to patients during this ever-changing crisis in light of an executive order newly issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The order seeks to “temporarily expand the health care workforce and allow health care facilities to staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds the state needs to treat COVID-19 patients.”

Notably, the executive order authorizes:

  1. Waiver of any of the licensing and staffing requirements for hospitals and health facilities;
  2. Waiver of professional licensing and certification requirements for certified nursing assistants, home health aides, nursing home administrators, and certified hemodialysis technicians;
  3. Waiver of certification and permitting requirements for certain radiology technologists and assistants;
  4. Waiver of licensing requirements that pertain to the credentialing and privileging of physicians;
  5. Waiver of any of the professional licensing requirements;
  6. Suspension of any licensing, certification, or training requirements for EMS personnel;
  7. The Department of Developmental Services to enter into a lease, lease-purchase, lease with option to purchase any real or personal property or any other agreement to procure residences or facilities and necessary equipment, goods or services to serve those individuals with development disabilities in crisis, to respond to, mitigate the effects or prevent the spread of COVID-19 to individuals with developmental disabilities or the general community and only for a term necessary to address the COVID-19 crisis or its effects; and
  8. Case worker visitation requirements to be satisfied through video conferencing, instead of in-person contact.

Learn more regarding the executive order here.

 

Robert G. Marasco is the leader of Procopio's Health Care practice group. He aids clients in a wide spectrum of business situations. In the civil context, he acts as an outside general counsel to a variety of businesses advising on various legal and business matters, and also leads the strategic litigation needs of these businesses. In the health care context, Robert advises clients, including independent physician associations, foundation-based physician groups, and other medical practices on health care compliance and fraud and abuse, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law, and defends clients against OIG health care audits and False Claims Act matters and governmental investigations. He also advises on compliance with health care privacy laws such as HIPAA and the California CMIA, investigates data privacy compliance, and responds to data breaches. Additionally, Robert has extensive experience representing hospital medical staffs in disciplinary proceedings and is authorized by the CA Society for Healthcare Attorneys to serve as a hearing officer for such matters.

Rachael A. Harrington provides counsel to hospitals, medical staffs, and physician groups with a focus on policy review and development, corrective action, medical staff credentialing and privileging, and judicial review hearings.  She provides legal advice to medical staffs on a range of legal issues including industry-specific laws related to state and federal reporting requirements, fair procedure hearing rights, and peer review protections.  She further assists medical staffs in regular policy review and bylaw revisions and updates. In addition, Rachael assists in defending hospitals in whistleblower claims and litigation.