PA-ACP calls for Licensing Board Improvements

The PA Chapter of the American College of Physicians today joined with 20 other statewide health care provider organizations in urging Governor Tom Wolf to take immediate action to address the substantial delays in issuing professional licenses to the commonwealth’s physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and other allied health professionals.

Larry Ward, MD, FACP, President of PA-ACP said, “At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is placing an extraordinary strain on the number and availability of medical professionals to care for sick Pennsylvanians, we’re already seeing health care professionals leave the workforce in record numbers.  Given these issues, licensure delays are simply unacceptable.”

The coalition noted that Pennsylvania is moving into the renewal period for physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants. In its letter, the Coalition said, “We fear that further delays have the very real potential to disrupt patient care.”

They asked the Governor to increase the total staff complement and compensation structure of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and retain third-party support if necessary to consider necessary business adjustments, with extensive stakeholder input and testing.

In addition, they called for additional budget resources to support these actions, expanding the ability of the Department to accept documents electronically,  and for temporarily extending the deadlines for clinician license renewals until backlogs and delays can be resolved.