January 14, 2022

Calif. Health Dept. Allows COVID Positive HealthCare Workers to Return to Work Immediately

Regulatory Roundup

Calif. Health Dept. Allows COVID Positive HealthCare Workers to Return to Work Immediately

The California Department of Public Health temporarily adjusted guidelines to let healthcare workers who test positive for COVID and are asymptomatic to go back to work right away—without testing or isolating. According to the health department, they modified the return-to-work criteria, effective Jan. 8 through Feb. 1, due to staffing shortages because of the rise in the omicron variant. Becker’s Hospital Review on Jan. 10, reported the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United “condemned the decision and demands that it be rescinded.”


Mich. Gov. Signs Bill That Codifies Epidemic Licensure Exemption Provision

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a bill that codifies a licensure exemption that gives hospitals better flexibility to respond to staffing issues during the pandemic. According to a news release from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association on Jan. 6, the new law allows licensed, out-of-state providers in good standing to render clinical care in Michigan without a Michigan license during an “epidemic-related staffing shortage.” A previous provision from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, was set to expire Jan. 11.


Calif. Medical Board Asks Lawmakers for Reforms to Discipline Bad Doctors

The Medical Board of California wants lawmakers to pass reforms to help protect the public from bad doctors, including lowering the standard of proof needed to prove cases. The board asked legislative leaders to increase the time doctors must wait before asking for reinstatement of their revoked licenses. According to The Chronicle on Jan. 8, the board faces pressure from consumer and patient advocates for these changes. In addition, the article references a New York Times investigation of the Medical Board of California that uncovered that “since 2013, the board has reinstated 10 physicians who had lost their licenses for sexual misconduct.”


Study Reveals How Pandemic Changed Work Schedules

Research by two economics professors from the University of Oregon analyzed data from the popular development website GitHub to study the pandemic’s effect on work hours. They found that the average remote worker worked two additional hours outside of the traditional 9-to-6 weekday schedule–working weekends and evening hours. The research, as reported on Jan. 7 in Governing, analyzed data for developers working in San Francisco.


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