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Why Interstate Medical License Reciprocity is Fundamental During COVID-19

March 23, 2020

With recent city-wide shutdowns, travel restrictions, and limited testing availability throughout the country, many Americans are worried that healthcare professionals will soon be overwhelmed with the number of patients needing care. And even more so—worried about the patients unable to receive it. In response to these concerns, Merit recently announced the launch of Merit ReadyNow which makes digital interstate license reciprocity work for the entire country.


Doctor/Patient Ratios are Staggering
Why is interstate license reciprocity an appropriate response? Within the timeframe of the first few COVID-19 cases in the country, it became clear that the doctor/nurse-to-patient ratio was an issue in the biggest and most affected cities of the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL), for the five million+ Californians over the age of 65, there are only 280 doctors per 100,000 people in the third most-infected state. While Alaska, for example, has 277 doctors per 100,000 people with less than 80,000 over the age of 65.

It’s widely known that those at the highest risk for the virus are people ages 60 and over. With digitized medical credentials, the extra hands qualified in states such as Alaska can be verified to work elsewhere in a matter of days, allowing more people the opportunity to be taken care of quickly if infected.

Healthcare Professionals Want to Help
While COVID-19 has been a pandemic around the world, the US declared a national state of emergency just a few days ago. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have made it clear that they are more than willing to help wherever their skills are needed. This means, however, having all of their credentials and licenses verified and available in different states or jurisdictions. This process can get expensive (sometimes hundreds of dollars) and usually take way too much time to complete. Today, help is needed now and the usual, manual method limits the help that is available.

How Merit ReadyNow Can Help The COVID-19 Response
Medical professionals want to help where they can in these trying times, and Merit ReadyNow allows them to do so by digitizing credentials in days and at no cost to them, states, or anyone that needs to verify credentials.

To tackle the administrative barriers of manual work and paper credentials moving state-to-state, Merit ReadyNow provides every state the option to digitally connect and share medical licenses. This allows medical professionals to quickly and easily be verified to work where they are needed before a hospital is overwhelmed with patients. Saving time could mean saving lives, and Merit wants to help.

To learn more and get started verifying medical professionals, visit www.merits.com/ReadyNow.

Amanda Davis
Written by Amanda Davis

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