Modernizing Scope-of-Practice Regulations–Time to Prioritize Patients

Frogner BK, Fraher EP, Spetz J, Pittman P, Moore J, Beck AJ, Armstrong D, Buerhaus PI. Modernizing Scope-of-Practice Regulations–Time to Prioritize Patients. N Engl J Med. February 2020;382(7):591-593. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1911077.

Available at:

Over the past decade, numerous reforms have been implemented by the federal government and by states to expand health insurance coverage, change payment models, motivate organizations to reconfigure the ways they deliver care, modify eligibility for Medicaid, and better prepare the health workforce for pressing behavioral care, primary care, geriatric care, and community care needs. To realize the potential of these laudable reforms, we believe that states should eliminate overly restrictive scope-of-practice regulations that they impose on the health professions. Doing so would allow us to unlock the full potential of the country’s health workforce.