I'm wondering-can the government force nurses to work during an emergency outbreak such as a pandemic?
May 1, '09
There is a guideline from the feds, http://www.ahrq.gov/research/mce/index.html#Contents
It doesn't spell out what would be done to force people to work, only that under a declared emergency they may need to change the rules a bit. I bolded and underlined the key bits.
Key Legal and Ethical Issues.
The Presidential declaration of a national emergency or disaster, along with the declaration of a public health emergency by the Secretary of HHS, may be the basis for the Secretary to invoke a waiver authority under the Social Security Act, which permits increased regulatory flexibility for home treatment and patient transfers. It is important for the home health care sector to anticipate legal concerns that may emerge during a declared public health emergency and begin to consider potential solutions to these issues in advance.
Legal parameters differ from State to State and may change during a declared emergency. Home health care agencies should consult their State and local governments, professional organizations, or local pandemic influenza planners to learn about laws and regulations that may affect their operations and staff during an influenza pandemic.
- Allocation of scarce resources. Determine with local planners how to use resources most efficiently and under which priority the agency will be allocated specific patient treatment resources.
- Scope of practice. Determine whether scope of practice restrictions set forth by the State or political subdivision will be extended to allow, for example, more home health care workers to provide vaccinations or medications.
- Addressing medical personnel licensure requirements. Determine appropriate legal approaches to adapting normal licensing requirements for volunteer health personnel to more readily support declared emergencies.
- Reimbursement. Learn who, if anyone, is legally required to pay for services during an emergency.
- Human resource policies. Policies will need to deal effectively with issues such as failure to report to work.
- Workers compensation. Determine whether workers compensation carriers will provide the same protections that they provide under standard conditions.
- Patient release policies. Learn what policies are for releasing patients from standard hospital care to home-based care.
- Protections for at-risk populations. Learn what enhanced protections are for at-risk populations.
- Health care worker liability protections. Learn the agency's liability for harms that arise to patients from home health care services during emergencies
- Patient abandonment. Determine under which circumstances a home health care provider's failure to treat existing patients may result in penalties.
Last edit by azhiker96 on May 1, '09
: Reason: clarity