Trend: States make medical help easier in disasters

When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, many out of state healthcare professionals wanted to help--but they couldn't. Despite the crying need for their services, providers coming in from out of state were prevented by the state from offering their services due to questions about credentialing and liability issues.

Now, however, many states are enacting legislation designed to avoid this kind of confusion when and if they face a disaster of their own. Colorado, Kentucky and Tennessee have approved legislation letting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, coroners and EMTs who aren't licensed in states where disasters strike to get authorized quickly for work--and a similar bill awaits the governor's signature in California. As many as 20 states should consider similar legislation in 2008, according to researchers.

To find out more about this trend:
- read this USA Today article

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