Expanding Scope of Practice After COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for and importance of health professional practice in the United States. To expand access to health care during the pandemic, many states relaxed or waived scope of practice requirements, calling into question whether these reforms should be made permanent. In this half-day virtual conference, leading experts in law, economics, nursing, medicine, and dentistry discussed the current gaps in health professional scope of practice, the future of scope of practice reform after COVID-19, and how to rethink scope of practice to better meet community needs and reduce barriers to care. See our conference recap and highlights on Twitter #LDIScopeofPractice. 

Explore our newly-released issue brief and more related content below.

Brief: Expanding Scope of Practice After COVID-19 (published February 2021)
To expand access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states relaxed or waived regulations that define the scope of health professional practice. This experience highlights the need to ensure that all health care professionals practice to the full extent of their capabilities—an issue that predates and will outlast the pandemic.



Brief: Pennsylvania Scope of Practice (published January 2021)
For many years, proposals to update licensure and adapt it to make it more compatible with current models of collaborative care could not overcome legislative logjams. This policy brief summarizes the recommendations of the participants in the afternoon virtual workshop to update scope of practice regulation to better meet the primary care needs of Pennsylvanians.



 Brief: Meeting Pennsylvania's Primary Care Needs  (published November 2020)
This brief presents a current snapshot of the nurse practitioner workforce in Pennsylvania, its growth in the past eight years, and an estimate of how expanding NP practice authority could address primary care needs in designated health professional shortage areas.





Conference Agenda

8:30 – 8:35 AM  

Welcome Remarks

Antonia Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean, Penn Nursing
Rachel Werner, MD, PhD, Executive Director, Penn LDI

8:35 9:20 AM  

Keynote Address: "Scope of Practice: Focusing on the Patient"

Martin Gaynor, PhD

9:20 9:30 AM  


9:30 10:30 AM  

Current Scope of Health Professional Practice: Where are the Gaps?

Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN, FAAN
James Carney, PA, DFAAPA
Donald Chi, DDS, PhD
Bianca Frogner, PhD
Matthew McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, FAAN (moderator)

10:30 10:40 AM  


10:40 11:00 AM  

Update on State Legislation on Scope of Practice

Sydne Enlund

11:00 AM 12:00 PM  

Reforming Scope of Practice to Meet Community Needs

Allison Hoffman, JD (moderator)
Penny Kaye Jensen, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FAAN, FAANP
William Sage, MD, JD
Edward Timmons, PhD
Ying Xue, DNSc, RN

12:00 – 12:15 PM  

Rethinking Health Professional Practice for the Post-COVID World

Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN

Keynote Speaker


Martin Gaynor, PhD
Martin Gaynor is the E.J. Barone University Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Previously, Dr. Gaynor was the Director of the Bureau of Economics at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. His research focuses on competition and incentives in health care and on antitrust policy. He is a founder of the Health Care Cost Institute, an independent, non-partisan nonprofit that advances knowledge about U.S. health care spending. He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. Dr. Gaynor received his BA from the University of California, San Diego and his PhD in economics from Northwestern University.


Margo Brooks Carthon  

Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN, FAAN
Margo Brooks Carthon is Associate Professor of Nursing, an LDI Senior Fellow, and core faculty in the Center for Health Outcomes Policy and Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Brooks Carthon conducts outcomes research focusing on how the organization of nursing services affects health disparities among vulnerable populations. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. Dr. Brooks Carthon received her BSN from North Carolina A & T State University, her MSN from the University of Pittsburgh, and her PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.

James Carney  

James Carney, PA, DFAAPA
A practicing physician assistant for nearly 40 years, Jim Carney recently retired from clinical practice but remains active in PA advocacy, policy, and regulatory arenas. He is Director of Advocacy and Government Relations for the Rhode Island Academy of Physician Assistants (RIAPA) and previously served as President. He is a member of the Public Laws Committee of the Rhode Island Medical Society and has been a member and chair of the Rhode Island Board of Licensure for PAs and American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA) Government Affairs and Reimbursement Committee. He served on task forces charged with revising the AAPA’s Model State Legislation for PAs and policies dealing with scope of practice. Carney is a graduate of the Albany Medical College/Hudson Valley Physician Assistant program.

Donald Chi  

Donald Chi, DDS, PhD
Donald Chi is Professor of Oral Health Sciences and the Lloyd and Kay Chapman Endowed Chair for Oral Health in the School of Dentistry at University of Washington. He is also a Professor in the School of Public Health and the Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Health Services. Dr. Chi’s research focuses on oral health inequalities and improving oral health for vulnerable populations. A practicing pediatric dentist, Dr. Chi serves as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Council on Scientific Affairs. He holds an AB from Cornell University, a DDS from the University of Washington, and a PhD in health services research from the University of Iowa.

Sydne Enlund  

Sydne Enlund
Sydne Enlund is a policy specialist in the health program at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She leads the program’s work on access to health care and rural health policies as they relate to the health care workforce. She tracks and analyzes legislation, writes publications, provides technical assistance to legislators and legislative staff, and manages NCSL’s Scope of Practice Policy website. Previously, Ms. Enlund worked for the Colorado Legislature as a policy analyst and for the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds a BA in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Julie Fairman  

Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN
Julie Fairman is the Nightingale Professor in honor of Nursing Veterans in the School of Nursing, Chair of the Biobehavorial Health Sciences Department, and an LDI Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fairman also directs the Future of Nursing Scholar’s Program at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is an American Academy of Nursing and Philadelphia College of Physicians Fellow. Her research focuses on 20th century health care issues, particularly the history of APRNs and health policy as it relates to competition, scope of practice, and service models. Her most recent work examines the intersection of the Civil Rights movement and health care. Dr. Fairman holds a BSN from Albright College, and an MSN and PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bianca Frogner  

Bianca Frogner, PhD
Bianca Frogner is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine at University of Washington, where she serves as the Director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies and Deputy Director of the Primary Care Innovation Lab. A health economist, Dr. Frogner has expertise in health services delivery, health workforce, labor economics, insurance coverage, and health spending. Her current research examines allied health and the training and education of health professionals to address health equity. She holds a BA from the University of California and a PhD in health economics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Allison Hoffman  

Allison Hoffman, JD
Allison Hoffman is Professor of Law and an LDI Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was Professor of Law at UCLA and a visiting faculty member at Yale Law School. She has written extensively about the legal and normative aspects of health care reform, health insurance markets, and consumer choice. Her expertise includes health insurance regulation, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and retiree health expenses, Medicaid, and long-term care. She is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law, which offers the most comprehensive review of U.S. health law in the post-ACA era. She holds an AB from Dartmouth College and a JD from Yale University.


Penny Kaye Jensen, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FAAN, FAANP
Penny Kaye Jensen is the past President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She is currently the Director for APRN Practice for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., and also serves as the National ARNP Health Policy Liaison. Her primary responsibility has been to lead the Veterans Health Administration's Full Practice Authority (FPA) initiative throughout the enterprise. She is a leader in nursing and NP issues on international, national, state, and local levels. Previously, she worked with First Lady Michelle Obama's office on the “Joining Forces” White House Subcommittee. Dr. Jensen holds a BSN from Westminster College, an MSN from Brigham Young University, and a DNP from the University of Utah.

Matthew McHugh  

Matthew McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, FAAN
Matthew McHugh is the Independence Chair for Nursing Education, Professor of Nursing, and Associate Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. He is also a 2011 RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar and an LDI Senior Fellow. He is a family nurse practitioner and psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist whose work evaluates how nursing can be a force for quality, equity, and innovation in health services. He received his ASN and BSN in nursing from Gwynedd-Mercy College, his MSN and PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, and JD from the Northeastern University School of Law.

William Sage  

William Sage, MD, JD
William Sage is the James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence at the School of Law and a Professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a nationally recognized expert on medical malpractice, managed care, regulation of health professionals, coverage determinations, and health care reform. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, he previously worked in the Clinton White House as a leader of several work groups for the President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform. Dr. Sage received his AB from Harvard University, and an MD and JD from Stanford University.

Edward Timmons  

Edward Timmons, PhD
Edward Timmons is Professor of Economics and the Director of the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at Saint Francis University. Dr. Timmons is one of the world’s leading scholars on the effects of professional regulation. He is also a member of the board of policy advisors for the Heartland Institute, a senior affiliated scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and a visiting research fellow with the Badger Institute. He holds a BS from Lebanon Valley College, and an MS and PhD in economics from Lehigh University.

Antonia Villarruel  

Antonia Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Antonia Villarruel is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing and an LDI Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Dean Villarruel co-directs the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership at Penn Nursing and co-chairs the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. She also serves as co-chair of the Strategic Advisory Council of the AARP/RWJ Center for Health Policy Future of Nursing Campaign for Action. Dean Villarruel’s work focuses on health promotion and health equity, including reduction of high-risk behaviors among Latino teens and diversification of the nursing profession. She received a BSN from Nazareth College, an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in nursing from Wayne State University.

Rachel Werner  

Rachel Werner, MD, PhD
Rachel Werner is Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. She is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management at The Wharton School, a practicing internist at the Philadelphia VA, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Werner’s research examines the effect of health care policies and delivery systems on quality of care, with recent emphasis on the effects of health care payment and organization on post-acute care. She holds a BA from Macalester College, and her MD and PhD in health economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ying Xue  

Ying Xue, DNSc, RN
Ying Xue is an Associate Professor and holds the Loretta C. Ford Endowed Professorship in Primary Care Nursing at the University of Rochester. Her research aims to develop empirical evidence to guide national policies to optimize the nursing workforce and to improve health care delivery and outcomes. Dr. Xue’s current research focuses on the role of nurse practitioners in improving primary care delivery for vulnerable populations. Previously, Dr. Xue completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a BSN and MSN from Tianjin Medical University and a Doctor of Nursing Science from Yale University.

This program has been approved for 3.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should make a payment via the online registration link in the amount of $120.00 ($60.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys).

In support of improving patient care, Penn Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Physicians: Penn Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Nurses: The program will award 3.25 contact hours.