Kelly issues executive orders to improve health care access

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KWCH) Kansas residents will be able to get medicine without an in-person visit to the doctor under a new executive order from Gov. Laura Kelly.

Kelly on Sunday announced two new orders aimed at expanding health care access during the coronavirus crisis.

“Kansans elected me to serve as Governor and their health and safety is my number one priority, I am committed to leading the state forward during what are truly unprecedented times,” Governor Kelly said. “While each of these orders has a specific purpose, together they will make sure Kansas families can access needed care and supplies until we have weathered this storm.”

To help prepare the healthcare system for an influx of patients caused by the COVID-19 virus and to ensure that Kansans continue to have access to the healthcare they need, Kelly signed E.O. #20-08. The order temporarily expands capacity in the healthcare system by:

• Allowing doctors to prescribe medication after an appropriate telemedicine consultation.

• Authorizing out-of-state doctors to provide telemedicine services to Kansans, provided they are licensed in another state.

• Permitting temporary emergency licenses for healthcare professionals regulated by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

“By allowing more doctors to practice in Kansas – and more patients to be seen remotely – we can alleviate the increasing burden on our healthcare system,” Governor Kelly said. “Expanding the use of telemedicine for nonemergency-related assessments like routine checkups and prescribing medication frees up additional time, resources and physical space in our hospitals and clinics.”

Sixty-four cases of the coronavirus are now confirmed in Kansas. They include two deaths, one in Johnson County and one in Wyandotte County.