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Holcomb Imposes New COVID-19 Requirement On Hospitals, Avoid 'Draconian' Measures

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s latest COVID-19 executive order requires hospitals to share new information, but does not reimpose any statewide restrictions during the current surge of cases.

The order, which runs through September, mandates hospitals report to the state when they’re diverting patients to other facilities. That will help Indiana officials better manage resources statewide.

The executive order also asks insurers to extend prior authorizations for non-emergency procedures being postponed because of the COVID-19 surge. And it makes it easier for advanced practice nurses to provide care across multiple locations around the state.

READ MORE: Indiana School COVID-19 Cases Set New Record As State Pushes For More Testing

Holcomb said he worked with hospitals to ensure his new order best supports them.

“But there’s no draconian measures where we’re saying we’re going to suspend non-emergency procedures, as an example,” Holcomb said.

The new order also reimposes two requirements for government benefits that had been suspended during the pandemic. One requires welfare recipients to look for work to keep their benefits. The other forces unemployment recipients to wait a week before the state will pay them their benefits.

READ MORE: How Is Indiana Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

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Otherwise, the few remaining COVID-19 directives from the governor's office remain in place. That includes temporary licensing of retired and out-of-state health care workers; suspension of payment requirements for Medicaid and the Healthy Indiana Plan; an expanded list of people who can provide COVID-19 vaccinations, including EMTs and trained National Guardsmen; and waiving any penalties or interest on state taxes owed on unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.