Not later than 12 months after December 19, 2006, the Secretary shall link existing State verification systems to maintain a single national interoperable network of systems, each system being maintained by a State or group of States, for the purpose of verifying the credentials and licenses of health care professionals who volunteer to provide health services during a public health emergency. Such health care professionals may include members of the National Disaster Medical System, members of the Medical Reserve Corps, and individual health care professionals.
The Secretary shall coordinate with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Homeland Security to assess the feasibility of integrating the verification network under this section with the VetPro system of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System of the Department of Homeland Security. The Secretary shall, if feasible, integrate the verification network under this section with such VetPro system and the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System.
The Secretary shall encourage States to establish and implement mechanisms to waive the application of licensing requirements applicable to health professionals, who are seeking to provide medical services (within their scope of practice), during a national, State, local, or tribal public health emergency upon verification that such health professionals are licensed and in good standing in another State and have not been disciplined by any State health licensing or disciplinary board. In order to inform the development of such mechanisms by States, the Secretary shall make available information and material provided by States that have developed mechanisms to waive the application of licensing requirements to applicable health professionals seeking to provide medical services during a public health emergency. Such information shall be made publicly available in a manner that does not compromise national security.
This section may not be construed as authorizing the Secretary to issue requirements regarding the provision by the States of credentials, licenses, accreditations, or hospital privileges.
For the purpose of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.