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Shapiro Announces Order to Expedite Licensure Review Process

January 31, 2023

Governor Josh Shapiro today signed an executive order that aims to address the “unpredictability and long wait times for commonwealth-issued licenses, certificates, and permits.”

Shapiro announced the order during an event in Harrisburg. He said the initiative will improve the review process and remove administrative barriers that prevent Pennsylvanians from quickly entering the workforce. Shapiro noted the importance of improving the licensing and credentialing process to support the state’s nurses and health care professionals and to address Pennsylvania’s health care workforce crisis.

“State government’s top priority should be serving the people of our Commonwealth, but for far too long, Pennsylvanians have had to endure long wait times, outdated systems, and bureaucratic delays,” Shapiro said in a statement.

The order:

  • Requires state agencies, boards, and commissions—within 90 days—to catalog the licenses, certificates, and permits they issue
  • Requires these groups to establish recommended application processing times for the various types of permits, licenses, and certifications across state agencies, as well as the resources they would need to achieve the processing times
  • Reviews the state’s existing digital services for permits, licensures, and certifications, and opportunities to upgrade and modernize processes for applicants
  • Offers refunds to applicants if the state does not meet these newly established processing times for review

Once determined on a license-by-license (or permit-by-permit) basis, the state will apply the guidelines and publish the details.

HAP continues to advocate for reforms that streamline the review process and make it easier for clinicians to get licensed and credentialed. This month, HAP and the Pennsylvania Provider Advocacy Coalition submitted a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of State, outlining opportunities to reduce licensure delays and support the health care workforce.

“Our members continue to experience significant delays, which creates an undue burden for the onboarding of practitioners as well as an impediment in access to care for their patients,” the letter noted.

The governor’s executive order is available to review online.

For questions, contact Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy, or Jeffrey Bechtel, senior vice president, health economics and policy.