Nebraska Gov. Ricketts waives healthcare license restrictions, fees

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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- On Friday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts issued another executive order to waive license restrictions to healthcare workers in the state, along with waiving license fees.

“So now other healthcare professionals coming from another state can now practice in Nebraska,” Ricketts said.

RELATED: Douglas County reports COVID-19 death

Retired or inactive health professionals seeking to help Nebraskans will be allowed to do so.

The FBI background check to practice in the state has also been waived.

In his daily COVID-19 update, Ricketts confirmed there are 83 cases of the coronavirus in Nebraska and the number of cases is progressing at a manageable pace.

Nine of the patients are hospitalized. A man in his 50s from Douglas County has died.

“We have plenty of healthcare professionals but further down the road, we may need more,” he said.

At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, tests for COVID-19 are being done at 180 per day while testing capabilities are being expanded.

Which means more confirmed cases will be seen in the state, Ricketts added.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska will reimburse for regular doctor visits done through teleconferencing. They are the first company to do so, Ricketts said.

He hopes other insurance companies will do the same.

Medical Director of Blue Cross Blue Shield Dr. William McDonnell said they proactively began to offer free telehealth to members before they were required to do so. As of March 16, it is reimbursing all credentialed providers of costs for all telehealth visits.

Ken Herz, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen took the opportunity to remind ranchers and beef producers to practice social distancing during sales or other activities like branding.

Department of Education Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt said he has recommended schools operate without students in their buildings by using distance learning and e-learning options.