On March 29, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-30 temporarily suspending a number of supervision and credential requirements applicable to healthcare providers. These changes are intended to remain in effect during the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and apply only to healthcare providers currently in possession of a license in good standing, as well as to hospitals, nursing homes, surgical outpatient facilities, and medical first response services, whether state-run or privately owned.
Suspension of Scope of Practice, Supervision, and Delegation Requirements. Scope of practice, supervision and delegation requirements are temporarily suspended with respect to healthcare services provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, appropriate to the professional’s education, training, and experience, as follows:
- No criminal, civil or administrative penalties will be imposed related to lack of supervision by a licensed physician or lack of a written practice agreement with a physician;
- Physician assistants may practice appropriate to the professional’s education, training, and experience without a written practice agreement with a physician;
- Advanced practice registered nurses, including nurse anesthetists may practice appropriate to the professional’s education, training, and experience without a written practice agreement with a physician;
- Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses may order the collection of throat or nose swab specimens from individuals for COVID-19 testing;
- Licensed practical nurses may practice appropriate to the professional’s education, training and experience without supervision by a registered nurse;
- Licensed pharmacists may provide care for routine health maintenance, chronic disease states or similar conditions, as appropriate to the professional’s education, training, and experience without physician supervision.
Students Allowed To Support COVID-19 Response. Based on the discretion of a facility’s medical leadership, students and others may assist in the following manner:
- Students enrolled in a healthcare profession program may assist in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as appropriate to the student’s education, training, and experience;
- Medical students, physical therapists, and emergency medical technicians may assist as “respiratory therapist extenders” under the supervision of a physician, respiratory therapist or advanced practice registered nurse. Allowed services include assisting respiratory therapists and other healthcare professionals in the operation of ventilators or related devices and other services necessary to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as appropriate to the provider’s education, training, and experience.
Authorization for Out of State Shipment and Distribution of Controlled Substances. Drug manufacturers or wholesale distributors licensed in another state are temporarily authorized to distribute and ship controlled substances into Michigan hospitals, licensed manufacturers, or wholesale distributors.
Use of Other Facilities’ Personnel or Volunteers. One facility may use qualified volunteers or personnel affiliated with another facility as set forth in this Order, including temporary suspension of supervision requirements set forth above.
Limitations on Liability. Healthcare services provided in response to COVID-19 are not subject to liability or absent gross negligence.
- Unlicensed volunteers or students are entitled to immunity from liability as disaster relief personnel;
- Licensed healthcare professionals and designated healthcare facilities are entitled to immunity from liability sustained in connection with services provided.
Suspension of Credential Renewal and Expiration Rules. Renewal of a license, certification or registration will not be denied and expirations will be suspended in the following circumstances:
- Suspension of exam requirement, to the extent administration of the exam was canceled during the public health emergency;
- Suspension of fingerprinting requirement, to the extent a location is unavailable due to closures. All employee fingerprinting conditions for licensure and certification of hospitals, nursing homes, county medical care facilities or psychiatric hospitals are temporarily suspended;
- Professional certifications in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support or first aid will not expire during the public health emergency;
- Deadlines for 911 telecommunicators and trainees to complete training or continuing education are suspended for 60 days.
About the Author:
Kimberly Ruppel is a Member of Dickinson Wright’s Troy office. For over 19 years, Kim has provided counsel and representation to clients in a range of commercial and business disputes and litigation. Known as a trusted advisor with a skill for developing efficient and cost-sensitive solutions, Kim represents clients in matters related to healthcare disputes and litigation, HIPAA compliance, governmental investigations, ERISA and insurance claims and coverage issues, probate, fiduciary and trust litigation, and class actions in state and Federal courts. Kim can be reached at 248-433-7291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.