Governor Eric Holcomb Issues Executive Order
Directives to Manage Indiana’s Health Care Response for Hoosiers with COVID-19 During the Public Health Emergency
Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-13 (“EO”) today, which can be found in full here. Relevant provisions are highlighted below.
- In the event the ISDH Commissioner determines patient capacity at any or all of Indiana’s hospitals exceeds what is available or needed, the EO permits the ISDH Commissioner to direct the opening, staffing, equipping, and use of a temporary facility for patient
- The EO permits individuals who seek to provide health care in Indiana in response to this public health emergency who are not currently licensed to practice in the state, either because their Indiana license is no longer active, they are currently a student, or they are licensed by another state, to obtain temporary authorization to provide health care services. The EO outlines specific requirements for retired health care professionals, medical students, medical residents, physician assistant students, nursing students, respiratory care practitioner students, and out- of-state health care professionals, as follows:
- Retired Health Care Professionals: Any health care professional, whether licensed in the state or not, who within the past five (5) years has retired, surrendered his or her license, or whose license is otherwise inactive but whose license was not revoked, suspended, or relinquished, may provide health care services in Indiana during this public health emergency without reinstatement or approval by the relevant licensing board.
- Medical Students: If a medical student is in his or her last semester of a four (4) year program or has completed a four (4) year program within the past 90 days from an accredited medical school, the Professional Licensing Agency (“PLA”) may issue a limited scope temporary medical permit to these individuals to practice under the indirect supervision of a licensed
- Medical Residents: Current holders of a Post-Graduate Training Permit who are also enrolled in an accredited residency program are temporarily granted authority to practice under a full medical license without
- Physician Assistant Students: If a physician assistant student has successful completed all required course work at an accredited school, has applied for a license with the PLA, and has supplied the PLA with a certificate of completion, the requirements that the physician assistant student take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination and complete a background check are
- Nursing Students: If a nursing student has successfully completed all required course work at an accredited school, has applied for a license with the PLA, and has supplied the PLA with a certificate of completion, the requirements that the nursing student take the NCLEX exam and complete a background check are
- Respiratory Care Practitioner Students: If a respiratory care practitioner student has successful completed all required course work at an approved school, has applied for a license at the PLA, and supplied the PLA with a certificate of completion, the requirements that the respiratory care practitioner student pass the respiratory care practitioner licensing or certification exam and complete a background check are suspended.
- Out-of-State Health Care Professionals: Individuals who are currently licensed by another state were authorized to provide health care services in Indiana pursuant to Executive Order 20-05.
Please note, professionals who do not currently hold an active license to practice in Indiana and are granted a temporary license to provide health care services in response to this public health emergency must register with the PLA via www.in.gov/pla. These individuals include Indiana professionals who retired or became inactive within the past five (5) years and are temporarily reinstated; graduating students of physician assistance programs, nursing programs, or respiratory care programs who obtain a temporary license under this EO; out-of-state professionals who are currently licensed by another state and work in Indiana during this emergency; and out-of-state professionals who retired or became inactive within the past five (5) years and work in Indiana during this emergency.
- The EO clarifies the prohibition on elective procedures stating, “To preserve PPE for health care providers, beginning April 1, 2020, all health care providers, whether medical, dental or other, and health care facilities, whether hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, dental facilities, plastic surgery centers, dermatology officers and abortion clinics, are directed to cancel or postpone elective and non-urgent surgical or invasive ”
- The EO suspends the prohibition on audio-only telemedicine for health care providers who are permitted to practice telemedicine currently. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists are also temporarily permitted to practice via telemedicine, although they must adhere to the current provisions set forth in law, meaning audio-only telemedicine is not permitted.
- The EO permits DEA-registered prescribers to issue prescriptions for Schedule II-V controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided that the prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of their professional practice, the telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual real-time two-way interactive communication system, and all other applicable state and federal laws are followed.