COVID-19 Related Changes to Pennsylvania Health Licensing Board Regulations (March 30)


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(Updated March 30, 2020) FLB’s Healthcare Group attorneys are here to support licensed professionals as they face challenges presented by the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

In an effort to respond to the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Department of State has made several significant and temporary modifications to the standards and procedures applicable to licensed healthcare professionals in the Commonwealth. Since this was originally posted, the DOS has issued more temporary modifications:

  • Prescribers of hydroxychloroquine must include a diagnosis on the prescription and prescribers are urged to prescribe smaller quantities to prevent shortages of the medication.
  • Some requirements applicable to physician assistants, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, nurses and nurse midwives, have been modified or suspended to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
    • Some healthcare professionals retired less than four years may reactivate their license.
    • Some oversight requirements applicable to physician assistants, including the requirement to obtain countersignature from a physician, within 10 days have been suspended.
    • HIPAA-compliant, or other online methods, have been approved for supervision of some professionals in the fields of psychology, social work, and counseling.
    • RNs, CRNPs, and CNSs, Graduate Medical Trainees, and Nursing Home Administrators with licenses set to expire on April 30, 2020, will be automatically extended until July 31, 2020.
    • CRNPs with a valid collaborative agreement in place do not need another collaborative agreement to work with another physician in the same hospital/health system.
    • English language proficiency testing requirements for RN and PN temporary practice permits are temporarily waived.
    • CRNAs are permitted to administer anesthesia with any physician, not only a surgeon or dentist.
  • Applications for healthcare practitioners not presently licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are also being expedited.
  • Restrictions on distance learning for continuing education requirements often required to maintain an individual’s licensure have been suspended to allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Finally, the Commonwealth has broadened the use of telemedicine, allowing healthcare professionals from out of state to treat Pennsylvania residents using this technology.

We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation and will provide periodic updates. If you would like assistance in assessing the current restrictions on your practice as a licensed professional, our attorney team is here to help. Please contact us using the form below, or give us a call at 610-797-9000. We wish you well during these extraordinary times.

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