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Scope of Practice, Delegation, and Supervision Requirements for Health Professionals Caring for COVID-19 Patients Reinstated

COVID TestingIn response to the improvements in hospitals’ and health care professionals’ capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, Governor Whitmer has rescinded Executive Order 2020-61, which temporarily suspended the scope of practice, supervision, and delegation restrictions for many health care providers during the initial surge of cases in March.

On July 13, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-150, which provides a more narrow form of relief from certain licensing and certification requirements for health care professionals. The effect of the new executive order is reinstatement of the Public Health Code provisions dealing with the scope of practice for licensed health professionals and the requirements for supervision and delegation. Executive Order 2020-150 is now in effect for the duration of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.

I. Executive Order 2020-61 Rescinded 

Under Executive Order 2020-61, the provisions of Michigan’s Public Health Code relating to health care professionals’ scope of practice, supervision, and delegation were temporarily suspended. The now-rescinded executive order allowed health care professionals to take all actions necessary for the facility’s response to COVID-19 that were appropriate with their education, training, and experience. As of July 13, 2020, the scope of practice, supervision and delegation restrictions are in full effect. Health care professionals may not exceed the limits of their scope of practice when caring for COVID-19 patients.

II. Suspension of Certification Requirements

Executive Order 2020-150 temporarily suspends the laws and regulations that require an examination, fingerprinting, or continuing education as a condition for licensure, certification, or registration of a health care professional. This suspension only applies to exams cancelled while the emergency declaration related to COVID-19 is in effect and fingerprinting that is unavailable due to closures from the COVID-19 pandemic. These requirements are also suspended for health care professionals who need to renew their license, certification, or registration. The executive order specifically states that professional certifications of individuals in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support and first aid will remain in effect even if they are due to expire.

Executive Order 2020-150 also suspends certain deadlines for telecommunicators and trainees employed by primary public safety answering points to complete training modules or continuing education. The requirements are suspended until 60 days after the state of emergency related to COVID-19 is over.

Contact a member of Foster Swift’s health care group with any questions on the current restrictions or waived requirements for health care professionals due to COVID-19.

While the information in this article is accurate at time of publication, the laws and regulations surrounding COVID-19 are constantly evolving. Please consult your attorney or advisor to make sure you have the most up to date information before taking action.

Categories: Hospice, Hospitals, Licensing

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has 30 years of experience in the area of health care law, with special emphasis on licensing investigations and disciplinary actions. His representation of individual health care professionals as well as hospitals, health systems, long term care facilities and multi-practitioner clinics, provides an understanding of clinical and business realities in health care as well as legal and regulatory requirements.

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 has particular expertise in health law and she represents providers with emphasis in the areas of physicians, hospice, home care and long term care, including one of the country’s largest long-term care organizations. She has a vast array of experience in teaming with providers in the areas of regulatory compliance and contracts. 

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Best Lawyers® 2020

Congratulations to the attorneys of the Health Care practice group at Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC for their inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2020 edition. Firm-wide, 42 lawyers were listed. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation and as lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Health Care practice group members listed in Best Lawyers are as follows:

To see the full list of Foster Swift attorneys listed in Best Lawyers 2020, click here.