Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 36 on May 12.
Among other things, Executive Order 36 extends the state of emergency until June 30th. It also consolidates provisions in executive orders 15, 19, 20, 24, 28 and 32 which collectively suspended various law to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19.
Listed below are a few of the items in Executive Order 36 (read the entire text of Executive 36 here):
- Out-of-state healthcare providers may practice in Tennessee
Allows a health care professional who is licensed in another state and who would otherwise be subject to the licensing requirements under Title 63 or Title 68 to engage in the practice of such individual’s profession in Tennessee, if such an individual is a health care professional who is assisting in the medical response to COVID-19
- Prescriptions available in a 90-day supply
Allows a pharmacist to dispense up to a 90-day supply of maintenance prescriptions without proper authorization to persons as is necessary to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tennessee
- Increased availability of home health services
Allows health care professionals who would otherwise be subject to licensing requirements to provide localized treatment of patients in temporary residences
- Healthcare licenses, certificates and registrations are extended until Aug 31
Extends the current expiration dates for health care professionals and facilities to renew their license, certification or registration set to expire between March 12, 2020 and May 31, 2020, during which time the holder of each license, certificate or registration may continue to legally operate or participate in their profession.
- Retired medical professionals can easily reenter the health care workforce
Gives the Commissioner of Health the authority to grant a license, certificate, or registration to a healthcare professional, such as a retired healthcare professional, who has been out of practice for a period of time without requiring that individual to demonstrate continued competency or submit to an interview before a licensing board or other licensing authority, provided that the individual satisfies all other requirements for licensure, certification or registration
- Nursing graduates may practice under supervision without examination
Gives the Commissioner of Health the authority and discretion to allow a person who has graduated on or after Dec 1, 2019, from an approved registered or practical nursing education program, and who has applied and fulfilled all other requirements for licensure as a nurse but has yet to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), to practice nursing under the supervision of a licensed registered nurse.
- Increased number of hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients
Allows hospitals that would otherwise be subject to certificate of need requirements to temporarily increase their number of licensed hospital beds at any location or temporarily establish a hospital and diagnostic services at any location, if necessary for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, as well as to the extent necessary to facilitate activity authorized by the provisions of this Order and any subsequent order concerning COVID-19
- Testing for COVID-19 can occur at more medical laboratory facilities
Allows testing necessary for the diagnosis, treatment, and containment of COVID-19 to occur at alternate testing sites without prior approval by the Medical Laboratory Board; provided, that laboratories shall notify the Medical Laboratory Board of any such alternate testing sites
- Temporary quarantine and isolation facilities may be constructed
Allows for the construction of temporary structures, the plans for which would otherwise be subject to review for new construction, additions, or substantial alterations, as directed by the Commissioner of Health and the Director of TEMA in response to COVID-19; provided, that there shall be inspections of such structures to ensure safety, as necessary
- Extends price-gouging protections through June 2, 2020
Persons are prohibited from charging any other person a price for medical supplies, emergency supplies or consumer food items, as listed in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 47-18-5103(a)(1)(A),(C),and (D), that is grossly in excess of the price generally charged for the same or similar goods or services in the usual course of business. This Order remains in effect until 12:01am CDT June 2, 2020.
- Transportation hours of service extended for emergency supplies
Provides a temporary exception from the federal rules and regulations in 49 c.F.R. Part 395 limiting the hours of service for the operator of a commercial motor vehicle providing supplies, equipment, personnel, and other provisions, including items related to the maintenance of the food supply and disinfectant or sanitizing supplies of any kinds, to assist persons affected by COVID-19.
- Unemployment benefits available to those affected by COVID-19
Allows the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development discretion to authorize the payment of unemployment benefits to a claimant who is unemployed, as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 50-7-211, because the claimant left work after being directed by a medical professional or health authority to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, who intends to return to work, and who is otherwise eligible for benefits.
- Childcare licensure and assessment requirements are suspended
Gives the Commissioner of Human Services the discretion to waive the child care licensure requirements to allow suspension of onsite assessment and licensing monitoring visits, permit reviews by desk audit, and extend current licenses, as well as waive other childcare licensure requirements, including provisions concerning capacity, care categories, grouping, license transfers, and drop-in centers, if necessary to respond to the effects of COVID-19.
- Motor vehicle registrations extended until June 15, 2020
Delays the expiration of all valid motor vehicle registrations set to expire between March 12, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Such motor vehicle registrations shall instead expire on June 15, 2020; provided, however, that such registrations shall return to their original renewal schedules in subsequent years.
- Driver licenses and photo IDs extended until June 30, 2020
Delays the expiration of all valid Class A, B, C, D, M, PA, PB, PC, PD and PM driver licenses and Class ID photo identification licenses set to expire between March 12, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Any other licenses covered by this paragraph shall instead expire on November 15, 2020. This provision shall not apply to Class X licenses
- Issuance of REAL-ID suspended
Gives the Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security the authority to suspend the issuance of federally compliant REAL-ID licenses.
- Telemedicine access expanded
Health insurance carriers are urged to provide coverage for the delivery of clinically appropriate, medically necessary covered services via telemedicine to all providers, irrespective of network status or originating site.