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State Licensing for Locum Tenens Physicians - Updates for the COVID-19 Outbreak

Posted on: March 24, 2020

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written by

Ellen Lowry

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Updated 4/16/20

As discussed in our recent blog post, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued waivers of certain federal laws and regulations that will allow providers to use their existing, active, U.S. state license(s) to practice in any state across the country, in response to the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak.

While these waivers have been issued, they still need to be approved at each state level in order to go into effect. What does that mean right now? At the current moment, state licensure guidelines are, as usual, based on the actions of individual states.

In order to assist you at this time, we have put together the following list which shows what, if any, changes in policy have occurred to each state’s individual licensing protocol. This information is based on both our internal findings and the information for the Federation of State Medical Boards website, and it changes every day- so we encourage you to check back for our updated versions. For more information, visit the FSMB’s website

Alabama

At present, a temporary license can be issued within 48 hours upon receipt of application to physicians providing healthcare to Alabamians suffering from and affected by COVID-19.

The temp emergency license shall expire on 7/21/2020, or when the Governor proclaims the termination of the state's public health emergency, whichever is sooner. There is no fee for the temp license. A physician who is issued a temp emergency license will also be issued a limited AL CSR for the sole purpose of treating patients suffering from and affected by COVID-19. The CSR will not authorize the physician to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine.

Applicant must hold a current, unrestricted license in another state. They must not have any criminal history, nor any disciplinary history on any licenses, CSRs, DEAs, etc. Must not be currently under investigation by a licensing agency or law enforcement authority. Must be a US citizen, national of the US, or an alien lawfully present in the US.

More information

Alaska


Physicians can apply for a courtesy license to practice in AK. This is an 8 page application, with a fee of $250. Provider must also provider statement of purpose, release of records, verification of state license from state of residence, CV, DEA clearance report, certified true copies of medical school diploma, all post graduate training certificates, and board certificates. 

Arizona

The current state of emergency in Arizona allows ADHS to waive licensing requirements to provide healthcare officials with assistance in delivering services during times of heightened demand.

More Information 

Arkansas

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

California

At present, if a facility signs a form stating that they need coverage for COVID-19, then it can be sent to the Board and they will review and approve in 2-4 business days and the provider will be issued a temporary license.

Colorado

A physician or physician in training may temporarily practice without a Colorado license if the physician is licensed and lawfully practicing medicine in another state or territory of the United States without restrictions or conditions. The provider cannot have an established or regularly used medical staff membership or clinical privileges in Colorado. Also cannot be party to any contract, agreement or understand to provider services in Colorado on a regular or routine basis. Process has yet to be determined.

Connecticut

Practitioners licensed in another state are allowed to work in CT without obtaining CT licensure for up to 60 days. There are no forms to complete or any type of notification required by the CT Board at this time.

Please note: Out-of-state practitioners will be unable to prescribe controlled substances until there is an Executive Order specific to prescribing controlled substances under these circumstances.

Delaware

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

District of Columbia

A temporary license is available for providers assisting with COVID-19, and will remain in effect only for the duration of the state of emergency. Qualifying practitioners who are licensed in good standing in their home state may practice in DC without obtaining DC licensure.

Florida

Florida’s recently declared state of emergency further waives licensure requirements for out-of-state health care professionals who render services in Florida related to COVID-19, as long as they do so for the American Red Cross or the DOH. 

For purposes of preparing for, responding to, and mitigating any effect of COVID-19, health care professionals, advanced life support professionals, and basic life support professionals holding a valid, unrestricted, and unencumbered license in any state, territory, and/or district may render such services in Florida during a period not to exceed thirty days. They will issue emergency licenses as well.

Georgia

The Georgia Composite Medical Board announced on March 23rd that it may approve and issue “emergency practice permits” to physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, and respiratory care professionals who wish to practice medicine during the public health emergency response to novel coronavirus, known as “COVID-19.”

Hawaii

Out of state physicians with active licenses are allowed to practice in Hawaii without a license at this time, as long as they have never had their license revoked or suspended AND are hired by a state or county agency or facility, or by a hospital (including rehabilitation hospitals, nursing home, hospice, pharmacy, or clinical laboratory). Additionally, previously licensed providers with expired HI licenses are also allowed to resume practice.

More Information

Idaho

According to the Medical Practice Act of Idaho Code 54-804(1)(d), a person authorized to practice medicine in another state of country may practice medicine in Idaho while rendering medical care in a time of disaster. However, until action is taken by the Governor of the State of Idaho to lift the declared emergency, the Board will issue temporary licenses to retired and inactive physicians, physician assistants and respiratory therapists who have actively practiced within the last 5 years and held a license to practice in good standing from Idaho or another state at the time of retirement or inactivity.

Illinois

At this time, a temp license application is available, and each temp license will be active until 9-30-2020. Temp license takes 3-5 days to be issued. 

Any providers who have expired/retired licenses in IL can fill out the reinstatement app on the IL site & their application will be expedited. Licenses expiring soon will be given an automatic extension.

Indiana

Suspension of the requirement that a healthcare provider hold an Indiana license if he or she: (1) has an equivalent license from another State, and (2) is not suspended or barred from practice in that State or any State.

Iowa

Effective March 16, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds declared a state of emergency in Iowa due to the spread of COVID-19. The state of emergency shall expire on April 16, 2020, unless terminated or extended in writing by Governor Reynolds.

Here are the effects on the licensure and medical practice of physicians providing care in Iowa under the state of emergency:

No Iowa Medical License Required: A physician may practice medicine/telemedicine in Iowa without an Iowa medical license on a temporary basis to aid in the emergency, if a physician holds at least one active medical license in another United State jurisdiction, and all medical licenses held by a physician in other United States jurisdictions are in good standing, without restrictions or conditions.

Lapsed or Expired Iowa Medical Licenses: A physician whose Iowa medical license lapsed or expired in good standing within five (5) years of the date of the Proclamation may provide medical care and treatment of victims of this public health emergency for the duration of the Proclamation.

More information

Kansas

At present, the following options are available: (1) a new temporary emergency license process for healthcare providers willing to provide COVID-19 related care to Kansas patients; (2) a waiver process implementing expanded telemedicine options pursuant to Governor Laura Kelly’s March 22nd Executive Order 20-08; (3) temporary modification to regulations relating to Physician Assistant practice; (4) Board guidance statements relating to licensee’s practice during the emergency declaration period. 

The Board will continuously assess the situation as it develops. Additional Board measures may be forthcoming, and the Board will comply with any future executive orders.

Further detail and application link 

Kentucky

If assisting with COVID-19 and the Physician holds an active license in good standing in another state, they can fill out a registration form & mail it to the Board. Once the Board receives it and verifies their license in another state they will mail out a letter allowing the Physician to practice. There is no fee for this.

Registration Form

Louisiana

Providers may obtain a temporary license for volunteer work only- the permit lasts 60 days, and verifications are still needed.

More information 

Maine

At this time, Maine is now offering COVID-19 emergency licensure at no cost for applicants who hold active licensure in another state and have had no disciplinary action within the past 10 years. This applies to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Applicants are to be emailed to the board and are currently being processed within one hour of submission.

Maryland

Out-of-state health care practitioners with a valid, unexpired license issued by another state may engage in the activities authorized under the license at a Maryland healthcare facility; as well as healthcare practitioners with inactive Maryland licenses who are deemed competent by qualified supervisory personnel at a Maryland healthcare facility.

Healthcare practitioners who hold a valid, unexpired license issued by an adjoining state may practice telehealth to the extent authorized by the home state license without obtaining a Maryland license to treat existing Maryland patients to provide continuity of care during the state of emergency.

Massachusetts

An application  for a temporary license is now available online. The temporary license will be issued one day  after application is received and will be valid until Executive Order No. 591 is rescinded by the Governor or until the State of Emergency is terminated, whichever occurs first. 

Any physician who has retired from the practice of medicine within one year of Executive Order No. 591, dated March 17, 2020, may have their license reactivated upon request. Also, if a healthcare institution or organization has an emergency need, the facility can request an expedited license application from the board by emailing emergency.medical.license@mass.gov

More information

Michigan

For expired licenses, if a provider wants to renew their license to solely help with the COVID-19 response, MI will waive the CME requirement & will count the COVID-19 response as hours towards CMEs.

Minnesota

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Mississippi

Out-of-state physicians may utilize telemedicine when treating patients in Mississippi without the necessity of securing a license to practice medicine in the state, provided the out of state physician holds an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the state in which the physician practices and currently is not the subject of an investigation or disciplinary proceeding.  

More information

Missouri


Physicians who are licensed in another state can see patients in Missouri, either in person or via telehealth, as long as they are actively licensed in another state and their license has not been disciplined. Must be assisting with COVID-19.

Montana


To obtain a temporary license, the provider will need an application submitted, then reviewed by the board. Provider can practice in the state of Montana for as long as the COVID-19 continues.

Nebraska

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Nevada


If a provider has an active license in another state, then they can submit a form to the Nevada Board to obtain an emergency license in Nevada.

New Hampshire

Emergency Order #15 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, which was issued March 23, 2020, requires that such providers be issued an emergency license by the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (“OPLC”) if the provider has a license that is active and in good standing in another jurisdiction.

Must complete emergency license app & submit proof of license in good standing from another jurisdiction. An emergency license will be issued within 48 business hours.

New Jersey


Now offering accelerated temporary licensure to providers licensed in another state without any discipline.Application must be submitted and they are currently being processed within 24 hours. The temp emergency license will remain active for 120 days. Applicant must be providing COVID care. 

Application online

New Mexico

In light of COVID-19, The Board's Federal Emergency Licensure provision will aid quicker licensing. This regulation provides for a temporary license to those individuals who can provide proof of medical school graduation, passing the USMLE tests, and two years of post-graduate training documentation including work verifications, recommendation letters, specialty board certifications and some licensure verification. 

A Federal Emergency License applicant must certify that he/she cannot obtain the Section B required documentation or they will be delayed due to the declared disaster. This licensure type is temporary, terminating for not less than three months or more than fifteen months. 

New York

Physicians licensed & in current good standing in other states are able to practice in NY without a NY license & will not be penalized. It will be handled through the individual facility, through their own processes. 

North Carolina

At this time, retired/expired licensee from the last 2 years can resume practice using an app online.

An MD/DO is only allowed to practice for 90 days after issuance or 30 days after the state of emergency over (whichever period is shorter)

They can NOT have any discipline, have inactivated any licenses while under investigation,  they need to have practiced at least 80 hours in the last 2 years, they must have had an active and unrestricted license continuously for the ten-year period prior to going inactive. 

Telemed is allowed and prescribing is okay with active out of state documentation.

More information 

North Dakota

According to North Dakota Century Code 37-17-.1, "If a person holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any state or political subdivision evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, the person may render aid involving that skill in this state to meet an emergency or disaster, and this state shall give due recognition to the license, certificate, or other permit."

Ohio

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Oklahoma

For Medical Doctors who hold a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any 50 states, the District of Columbia, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and are in good standing (License active and not currently under disciplinary action or restrictions), a temporary license can be issued for (90) days, or 14 days following the withdrawal or termination of the Executive order.

Oregon

Temporary license available.

More Information

Pennsylvania

A temporary license can be issued and will last through state of emergency.

More Information

Rhode Island

If someone has a medical license in good standing in another state, they can practice in RI after filling out a form. No cost for this new 90 day license.

South Carolina

At this time, a temporary license can be issued and lasts for 90 days (No Fee)

No verifications are required, and the board will reach out to MD if they need additional information.

Application

South Dakota

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Tennessee


If a provider has an active medical license in another state, then they can complete a form to work in TN, and can ONLY assist with COVID-19 efforts.

Once the application has been reviewed, an “authorization” letter will be sent. The authorization will remain in effect until the final Executive Order expires. No license number will be issued, this is not a license to practice, just an authorization to practice for COVID 19 relief efforts in our state.

Texas

At this time, a Texas sponsoring physician must complete a limited emergency license application. The board will verify that both physicians hold a full, unlimited and unrestricted license to practice in another US state. The Texas sponsoring physician will then be considering the supervising physician for the sponsored out of state physician. A license issued under this subchapter will be valid no longer than 30 days from the date of licensure or until the emergency declaration has been withdrawn or ended. How fast the temp licenses will be issued is yet to be determined.

More information

Utah

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Vermont

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Virginia

Accommodations for licensure during this state of emergency will waive transcripts, Form B's (employee verifications), & license verifications only. All other requirements are still needed.

Washington

For full licensure, an expedited time frame of 10 business days is available ONLY to providers who are being brought to WA solely to help with the COVID-19 response. Same application, fees & requirements. To expedite, a letter of need will have to be sent to the board (along with all other needed items) from the hospital or facility stating they are hiring the provider to help with the virus response. To help temporarily with COVID response: provider will need to apply to be an emergency volunteer & once approved they may practice in WA without an active WA license, must be actively licensed & practicing in another state 

More information

West Virginia

No changes relating to licensing or renewals at this time.

Wisconsin

At this time, any health care provider with a valid and current license issued by another state may practice under that license and within the scope of that license in Wisconsin without first obtaining a temporary or permanent license from the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), so long as the following conditions are met:
The practice is necessary for an identified health care facility to ensure the
continued and safe delivery of h ealth care services;
2. The health care provider is not currently under investigation and does not
currently have any restrictions or limitations placed on their license by their
credentialing state or any other jurisdiction;
3. The identified health care facility's needs reasonably prevented in-state
credentialing in advance of practice;
4 . The health care provider practicing under this section must apply for a
temporary or permanent health care license within 10 days of first working at a
health care facility in reliance on this Section; and
5. The health care facility must notify DSPS at dsps@wisconsin.gov within 5 days
of a health care provider practicing at its facility in reliance on this Section.

Wyoming

Will issue temporary licenses for telehealth only.

Have questions about current state licensing laws, or want to acquire an emergency state license? speak with a Barton Associates agent today!

Ellen Lowry
About Ellen Lowry

Ellen Lowry is content marketing specialist and former recruiter for psychiatrists and neurologists at Barton Associates' Peabody, MA, headquarters. Originally from the Boston area, she joined Barton in January of 2018 after earning her degree in communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, and completing a four-month internship at Walt Disney World.

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