In the wake of a record number of Covid-19 cases and with flu season around the corner, Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued a new emergency order on October 1, 2020. Emergency Order #2 is designed to help address an anticipated surge in healthcare staffing needs.
Emergency Order #2 does several things to mitigate staffing issues associated with the increasing demand for care in Wisconsin communities. The Order provides for temporary interstate license reciprocity allowing out-of-state healthcare providers to work in Wisconsin if;
- The practice is necessary for an identified healthcare facility to ensure continued safe delivery of healthcare services;
- The healthcare provider is not currently under investigation and does not have any restrictions or limitations on their license in their credentialing state;
- The facility's needs reasonably prevented in-state credentialing;
- The provider applies for an interstate reciprocity license or another form of temporary or permanent license under Wisconsin law within 30 days of first working at the healthcare facility; and
- The healthcare facility notifies the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) within 10 days of the healthcare provider practicing at its facility.
The Order extends temporary interstate licenses and any otherwise valid healthcare provider licenses that expired during the federal emergency declaration until 30 days after that emergency declaration ends.
The Order also streamlines the reinstatement process for providers whose credentials have expired within the last five years. Under this provision the healthcare provider seeking reinstatement is not required to pay a late renewal fee nor be required to fulfill lapsed continuing education requirements.
The Order clarifies that any healthcare providers practicing telemedicine in Wisconsin must meet the requirements established by the medical examining board. Out-of-state physicians providing telemedicine in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient in Wisconsin who do not possess a valid interstate reciprocity license or another form of temporary or permanent license provided under Wisconsin law must, within 10 days, provide notice and verification of credentials to the DSPS.
The Order also directs the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to facilitate coverage outside of traditional healthcare facilities and to minimize out-of-network barriers for insured patients seeking telemedicine services.
The Order expressly incorporates certain provisions of Emergency Order # 16 issued on March 27. 2020. That Order detailed practice and training flexibility for nurses and physician assistants as tools to maximize workforce resources during times of high-volume Covid-19 care.
The Order went into effect immediately and will continue until the expiration of the federal public health emergency including any future extensions of that emergency. The federal declaration was last issued on July 23.
For more information, please contact any member of the Husch Blackwell healthcare team.
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