Colorado Medical Board: News


Next Steps with Executive Order D2020 038

The Division of Professions and Occupations has been granted authority to promulgate emergency rules for multiple professions under Executive Order D2020 038, which prioritizes essential healthcare services during the ongoing Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. 

Since healthcare professionals are statutorily required to work within a defined scope of practice, inpatient facilities previously were unable to use readily available personnel to fill healthcare service gaps. Temporarily relaxing these restrictions -- in conjunction with the expansion of delegation for certain medical personnel --  will allow hospitals the flexibility to plug readily available healthcare staff into non-traditional roles and alleviate workforce shortages at hospitals and inpatient facilities.

The suspension of certain nursing and nurse aide education requirements is another major piece designed to reinforce the state’s healthcare system.  Minus these changes, nursing students would have forfeited tuition and in many cases been unable to enter the workforce in May. The Order removes regulatory barriers that will provide nursing and nurse aide students in educational programs throughout Colorado avenues towards spring and summer graduation and allows newer students to progress through their education. It enhances the ability of nurses and certified nurse aides to enter or remain in the workforce.

The temporary transfer of emergency rulemaking authority to DPO also will allow the Director to issue temporary licenses for a number of healthcare professions regulated by the following boards and programs: Dental, Medical, Nursing, Chiropractic, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Respiratory Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, and Veterinary.

New graduates within these professions have been unable to test due to the indefinite postponement of exams or limited testing site availability due to the Coronavirus. Temporary licensure will allow these new graduates to work under the supervision of a Colorado licensee until testing centers open and they have the opportunity to sit for the examination or complete approved postgraduate training.

Additionally, temporary licensure will be available to international medical graduates who are eligible for licensure as a physician but for completion of approved post-graduate education.  This temporary licensure will allow these physicians, many of whom have practiced in foreign countries for years, to temporarily enter the workforce during the pandemic under the supervision of a Colorado licensed physician.

Temporary licenses will be an option under the preceding circumstances upon adoption of the rules and valid from the date of issuance through Dec. 31, 2020.  Applications will be available on individual board webpages. These licenses are non-renewable, and temporary license-holders must pass an exam prior to year’s end in order to obtain full licensure and continue practicing.

Information on emergency rules changes for specific professions are available here. And please watch the in-depth PowerPoint on Executive Order D 2020 038 located on this page.



New Rules Effective March 30, 2020

On May 23, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed SB19-228 Substance Use Disorders Prevention.   The new law, section 12-30-114, C.R.S., requires the Colorado Medical Board (Board) to adopt rules on substance use prevention training for prescribers. The Board’s new Rules went into effect on March 30, 2020, and require any physician or physician assistant seeking a license renewal, reactivation or reinstatement to complete at least two hours of training per licensing cycle related to:

  • Best practices for opioid prescribing, according to the most recent version of the Division’s Guidelines for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids;
  • Recognition of substance use disorders;
  • Referral of patients with substance use disorders for treatment; and,
  • Use of the Electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. 

The new requirements exempt any physician or physician assistant who meets the following criteria: 

  • Maintains a national board certification that requires equivalent substance use prevention training; or
  • Attests to the Board that the health care provider does not prescribe opioids.

Applicants for renewal, reactivation, or reinstatement must attest during the application process to either their compliance with these new training requirements or their qualifying for an exemption.

The Board encourages licensees to read the laws and rules affecting their practice. The new substance use prevention training requirements are found in Rule 135 in the new Rules. Please send any questions to



Guidance to Physicians/Dentists/Advance Practice Nurses who make medical marijuana recommendations, in light of Executive Action taken pursuant to COVID-19:  

On March 20, 2020, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 011. Directive II.B temporarily suspends C.R.S. § 25-1.5-106(2)(a.5)(I), which requires an appropriate personal physical examination for the issuance of medical marijuana cards, through April 18, 2020. 

In accordance with the Executive Order, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (“CDPHE”)  has issued a statement regarding possible alternatives to establish a bona-fide physician patient relationship through the use of telehealth technologies.  To view this statement, click here, scroll to “Medical marijuana exams”,  and click ‘What does it Apply to.”

As a result of, and during the effective dates of, Executive Order D 2020 011, telehealth technologies are not prohibited for use to establish a bona-fide physician-patient relationship, to prevent exposure of COVID-19 among medical professionals and medical marijuana patients.



New Disclosure Required

On May 14, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 19-1174 Out of Network Healthcare Services. The bill includes provisions for how health insurance carriers will reimburse providers (doctors, hospitals and other health care providers) for out-of-network emergency and non-emergency care. The new law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and also requires healthcare providers to develop and provide consumer disclosures about the potential effects of receiving emergency or non-emergency services from an out-of-network provider, and the possibility of “surprise  billing.” As part of the implementation of House Bill 19-1174 Out-of-network Surprise Billing, the Division of Professions and Occupations is providing a sample disclosure form. Please feel free to use your own form if you prefer.



Listen to PDMP Townhalls & Get New FAQs Document

The Division of Professions and Occupations hosted two Telephone Townhalls on July 15, 2019, that addressed Colorado's requirements for prescribers related to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program's registration and use. Licensees spanning the Medical, Podiatry, Dental, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Nursing Boards were in attendance.

Robert Valuck, Executive Director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, was the featured speaker. Among the topics of discussion were the PDMP's structure and purpose, the selection of specialties, prescriber reports, and the use of delegated accounts to inform patient assessments.

Both Townhall recordings are available below for those licensees who were unable to participate in one or both of these sessions. A Q-and-A document also can be accessed that answers many frequently asked questions about the PDMP, its use, benefits, and contact information related to its operation.

Listen to: PDMP Townhall Audio 1 or PDMP Townhall Audio 2



Revised Opioid Guidelines Adopted

On March 14, 2019, the revised Guidelines for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioidswere adopted by all six of Colorado's prescribing and dispensing Boards: the Colorado Dental Board, the Colorado Medical Board, theState Board of Nursing, the State Board of Optometry, the Colorado Podiatry Board, and the State Board of Pharmacy, and endorsed by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

For more information