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 Surprise/Balance Billing Disclosure Form
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 that meets the requirements of the bill and associated Rules adopted by the Division's Director.
Joint Stakeholder Meeting January 28, 2020
The Office of Acupuncture Licensure, the Office of Athletic Trainer Licensure, the Office of Audiology Licensure, the Office of Direct-Entry Midwifery Registration, the Office of Hearing Aid Provider Licensure, the Office of Massage Therapy Licensure, the Office of Naturopathic Doctor Registration, the Office of Occupational Therapy, the Office of Respiratory Therapy Licensure, the Office of Surgical Assistant and Surgical Technologist Registration, and the Office of Speech-Language Pathology Certification held another Joint Stakeholder Meeting on January 28, 2020, to receive additional input on the implementation of Colorado House Bill 19-1174 (HB19-1174). This legislation establishes disclosure requirements to covered persons about the potential effects of receiving emergency or nonemergency services from an out-of-network provider or at an out-of-network facility.
Sunset Review Underway
The Colorado Office of Policy, Research, and Regulatory Reform is conducting a sunset review of the Office of Surgical Assistant &, Surgical Technologist Registration. Analysis in a sunset review is performed to determine whether the regulatory program is necessary and should be continued, modified or eliminated. This review will produce a report with recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly and result in subsequent legislation based on the recommendations in the report. Your input is an important component of a successful sunset review. If you would like to submit comments online, please visit COPRRR's website at http://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/real/OPR_Review_Comments.Main