On March 31, in further response to the public health emergency that he declared on March 11, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation announcing further measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Louisiana. Among other measures, and in response to the request of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDOH) that “various requirements set forth in Louisiana law be temporarily suspended to assist with increasing Louisiana health care providers’ ability to respond to the current public health emergency”, the proclamation permits any individual physician who holds a full, unlimited, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a U.S. state, territory or district other than Louisiana, and who has unrestricted hospital credentials and privileges in any such state, territory or district, to practice medicine at an LDOH-licensed hospital provided that such hospital:
- Verifies any such physician’s hospital credentials and privileges in the other U.S. state, territory or district;
- Maintains a list of any such physicians and provides this list to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) within 10 days of each such physician starting to practice at any such hospital; and
- Also provides written notice to the LSBME of the date any such physician stops practicing at any such hospital within 10 days of a physician ceasing to so practice.
The proclamation further provides that “[n]o healthcare professional licensing board (including the LSBME) shall issue an adverse action or penalty against an individual applicant or licensee under the jurisdiction of that board for the failure of that applicant or licensee … to comply with a procedural licensing requirement during the declared public health emergency, provided that the individual applicant or licensee made a good faith attempt to comply with the procedural requirements of the licensing board.”
Similar measures are outlined for other healthcare professionals, including physician assistants, respiratory therapists, and advanced practice registered nurses. All measures concerning health care professionals set forth in this proclamation are effective retroactively to March 11 and will remain in effect until April 30, or as extended by any subsequent proclamation, unless terminated sooner.