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UPDATE: Tennessee Governor Issues Executive Order No. 67 Extending the State of Emergency and Permitting Certain Authorized Health Care Professionals to Practice Outside of Their Scope of Practice

On October 30, 2020, in further response to the public health emergency, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order 67 extending the state of emergency in Tennessee and, among others, suspending Title 63, Title 68, and Chapter 140 of the Tennessee Code to the extent necessary to permit authorized professionals licensed under these provisions “to perform tasks outside of their licensed scope of practice” in an effort to “relieve the capacity strain on certain staffing functions.” Tasks performed that are outside of the licensed health professionals’ scope of practice must be “performed in an emergency room or hospital acute care setting pursuant to a facility-specific, COVID-19-related plan of delegation that has been submitted by the facility’s chief medical officer and approved by the Commissioner of Health or the Commissioner’s designee.” The Executive Order further requires that the “plan of delegation” include:

  1. The specific types of licensees covered;
  2. The specific tasks outside of their licensed scope of practice that are permitted; and
  3. The specific circumstances and directives under which such tasks are permitted.

The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee may approve the plan with certain conditions and may also rescind such approval, in her or her designee’s sole discretion. Finally, licensed professionals acting outside of their scope of practice pursuant to Executive Order 67 remain “subject to regulation and disciplinary action as if they were acting within their scope of practice.” Executive Order 67 is effective through December 15, 2020.