On November 5, 2020, in further response to the public health emergency that he declared on March 11, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation extending certain emergency provisions, including the relaxation of certain licensure requirements for out-of-state and out-of-country health care professionals, to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Louisiana.
Louisiana Hospital Setting (Out-of-State Healthcare Professionals)
Among other provisions, the November 5 proclamation permits any individual physician who holds a full, unlimited, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in any 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.
Louisiana Non-Hospital Setting (Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Healthcare Professionals)
The November 5 proclamation also suspends Louisiana state licensure laws, rules and regulations from those “medical professionals and personnel from other states or other countries offering medical services in Louisiana to those needing medical services as a result of COVID-19” provided that any such medical professional or personnel:
- possesses a current medical license in good standing in their respective state or country of licensure;
- practices in good faith and within the reasonable scope of his or her skills, training or ability; and
- submits to the LDOH a copy of their respective professional license and photo identification, together with any other forms or documents required by the LDOH.
As noted above, any such medical professional or personnel, who seeks to offer medical services in a Louisiana hospital, must also meet the requirements described in the preceding section of this blog article (and, again, this proclamation does not suspend Louisiana state licensure laws, rules and regulations in connection with medical professionals or personnel from another country who seek to offer medical services in a Louisiana hospital).
Good Faith Compliance Protected
Finally, the November 5 proclamation 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.”
The November 5 proclamation remains in effect until December 4, 2020, unless terminated sooner or later extended.