June 29, 2020
Governor Bill Lee Issues Executive Order #50 to Extend Provisions in Previous Executive Orders in Response to COVID-19
Today, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order #50, extending several important provisions of Executive Order #36, specific to pharmacy practice. The following Executive Order provisions HAVE BEEN EXTENDED until 11:59 PM Central on August 29, 2020, to promote the health and well-being of Tennesseans during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Pharmacist-Initiated Prescriptions for 90-Day Supply – The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 63-10-207(a) and (c), are hereby suspended to allow a pharmacist to dispense up to a 90-day supply of maintenance prescriptions without proper authorization to persons as is necessary to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tennessee, subject to all other provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Sections 63-10-207 and 63-1-164.
- Authorization for Remote Processing of Prescriptions by Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians – The relevant portions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 63, Chapter 10, and Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1140-02-.01 through Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1140-02-.02 are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to allow pharmacy technicians and pharmacists to complete computer-based processing of prescriptions at alternative locations, including from the residence of the pharmacy technician or pharmacist. Such computer-based processing shall be conducted utilizing adequate security to ensure all aspects of the Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act of 1996 are followed. No laws pertaining to licensed pharmacy practice sites, the storage of drugs, record-keeping, or dispensing processes are waived or limited by this Order.
- Suspension of the Pharmacist-to-Technician Ratio – The provisions of Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1140-02-.02(7) are hereby suspended so that there is no restriction on the ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacists while this Order is in effect. All statutes and rules regarding the supervision of a pharmacy technician by a licensed pharmacist remain in full force and effect, including, but not limited to, the requirement that a licensed pharmacist supervise, direct, and verify the accuracy of all pharmacy technician functions pursuant to Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1140-02-.02(9).
- Suspension of In-Person and Live Continuing Education Requirements for Health Care Professionals – The provisions of the rules and policies adopted pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Titles 63 and 68, regarding continuing education credits and hours for health care professionals are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to suspend the requirement that any continuing education credits and hours be obtained in-person or at a live event for credit and hours earned from March 12, 2020, through August 29, 2020. Such rules and policies are further suspended to the extent necessary to allow the Commissioner of Health to adopt policies necessary to comply with the suspension of in-person and live continuing education requirements, and the Commissioner of Health is hereby directed to adopt policies to that effect. Nothing in this provision suspends the requirements that health care professionals obtain a certain number of continuing education credits or hours.
- Suspension of Certain Board Inspections of Health Care Facilities – The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 68-11-210(a)(l), are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to suspend the requirement that the Department of Health conduct inspections of facilities applying for licensure if the applicant facility is physically located in the same location as another licensed facility where patients have been seen within the thirty (30) days preceding the submission of the application. In instances where the Department of Health elects to not inspect a facility applying for licensure, such provisions requiring a facility applying for licensure to be inspected are hereby suspended.
- Authorization for All Licensed Health Care Providers to Practice Telemedicine – The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 63-l-155(a)(l), are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to allow telehealth or telemedicine services to be provided by any provider licensed under Title 63, regardless of the provider’s authority to diagnose. This suspension does not otherwise alter or amend any licensee’s scope of practice or record keeping requirements.
- Suspension of Certain Health Care Licensing Inspections and Investigations – The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Titles 63 and 68, and related rules and policies are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to suspend any requirement that the Department of Health conduct inspections or investigations of a licensee, including, but not limited to, complaint investigations, routine surveys, and site visits. However, the Department of Health retains the authority to conduct any inspection or investigation when, in the Department’s sole discretion, the public health, safety, or welfare necessitates such inspection or investigation.
- Extension of Health Care Licenses, Certificates, and Registrations Until August 31, 2020 – The relevant provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Titles 63 and 68, and related rules are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to extend the current expiration dates for health care professionals and facilities to renew their license, certificate, or registration set to expire between March 12, 2020, and May 31, 2020, during which time the holder of each license, certification, or registration may continue to legally operate or practice their profession. No fines or penalties shall be assessed or collected if the holder of such license, certification, or registration practices or operates during this extended period. Any renewal application received by the Tennessee Department of Health by August 31, 2020, shall be accepted as timely. When each license, certificate, or registration is renewed, its new expiration date shall be twenty-four (24) months after the expiration date it had prior to this Order.
- Authorization for Out-of-State Health Care Providers to Practice in Tennessee – The relevant provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Titles 63 and 68, and related rules are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to give the Commissioner of Health the discretion to allow a health care professional who is licensed in another state, and who would otherwise be subject to the licensing requirements under Title 63 or Title 68, to engage in the practice of such individual’s profession in Tennessee, if such individual is a health care professional who is assisting in the medical response to COVID-19, including treating routine or other medical conditions. The Commissioner of Health shall provide the requisite form for practicing under this Paragraph on the Department of Health’s Health Professional Boards webpage.
The list above includes select pharmacy-specific provisions included in Executive Order #36 which have been extended until August 29, 2020, through Executive Order #50. Members seeking clarification on Executive Order provisions not listed above are encouraged to view Executive Order #36 in its entirety HERE.
|TPA has created a Practice-Based Resource Page for pharmacists and pharmacy professionals which specifically focuses on COVID-19, including state and national resources, patient-specific handouts, and other important information. This is a very fluid situation, and TPA will continue to update the COVID-19 Practice-Based Resource Page with additional resources and information as it becomes available.
|Visit TPA’s COVID-19 Practice-Based Resource Page