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Emergency Rules for WV Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine

March 30, 2020

West Virginia Board of Medicine

1.    Temporary Suspension of Certain Provisions West Virginia Code of Regulations Regarding Licensure for Physicians and Physician Assistants

On March 16, 2020, West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, declared a State of Emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Justice delegated “to all state agencies the ability to suspend rules, if strict compliance therewith would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.” On March 19, 2020, Governor Justice issued Executive Order 7-20, authorizing the suspension of certain regulations codified in the West Virginia Medical Practice Act, W. Va. Code § 30-3-1 et seq., and the West Virginia Physicians Assistants Act, W. Va. Code § 30-3E-1 et seq., to suspend certain statutory provisions relative to the regulation of physician and physician assistant practice in West Virginia.  On March 23, 2020, by way of Executive Order 10-20, Governor Justice amended the provisions of Executive Order 7-20, relating to the suspension of certain regulations related to physician practice in West Virginia.1

As a result, the West Virginia Board of Medicine temporarily suspended: (a) certain provisions for licensing and disciplinary procedures for physicians, podiatric physicians, and surgeons under W. Va. Code R. § 11-1A-1 et seq.; (b) certain provisions for licensure, disciplinary, and complaint procedures and continuing education for physician assistants under W. Va. Code R. § 11-1B-1 et seq.; and (c) certain provisions for permitting and disciplinary procedures for educational permits for graduate medical interns, residents, and fellows under W. Va. Code R.  § 11-12-1 et seq.  The Board of Medicine’s temporary suspension to certain provisions took effect on March 26, 2020. The Board of Medicine also extended licenses and educational permits scheduled to expire on June 30, 2020.

2.    Emergency Rule 11 CSR 14, Registration to Practice During Declared State of Emergency

To maximize the number of healthcare providers available during the State of Emergency declared by Governor Jim Justice for the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Virginia Board of Medicine promulgated an emergency rule, Emergency Rule 11 CSR 14, to authorize physicians and/or physician assistants licensed in another state or who are inactive or retired from West Virginia practice to provide medical care in West Virginia.  The Emergency Rule permits registrants to practice medicine in West Virginia or via telemedicine technologies to West Virginia patients consistent with their scope of practice and the standard of care.  Registered physician assistants must practice in collaboration with physicians pursuant to a Practice Agreement or Practice Notification.  

The Emergency Rule creates a registration process for such physicians and physician assistants.  To be eligible to practice pursuant to the emergency rule, the physicians and physician assistants must register with the Board of Medicine by submitting a one-page registration form and photo ID.  

For an out-of-state physician and or physician assistant to be eligible to register, he or she: (1) must hold a valid, permanent, current, and unrestricted license to practice in another state; (2) must not be the subject of a pending or active complaint, investigation, Consent Order, Board Order or pending disciplinary proceeding in any jurisdiction; and (3) must have not surrendered a license while under investigation or had a license revoked in any jurisdiction.  There is no fee for registration under the emergency rule. The Board of Medicine is currently accepting registrations from out-of-state physicians and physician assistants. Such applications can be found at: 

 

For an inactive and retired physician or physician assistant to be eligible to register, he or she: (1) must have been in good standing at the time his or her West Virginia license became inactive or expired; (2) must have participated in active clinical practice within the last five years; (3) no longer holds an active status medical or physician assistant license in any state; (4) must not be the subject of a pending or active complaint, investigation, Consent Order, Board Order or pending disciplinary proceeding in any jurisdiction; and (5) must have not surrendered a license while under investigation or had a license revoked in any jurisdiction. There is no fee for registration under the emergency rule.  The Board of Medicine is currently accepting registrations from inactive and retired physicians and physician assistants. Such applications can be found at:

 

West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine - Applications for Emergency Temporary Permit for Physicians (DOs) and Physician Assistants 

The West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine also developed procedures for Emergency Temporary Permits to authorize DOs and/or physician assistants licensed in another state or who are inactive or retired from West Virginia practice to provide medical care in West Virginia.  Eligible DOs and physician assistants must register with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine by completing an application and providing a photo ID. The Emergency Temporary Permits will remain valid until terminated by the Board of Osteopathic Medicine or the State of Emergency is lifted, whichever occurs first. 

For an out-of-state DO and or physician assistant to be eligible to register, he or she: (1) must possess valid, unrestricted medical licensure in another state, district, or territory of the United States; and (2) must not have any pending complaints, investigations, consent orders, board orders, or pending disciplinary proceedings. 

For a retired or inactive DO and or physician assistant to be eligible to register, he or she must, at one time, have possessed a license issued by the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine that was not revoked by the Board.

The Emergency Temporary Permit application can be accessed at https://www.wvbdosteo.org/licensing/do/apply/temp/

The West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine has not yet made any changes to the licensing or continuing education requirements. It is currently reviewing those requirements and plans to issue guidance if such changes are made as a result of the COVID-19 response.
 

 

1 Some amendments were made to the March 23, 2020 Executive Order, but such amendments do not impact physicians or physician assistants.

 

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