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COVID-19: A Message from the Board
The COVID-19 virus is challenging all of us in many ways. Like many of you who continue to provide clinical care, the Board must continue to provide services to the public while safeguarding the health of Board members and Board staff. The Board office remains open and Board staff continue their work of processing license applications and complaints and investigations. Until such time as the Board office is directed to close there will be some Board staff working at the office.
Governor Janet Mill's Executive Order
The Board has been working closely with the Office of Attorney General and the Governor’s Office regarding an executive order that:
- Allows the expedited licensure (at no cost) of qualified retired nurses to provide assistance for the duration of the emergency;
- Allows the expedited licensure (at no cost) of nurses licensed in other jurisdictions to provide assistance for the duration of the emergency;
- Keep licenses from expiring or needing to be renewed for 30 days after the declaration of the emergency;
- Suspends the requirement of supervision or collaboration for advanced practice registered nurses for the duration of the emergency;
- Maximizes the use of telemedicine and telehealth and eliminates the need for some in-person patient visits for the duration of the emergency by:
- Allowing voice-only technology to be used; and
- Suspending any laws or rules related to state medical record privacy and HIPAA that would interfere with the use of telemedicine and telehealth technology.
- A copy of the executive order issued by the Governor can be found here: Executive Order (PDF).
- Any retired nurse who is interested in reactivating their license to provide assistance for the duration of the emergency should contact:
- (207) 287-9946 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Any nurse licensed in other jurisdictions who is interested in obtaining a temporary authority to practice, to provide assistance for the duration of the emergency should complete an application and email to the following:
- Applicants with last names A-H: email@example.com
Phone: (207) 287-1147
- Applicants with last names I-R: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (207) 287-1144
- Applicants with last names S-Z: email@example.com
Phone: (207) 287-1152
- Nurses who are not interested in reactivating their license to provide assistance for the duration of the emergency can monitor the most recent updates from the Maine CDC and/or register with Maine CDC’s public health system:
Information from Maine CDC:
- COVID-19 Updates: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml
- Public Health Emergency Preparedness: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-systems/phep/
- Maine Responds Emergency Health Volunteer System: https://maineresponds.org/
NCLEX and Testing Sites Updates:
Board staff continue to process new applications and approve candidates to test who are eligible.
The following sites are the primary and most up to date sources of information related to the NCLEX testing centers.
For Students and Faculty:
Information from Maine DHHS:
Effective 03/17/20 DHHS issued emergency rules to:
- Waive all copay for prescriptions, office visits, emergency department visits, radiology and lab services;
- Allow early refills of prescriptions letting providers extend to a 34-day supply maximum om brand prescriptions.
- Work closely with all at-risk populations to ensure they have equipment they need such as oxygen tanks and inhalers.
- Allow for prescribing through telehealth.
- Waive premiums for MaineCare services, such as the Working Disabled, Cub Care, Katie Beckett, and Special Benefit programs (Failure to pay those premiums will not result in case closure).
Copies of the emergency rules can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/emergency.shtml#anchor2225289.
Information from the Federal Government:
Effective 03/17/20 the federal government is immediately suspending HIPAA enforcement and penalties to facilitate use of telehealth for health care services in both the Medicare and Medicaid programs: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet.