Governor Mills Issues Executive Order to Expand Access Health Care During COVID-19

Governor Janet Mills has signed an Executive Order (PDF) to further expand access to health care for Maine people in the face of COVID-19. The Order takes additional steps to bolster the health care workforce, expand telehealth services, and temporarily alleviate certain licensing requirements, building upon the Governor’s March 20 Executive Order.

“As the demands on our health care system grow, it is critical that we ensure Maine people have access to the health care services they need in the face of COVID-19,” said Governor Mills. “This Executive Order allows nonresidents and retired Maine health care providers, such as respiratory therapists, to serve Maine people during the pandemic.”

“This action also ensures that Mainers can access a broader range of health care services via telehealth, minimizing in-person visits to comply with physical distancing guidelines” said Department of Professional and Financial Regulation Commissioner Anne Head. Commissioner Head also noted that, “the COVID-19 situation has made it difficult for licensees to complete some of the steps necessary for licensure, including continuing education. For compassionate and practical reasons, the order waives continuing education requirements for license renewals through March 20, 2021.”

This Executive Order allows:

  • All health care providers licensed by the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation (OPOR), such as psychologists, social workers, and physical therapists to:
    • provide their services via telehealth
    • have their license expiration dates extended until 30 days following the end of the declared state of emergency, if the license was scheduled for renewal during the state of emergency
    • not have to complete continuing education requirements for license renewals that occur through March 20, 2021.
  • In addition, certain health care providers licensed by OPOR, such as respiratory care therapists and pharmacists may:
    • Receive a temporary license to provide health care in person or through telehealth, with no application fee, if currently licensed in another state
    • Reactivate their Maine license immediately, with no application fee, if retired within the last three years.

The Governor’s March 20 Executive Order applied only to licensed physicians, nurses and physician assistants. For more details including a complete description of the OPOR licensees covered under this order, please refer to the Executive Order (PDF).