The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today issued new waivers for health care students and professionals to enable them to help provide care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new waivers allow supervision, physician examinations, and training requirements for specific license types to be conducted via appropriate electronic means. Previously, such actions required in-person or face-to-face interaction. The waivers apply to the following:
Physical Therapy Board – Waives requirement for in-person evaluation by a physician for continued physical therapy treatment.
Board of Behavioral Sciences – Waives in-person supervision for non-exempt Associate Marriage and Family Therapists, Associate Clinical Social Workers, and Associate Professional Clinical Counselors and allows telehealth supervision and treatment to be used by graduate students for clinical hours.
Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology & Hearing Aid Dispensers Board – Waives in-person supervision requirements for speech-language pathology/audiology assistants and required professional experience temporary licensees, condition upon the use of appropriate electronic supervision.
Board of Psychology – Waives in-person supervision requirement for psychologist trainees.
“Increasing the use of technology during this time helps keep both the patient and our health care workforce safe,” said Kimberly Kirchmeyer, Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs. “With these waivers, patients will be able to be evaluated at home even if feeling sick. We’re also utilizing technology to modify supervision requirements to minimize barriers students may face while seeking licensure.”
Other waivers that have recently been issued by DCA include:
Medical Board & Osteopathic Medical Board – Delays the postgraduate training license due date for 60 days until August 31, 2020.
Division 3 Boards and Bureaus – Waives continuing education requirements for boards and bureaus in Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code whose licenses expire between March 31, 2020 and May 29, 2020.
Supervision Requirements – Waives certain supervision requirements for nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives and physician assistants.
Nurse Preceptorships and Clinical Facilities – Removes regulatory requirements preventing pre-licensure nursing programs from implementing “preceptorships” (i.e., nursing externships); and, removes regulatory requirements that pre-licensure nursing programs must submit evidence to the Board of Registered Nursing (Board) before the Board can approve student placements at clinical sites.
The waivers are issued as the Director exercises the authority under Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-39-20. The Department of Consumer Affairs is working hand-in-hand with its healing arts licensing boards to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time maintaining consumer protection.
A list of current waivers can be found on the DCA website.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is a consumer protection department under the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and has been working closely with other state departments and stakeholders to respond to and protect all Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for a printer-friendly version of this news release.