Alabama Board of Medical Examiners Passes Emergency Regulations Granting Temporary Licensure For Physicians, Physician Assistants and Anesthesiologist Assistants
Effective March 23, 2020, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (“ABME”), adopted emergency rules to provide for the issuance of emergency certificates of qualifications for physicians, physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants who desire to provide health care to citizens of Alabama suffering from and affected by COVID-19. The complete regulations can be found here. There is no fee for an emergency application. The emergency certificates of qualification will expire upon the sooner of 120 days after March 23, 2020 or when the Governor proclaims the termination of the state’s public health emergency. The emergency rule may be extended by order of the Governor.
Some of the key requirements for applicants include all of the following:
- Must have a full unrestricted license issued by another state, District of Columbia, territory of the United States or a province of Canada;
- Graduated from an accredited medical school and successful completion of a graduate medical education approved by the Accreditation Council For Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association. In the case of physician assistants, completion of a training program accredited by the ARC-PA and for anesthesiologist assistants successful completion of a training program accredited by CAHEA or CAAHEP;
- Passage of each component of the USMLE or COMLEX-USA for physicians, passage of the PANCE for physician assistants and completion of the CEAA for anesthesiologists assistants;
- Never convicted, agreed to deferred disposition or community supervision for any felony offense or crime related to fraud, violence, sexual violations related to healthcare.
- Never had his/her license subjected to discipline by any licensing agency;
- Never had his/her controlled substances license suspended or revoked by the DEA;
- A physician who is issued an emergency certificate of qualification shall also be issued a restricted Alabama Controlled Substances Certificate for the purpose of treating patients suffering from and affected by Covid-19. The certificate shall NOT authorize the physician to prescribe controlled substances.
- Is not currently under investigation by a licensing agency or law enforcement agency;
- Is a United States citizen, a national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States;
- Must certify that he/she intends to provide health care to citizens of Alabama suffering from and affected by Covid-19.
- The certificate and/or license will clearly indicate it is an emergency license or certificate.
Supervision Requirements for Physician Assistants and Anesthesiologist Assistants
- All physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants must be registered and supervised by a physician or in the case of an anesthesiologist assistant an anesthesiologist.
- The chief of staff or his or her designee, of a licensed health care facility may serve as the supervising physician for an unlimited number of physician assistants of anesthesiologists provided the physician assistant or anesthesiologist assistants registration are specifically to provide health care to citizens of Alabama suffering from and affected by Covid-19.
- Physician Assistants and anesthesiologist assistants practicing under a registration with a chief of staff shall be authorized to perform all skills authorized under the hospital’s protocols and prescribe all drugs listed on the hospital’s formulary necessary to treat patients suffering from or affected by Covid-19.
- Physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants must identify a supervising physician at the time of submission of an application. If he/she is unable to identify a supervising physician within 14 days of licensure.