DORA releases emergency measures for healthcare professional licensing in response to COVID-19

DENVER (March 18, 2020) - In response to the recent COVID-19 developments and directives given by Governor Polis, the Division of Professions and Occupations under the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) will expedite licensing to increase workforce capacity to address this emergency. This includes the temporary suspension of the application of laws, rules and policies that will allow the State to expand its testing capacity for Coronavirus and ensure ongoing business continuity in the delivery of healthcare services. 

“This virus will put a strain on our systems and health care worker heroes on the front lines of this battle. In order to quickly scale up our health care workforce capacity, I directed the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies to cut through the red tape on licensing our medical professionals so that medical professionals with licenses in other states can practice immediately in Colorado,” said Governor Polis.

“DORA divisions have been working diligently to address the many questions and concerns of Colorado professionals in the healthcare industry, and we are thrilled that so many people have already stepped up to answer Governor Polis’s call for assistance,” stated DORA Executive Director Patty Salazar. “Our divisions will continue to explore ways that we can do our part to address this crisis in the coming days and weeks, and we want both our licensees and Colorado consumers to know that we are here to help.”

The emergency measures include key provisions for renewal waivers, expedited licensure, waiver of supervision requirements, and expanded scope of practice for select health care providers such as physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and respiratory therapists, including, but not limited to: 
Waiving licensing requirements and rules to allow for late renewals as well as reinstatements and reactivations during the emergency period of volunteer nurses and qualified licensed providers from out of state; 

  • Waiving limitations on clinical instruction via simulation; 
  • Expanding scope of practice for physician assistants and nurses;
  • Expanding opportunities for telemedicine;
  • Allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines.

The full list of emergency measures can be viewed here.

It is anticipated the suspension of these laws and rules, particularly as they apply to out-of-state practitioners, shall last until the expiration of Executive Order D 2020-003, or unless additional directives are received by the Governor.

For healthcare professionals seeking to get involved, Governor Polis has just announced HelpColoradoNow.org as a website for those Coloradans hoping to volunteer or assist in the COVID-19 response. 

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DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675


Media Contact:
Jill Sarmo
jillian.sarmo@state.co.us
P: 303-894-2338 | C: 303-204-1766