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COVID-19 Actions

Below is an on-going list that details all of the action taken by the Professional Licensing Agency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This page will be constantly updated as changes occur and the situation and the State of Indiana's response progresses. Immediately below are changes made to the PLA as a whole with profession-specific changes below that. If you are looking for more information on profession-specific questions, please also check that Profession's page from the left-hand column. 

Agency Wide Changes

PLA Remote Work- In response to COVID-19 and the impact it is having on the State of Indiana, the Professional Licensing Agency will have the majority of our staff working remotely in the coming weeks. While the routine operations of the agency will continue, please note that there may be disruptions or delays in the processing of your requests. Please prioritize the usage of email to communicate with our staff whenever possible and scan any documents that need to be processed. Our essential in-office services such as mail and collection of fee payments will still be processed; however there will be no public access to our offices. 

Testing Centers- Many of our testing vendors that are contracted to run our licensure tests have temporarily suspended their operations due to COVID-19. That means that we are unable to provide testing at this time until they resume their normal testing schedule. While we are working with them to determine when testing may begin again, please direct any questions to the appropriate testing vendor for further information. 

Fingerprinting- The Indiana Dept. of Administration has temporarily suspended all non-emergency status fingerprinting in order to comply with the Stay-At-Home Executive Order. This means that only applicants whose license has been deemed as emergency status (as determined by the Dept. of Administration) are able to receive fingerprinting at this time. All non-emergency fingerprinting will be delayed until the Stay-At-Home order is lifted. 

List of Critical License Types by Board: 
Nursing: RN, LPN, APRN, Nurse Midwife
Medical: Physician, Osteopathic Physician
Physician Assistants: Physician Assistants
Pharmacy: Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians and Training
Psychology: Psychologists

Behavioral Health: Marriage and Family Therapists and Associates, Mental Health Counselors and Associates, Social Workers (LSW)
Respiratory Care: Respiratory Care Practitioners
Veterinary: Veterinarians

Extension of Licenses- All licenses issued by the State which are set to expire in the next 60 days will instead expire on May 22nd. This means that any license which is currently active will remain active until at least May 22nd, which is when the license will be designated as 'Expired'. If you wish to prevent your license from expiring on May 22nd, you may still renew your license prior to that date to ensure no disruption of service. 

Board Meetings- The Governor has requested that all public meetings which are not essential to governmental function be suspended or delayed until the public health crisis has ended. In order to comply with that request, PLA has cancelled all currently scheduled boards through the month of April and future board meetings will be limited to only essential functions. Additionally, the Governor suspended the Open Door Laws under IC 5-14-1.5 to allow for quorums of our boards to be achieved via electronic means. There will still need to be a quorum of members, but none are required to be physically present. 

Profession Specific Changes

Various Healthcare Providers:

Guidance for Healthcare Liability: For information about how COVID-19 is impact the liability of healthcare providers, please review the guidance found HERE

Guidance for Prescribing and Dispensing of COVID-19 Related Drugs: The Indiana Board of Pharmacy and Medical Licensing Board have issued a joint statement providing guidance to healthcare professionals relating to prescribing and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin. The guidance discourages these drugs from being prescribed for prophylactic use for COVID-19 and encourages professional caution in fulfilling any prescription of these drugs. Additionally, the boards are suggesting that any prescription for these drugs be limited to a 14-day supply wherever medically appropriately. A copy of the guidance may be found HERE

Healthcare Licensing Requirements- Various code cites: Pursuant to Executive Order 20-05, all healthcare professionals that hold a valid license to practice in another state are not required to attain an Indiana license to practice their equivalent profession in Indiana. The individual cannot be suspended or barred from practicing in any State.

Telemedicine for Mental Health Providers- IC 25-1-9.5: Pursuant to Executive Order 20-05, all licensed mental health professionals in the State of Indiana are permitted to conduct their work via telehealh. All statutes and rules that are applicable during remote practice must still be observed; however the requirement that the patient be physically present with the professional is suspended until the end of the public health crisis. 

Medical
Waiver of Out-of-State Licensure Verification by Board: The Indiana Medical Licensing board is temporarily waiving the application of 844 IAC 4-4.5-7(a)(8) insofar as it requires applicants for licensure who are licensed in another state to have verification sent by the state that issued that license directly to the board. This waiver is temporary during the public health emergency and will be effective immediately once the emergecny is lifted. A copy of the order may be found HERE.

Nursing
APRN Agreements- IC 25-23-1-19.4: Pursuant to Executive Order 20-05, an Advance Practice Registered Nurse is permitted to provide services in multiple locations as long as they have an existing collaborative agreement on file. 

Waiver of 848 IAC 5-1-1(a)(7)(F) for APRN Reviews: The Indiana State Board of Nursing has waived the requirements found in 848 IAC 5-1-1(a)(7)(F) which requires that an APRN provide descriptions of their prescribing practices to the collaborating physician within 7 days and shall include at least a 5% random sampling of charts and medications provided for patients. A copy of the order may be found HERE.

Pharmacy
Changes to Pharmacy Technician Oversight-  25-26-13-18.5 & IC 25-26-19-2: Pursuant to Executive Order 20-12, each pharmacist may now supervise 8 pharmacy technicians instead of 6. Additionally, pharmacy technicians may work remotely for non-dispensing job functions such as data entry, insurance processing or other roles that do not require the physical presence. 

Non-Controlled Substance Prescription Extensions- IC 25-26-13-25(d)(8): Pursuant to Executive Order 20-12, a pharmacist may give a one-time, 90-day emergency refill for a prescription of a non-controlled substance prescribed as a maintenance medication. 

Controlled Substance Prescribing via Telemedicine- IC 25-1-9.5-8: Pursuant to Executive Orders 20-13, a prescriber may prescribe a Schedule II-V controlled substance via telemedicine as long as the following conditions are met:
1. The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a prescriber acting in their usual professional practice; 
2. The initial telecommunication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system; and
3. All other applicable state and federal laws are followed.

Once a prescriber has conducted an in-person medical evaluation or has conducted an evaluation using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system for the initial prescription; further health consultation may be done via audio-only or audio-visual telecommunication, as long as all other applicable state and federal laws are followed.

Cosmetology
Distance Learning-  820 IAC 4-1-5(b):  For the duration of the public health crisis, the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners has temporarily suspended 820 IAC 4-1-5(b). This suspension means that cosmetology students are no longer required to attain their cosmetology school hours in-person at the school and may take remote programming provided by the cosmetology school. The students are still required to attain the same amount of hours and the courses must otherwise comply with existing rules; however they are not required to be in-person for the duration of the public health crisis. 

Real Estate 
Waiver of In-Person Education Requirements- 876 IAC 7-6-4: For the duration of the public health crisis, the Indiana Real Estate Commission has temporarily suspended 876 IAC 7-6-4. This suspension means that any currently approved real estate curriculum, mandatory continuing education, or pre-licensing curriculum may be transitioned to online, remote learning for full credit. A copy of the order can be found HERE.

Dental
Waiver of Distance Learning CE Caps-  Pursuant to Executive Order 20-21, the limitation on how many hours of Continuing Education may be completed via distance learning has been suspended. The requirements of IC 24-14-3-8 & IC 25-13-2-6 have been waived to allow for a dentist or dental hygienist to utilize distance learning to complete their Containing Education requirements for licensure renewal. 

Psychology
Waiver of Distance Learning CE Caps- Pursuant to Executive Order 20-21, the limitation on how many hours of Continuing Education may be completed via distance learning has been suspended. The requirements of IC 25-33-2-2 have been waived to allow for a psychologist to utilize distance learning to complete their Containing Education requirements for licensure renewal. 

Behavioral Health
Waiver of One Year Window for Examination: The Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board, is temporarily waiving the application of 839 IAC 1-3-5, 839 IAC 1-4-3.3, 839 IAC 1-5-2, and 839 IAC 1-5.5-5 insofar as they require applicants for licensure by examination to sit for the examination within one (1) year from the date of the initial board approval. This waiver is only effective during the publich health emergency and will initially be limited to 90 days. Upon the end of the public health emergency, the rule will no be waived and become effective immediately. A copy of the order may be found HERE.