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What Does Governor Evers’ Order Mean for Out-of-State Health Care Professionals Currently Living in Wisconsin?

 Posted on March 31, 2020 in Professional Licensing Defense

Milwaukee healthcare license defense lawyerBy Attorney Kristen Nelson

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Governor Tony Evers Issued Emergency Order #16, relating to certain health care providers and the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). The Order applies to all heath care providers in various licensing situations. The purpose of the order is to increase the availability of health care providers in Wisconsin during this health crisis. One group that is addressed in the order are out-of-state licensed health care professionals who are currently living in Wisconsin. Under certain circumstances, an out-of-state licensed health care professional may be able to practice in Wisconsin without first obtaining a temporary or permanent license.

Normally, a health care provider licensed in another state needs to go through the licensing process in Wisconsin. Under Governor Evers’ order, a health care provider with a valid and current license issued by another state is able to practice under that license and within the scope of that license in Wisconsin. The license holder does not need to first obtain a temporary or permanent license from DSPS prior to starting work if the following conditions are met:

  1. A health care facility is able to show that the out-of-state license holder is necessary to “ensure the continued and safe delivery of health care services.”
  2. The out-of-state health care provider has a license that is free and clear. What this means is that the health care provider’s license cannot have limitations or restrictions in their home state, nor can their license currently be under investigation.
  3. The health care facility’s situation prevented it from having the out-of-state license holder obtain in-state credentialing in advance of practice.

If an out-of-state license holder is practicing under this order, he/she must apply for a temporary or permanent health care license within ten (10) days of his/her first day of work. In addition, the health care facility must notify DSPS at dsps@iwsconsin.gov within five (5) days of the out-of-state license holder’s first day of work. Governor Evers has also directed the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to work with health care providers that are working pursuant to this order to ensure that they have the proper liability insurance.

Clearly, this is an “all hands-on deck” situation. However, this order does not circumvent DSPS’s authority, nor does it allow for out-of-state healthcare professionals to take advantage of the current crisis. IF DSPS has good cause, it will have the authority to withdraw an individual’s authorization to temporary practice pursuant to this order. Most importantly, if an individual or an entity falsely reports the required information to DSPS or practices without following the requirements of this order, they may be subject to civil or criminal action.

If you are an out of state licensed health care professional who has returned to Wisconsin during this health crisis, there is an opportunity for you to help. Just make sure that you are following the Order and are not doing anything to jeopardize your professional future. If you have any questions regarding Governor Evers’ Order, please contact the Milwaukee health law attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP by calling our office at 414-271-1440.   

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