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Healthcare Licensees

​During the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis, the Division of Consumer Affairs has taken extraordinary measures to ensure New Jersey is prepared to meet the increased demand for healthcare services. Through our Healthcare Emergency Licensure Program (HELP), we have created pathways for thousands of retired, out-of-state, foreign-licensed, and newly graduated healthcare professionals to quickly become licensed in New Jersey and expand our available healthcare workforce to safely provide quality care to patients during the coronavirus outbreak.

We have also guided NJ healthcare licensees on how to safely practice during the pandemic, and taken steps to prevent drug shortages caused by the inappropriate prescribing and hoarding of drugs being used to fight COVID-19. DCA’s COVID-19 healthcare initiatives include:

Board of Pharmacy – Oral Authorization of Schedule II Medications

The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy (Board) is providing this guidance for the pharmacy community concerning Administrative Order 2020-18 and Waiver 2020-16 (DCA-AO-2020-18, DCA-W-2020-16)

Oral Authorization of Schedule II medications:  Pursuant to this Administrative Order, a pharmacist may now dispense up to a 30-day supply of Schedule II CDS upon the oral order of a prescriber.  In addition, consistent with waivers issued by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, follow up paper prescriptions may be submitted within 15 days, and may be submitted via facsimile.  This waiver does NOT apply to "initial" opioid prescriptions for pain; it is only applicable for patients being treated for "chronic" pain.

The pharmacist must use his or her professional judgment when dispensing pursuant to the oral order of a prescriber.  The pharmacist should only dispense the amount adequate to treat the patient during the emergency period, but in no case more than a 30-day supply.  The pharmacist shall reduce the prescription to writing, with all information required to be included for a valid prescription, other than the signature of the prescribing practitioner.  The follow up paper prescription should be included in the patient profile when received.

Health and Safety Standards for Nursing Programs and Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide Training Programs

The Division has issued Administrative Order 2020-17 which establishes standards for the reopening of nursing programs and CHHA training programs. To learn more, click here.

Authorization of Telemedicine Encounters (CDS Prescribing)

The Division has waived rules to allow healthcare providers who have existing CDS prescribing authority to use telemedicine encounters to meet CDS prescribing requirements.  For more information, click here

DCA-AO-2020-15 and DCA-W-2020-14 

Prescribing Opioids in New Jersey

Click here to find a summary of the rules pertaining to the prescribing of Controlled Dangerous Substances ("CDS") in New Jersey and the requirements relating to when, and in what circumstances, prescribers must access the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program. This handy 2-page guide reflects:

  • The generally applicable rules.
     
  • The waivers of certain in-person examination requirements relating to the prescribing of CDS and the authorization of medical marijuana, allowing the use of telemedicine during the current public health emergency, as set forth in Administrative Order (DCA AO-2020-15)

The requirement to co-prescribe naloxone to chronic patients obtaining 90 MMEs or more of opioids or the concurrent prescription of an opioid and a benzodiazepine, as set forth in Administrative Order (DCA 2020-08)(See FAQs)

Waiver of On-Site Supervision Requirement

The Division has temporarily waived on-site supervision requirements for audiology and speech-language pathology temporary licensees, certain licensed occupational therapy assistants, and licensed physical therapy assistants. To learn more, click here.

Temporary Certification of Alcohol and Drug Counselor - Interns

To meet the increased demand for alcohol and drug counselor services, and to allow alcohol and drug counselor interns to provide services via telehealth and telemedicine, the State of New Jersey is granting temporary certifications to interns who meet certain qualifications. For additional information, click here.

Emergency Graduate Licensure Program for Mental Health Professionals

To meet the increased demand for certain mental health care professionals during the current state of emergency and public health emergency, the State of New Jersey is licensing those who have graduated within the last six months, with an extra 90-day grace period for those who graduated on or after December 1, 2019, from masters and doctoral-level social work and counseling programs located in any state who have not yet taken their licensing exams.  For additional information, click here.

COVID-19 Testing

Antibody Testing

Tests for COVID-19 antibodies have been developed, but data is lacking on what exactly these tests mean. There is still much that is unknown about COVID-19 infection and antibody testing, click here to see what is currently known.

Veterinary Services

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has issued an Administrative Order which establishes practices and precautions for licensed veterinarians to protect patients, clients, veterinarians, and office staff from the continued risks posed by COVID-19.

For more information click click here.

Healthcare Services in Office Practices

As healthcare professionals are allowed to resume non-urgent care and elective procedures in outpatient settings, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has issued Administrative Order which establishes practices and precautions for office-based practitioners to protect patients, practitioners, and office staff from the continued risks posed by COVID-19. 

For more information click here

Requirement to Co-prescribe an Opioid Antidote (Naloxone)

The Division of Consumer Affairs issued an Administrative Order on May 21, 2020, requiring prescribing practitioners licensed by the Boards of Medical Examiners, Dentistry, Nursing, and Optometry, to co-prescribe an opioid antidote (naloxone) when continuously prescribing for chronic pain management if the patient has one or more prescriptions totaling 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) or more per day, or is concurrently obtaining an opioid and a benzodiazepine. This Administrative Order will remain in effect for the duration of the State of Emergency and the Public Health Emergency declared by Governor Murphy, whichever is longer.

Please be advised that an identical rule was proposed by the State Board of Medical Examiners on April 6, 2020, and is open for public comment until June 5, 2020; the Boards of Dentistry, Nursing, and Optometry has proposed an amendment substantively identical to the co-prescribing rule proposed by the State Board of Medical Examiners, but has not yet published the proposal in the New Jersey Register.

Prescribing Opioids in New Jersey

Click here to find a summary of the rules pertaining to the prescribing of Controlled Dangerous Substances ("CDS") in New Jersey and the requirements relating to when and in what circumstances.

prescribers must access the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program.  This handy 2 page guide reflects:

  • the general rules; and
     
  • the waivers set forth in an Administrative Order (DCA AO-2020-15) of certain in-person examination requirements that can be met through the use of telemedicine during the current public health emergency, relating to the prescribing of CDS and the authorization of medical marijuana. 

The requirement set forth in an Administrative Order (DCA 2020-08) requiring the co-prescribing of naloxone to chronic patients obtaining 90 MMEs or more of opioids or the concurrent prescription of an opioid and a benzodiazepine. (See FAQs)

The Division also has a FAQ document that explains pharmacists' role in implementing this new, emergency rule, and will assist them in determining when and how to issue naloxone to customers. (See FAQs)

Pharmacists Authorization to Provide COVID-19 Testing

The Director of the Division of Consumer affairs has entered an Administrative Order permitting pharmacists in New Jersey to collect specimens to test for COVID-19 or its antibodies using tests approved by the FDA or authorized pursuant to an Emergency Use Authorization.  Please read and familiarize yourself with the requirements of the entire order, as the following is only a summary.

Specimen collection may be performed at or immediately outside of a registered pharmacy, and the pharmacist may send the specimen to an appropriate laboratory for analysis, without the need for a prescription or order from another health care practitioner.   Specimen analysis and testing may only be performed at a pharmacy if the tests are CLIA-waived, and only if the pharmacy has a CLIA certificate of waiver from CMS.  Pharmacists may not perform specimen collection requiring venipuncture.  Informed consent must be obtained prior to testing, and pharmacists must provide patients with accurate information about the test being performed.

Pharmacists may interpret and analyze COVID-19 or COVID-19 antibody test results and provide the results to patients, with appropriate guidance for follow up care.  Pharmacists will be required to collect and maintain patient data relating to any testing performed, including providing information to the New Jersey Department of Health in the form, manner and frequency as the Commissioner of Health may require.  Pharmacists who intend to perform COVID-19 tests must notify the Board of Pharmacy, must maintain records consistent with Board recordkeeping requirements, and must comply with certain safety precautions for testing. Pharmacists must also notify both the FDA and the Board of Pharmacy of any suspected occurrence of false positive or false negative results and significant deviations from the established performance characteristics of the test kit.

Notifications to the Board should be in the form of an email to NJPharmacist@dca.lps.state.nj.us. The subject line of the email should be formatted to contain: COVID19 TESTING - "Pharmacy permit number" - "Pharmacy Name" - "Pharmacy City".  The text of the email should include:

  • Name and complete address of the pharmacy location

  • Information about the COVID test to be utilized as set forth in the Administrative Order

  • Where the testing will take place (inside the pharmacy or immediately outside of the pharmacy)

  • Name of the pharmacist in charge

  • Confirmation from the pharmacist in charge that (on the day this notification was sent to the Board office) he/she confirmed on the FDA website that the test is authorized for use by the FDA using this link: https://www.fda.gov/media/136702/download

Rules, Guidance, and Resources

Guidance for Outpatient Providers Evaluating Patients for COVID-19

This guidance will help healthcare professionals safely care for patients with COVID-19 concerns in outpatient office settings.

Guidance for Healthcare Licensees from the Department of Health

For the latest COVID-19 Information from the NJ Department of Health, click here.

ECHO Video Conferences

DCA is participating in regular interactive, multi-agency video conferences hosted by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and The Nicholson Foundation to provide up-to-date information to healthcare licensees on emerging issues. View each session here.

Out-of-State Reciprocity Licensees

Several health care professional boards have temporarily eased requirements, allowing out-of-state licensees to become temporarily licensed in New Jersey to assist during the COVID-19 health crisis. For additional information, click here.

To verify a Temporary Out-of-State License that has been issued by the Division, click here.

Notice: Please be advised that any temporary emergency out-of-state license approved on June 1, 2020, or beyond will be valid through November 30, 2020. These licenses shall expire after that date, unless the Division determines to extend the license duration at that time. Please continue to check the Division's website for updates.

Executive Order #103 | View Waivers

Foreign-Licensed Physicians

New Jersey’s Board of Medical Examiners is issuing temporary, emergency licenses to qualified foreign-licensed physicians who are authorized to work in the United States, so they can join the fight against COVID-19. Physicians holding plenary, unrestricted licenses in good-standing in other countries are invited to learn more and apply here.

Executive Order #112DCA-AO-20-02 | Executive Order #103

Recent Graduate Licensure Program

To meet the increased demand for healthcare professionals during the public health emergency, the State of New Jersey is licensing those who graduated within the last six months from nursing, physician assistant, and pharmacy programs located in New Jersey, and respiratory care programs located in any state. For additional information, click here.

Reactivated Retiree Licensees

New Jersey has made it easier for healthcare practitioners to re-activate their licenses to join the fight against COVID-19. For more information on reactivating retired, expired, or inactive NJ licenses, click here.

Waivers of Certain Rules to Expand Access to Care

The Division’s waivers are designed to expand access to care and to relax in-person regulatory requirements. DCA has issued a broad set of rule waivers including:

Telehealth Temporary Waivers

Healthcare providers are encouraged to use telehealth to reduce unnecessary COVID-19 exposure.  The Division has issued guidance to help practitioners understand available options. For more information, click here.

Executive Order #112  |  Administrative Order #2020-02

In-Person Requirement Waiver for Health Care Service Firms

The Division has temporarily waived the requirement that plan-of-care evaluations by nursing supervisors be completed in patients' homes.

In-Person Continuing Education Waiver

An emergency waiver has temporarily lifted rules for 16 professional boards requiring continuing education to be completed in person. Boards not listed here do not have in-person CE requirements.

  1. Acupuncture Examining Board
  2. Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee
  3. Art Therapists Advisory Committee
  4. Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  5. Board of Dentistry
  6. Electrologists Advisory Committee
  7. Elevator, Escalator, and Moving Walkway Mechanics Licensing Board
  8. Fire Alarm, Burglar Alarm and Locksmith Advisory Committee
  9. Home Inspection Advisory Committee
  10. Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners
  11. Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy
  12. Board of Mortuary Science
  13. Board of Optometrists
  14. Perfusionists Advisory Committee
  15. Board of Pharmacy
  16. Board of Psychological Examiners

Orders and Waivers of Rules

Click here for a complete list.

Drug Dispensing/Prescribing

The Division of Consumer Affairs’ Administrative Order 2020-03 supersedes Administrative Order 2020-01, confirms restrictions on prescribing and dispensing of certain drugs in short supply like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine but provides additional exceptions, allowing prescribing to patients in facilities like nursing homes.

File a complaint against a medical professional for hoarding or inappropriately writing prescriptions for Hydroxychloroquine or other drugs in short supply here.

Healthcare professionals with prescribing authority who receive a temporary reciprocity license need not hold a CDS registration to register with the Prescription Monitoring Program.

   DCA-AO-20-03 | Executive Order #103