Governor Murphy this week signed into law S2333/A3910, an Act granting civil immunities to health care workers and facilities for actions taken in good faith during the declared state of emergency. The act also waives certain professional licensing restrictions and requirements on health care personnel to quickly expand the health care work force in an effort to ease the traumatic staffing shortages that are being caused by the high rate of sickness among health care personnel.
The new law embodies essentially what was included in Executive Order 112 issued by Governor Murphy on April 1st. EO-112 easing licensing restrictions for health workers. This EO enables certain categories of health care professionals to enter the field temporarily or to practice more broadly than the current limitations on their licenses, with streamlined procedures. Retired licensed health care professionals or those whose licenses lapsed due to nonpayment of annual fees during the past 5 years can temporarily re-activate their license and re-enter practice by a streamlined process through the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The DCA issues licenses to physicians, nurses and nursing assistants, physicians assistants, dentists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and others. Physicians licensed overseas can be issued temporary licenses by the DCA. The scope of practice of Advance Practice Nurses and Physicians’ Assistants is expanded temporarily. Supervisory responsibilities placed on physicians over certain other physicians or physicians’ assistants is suspended temporarily. Practitioners who have received temporary licenses from the DCA and have prescribing authority as part of that license, can register with the Prescription Monitoring Program (N.J.S.A. 45:1-46) without first obtaining a NJ controlled dangerous substance registration as long as they hold a who hold a valid US DEA registration to prescribe Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)
Section 6 pertains to pre-made funeral contracts: “For the duration of the State of Emergency or Public Health Emergency, whichever is longer, the written signature requirements of N.J.S.A. 45:7-85 and N.J.S.A. 45:7-95, pertaining to prepaid
funeral agreements and authorization to commence funeral services,
can be met by the provision of electronic signatures.”
Paragraphs 7, 8 and 9 contain certain immunities to the above professionals and to health care facilities for acts taken in good faith that do not constitute a “crime, actual fraud, actual malice, gross negligence or willful misconduct.”
We will continue to monitor developments that affect the delivery of crucial health care to our clients in skilled nursing facilities. If you have concerns or a problem, call for a telephone consultation with one of our attorneys…. 732-382-6070