CHARLESTON, W.Va. – At the request of the West Virginia Board of Nursing and the West Virginia Board of Medicine, Governor Jim Justice signed an executive order on Tuesday that will suspend several statutory regulations that hinder medical providers from responding quickly and efficiently to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as assisting the citizens of West Virginia.
The first two pieces of the order, grant additional discretion to the Board of Nursing to waive requirements that may slow the delivery of necessary medical procedures as the Board.
- Requirement for certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) licensure as follows: to permit the Board, in their discretion, to suspend or modify the requirement for the administration of anesthesia (W. Va. Code § 30-7-15);
- Requirement for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure as follows: to permit the Board, in their discretion, to temporarily suspend or modify the requirements for the authorization for prescriptive authority, collaborative requirements for prescriptive authority, prescriptive formulary limitations, prescriptive refill and supply limitations, and other prescriptive limitations including continuing education and renewal requirements (W. Va. Code §§ 30-7-15a, 30-7-15b, 30-7-15c).
These provisions were requested by the West Virginia Board of Nursing.
The third part of the order allows physicians with a pre-existing relationship to a patient to refill an existing prescription for a Schedule II opioid medication without an “in-person” examination but still mandates that the physician evaluate the patient by other means and determine whether a refill is safe and appropriate in the physician’s judgment.
- Requirement that a practitioner is required to conduct an in-personal physical examination every 90 days prior to prescribing a refill for a Schedule II opioid medication to an existing patient for chronic pain treatment (W. Va. Code. § 16-54-4(h)), provided that the provider utilizes other appropriate tools to evaluate the patient at these intervals, and assesses whether continuing the course of treatment would be safe and effective for the patient.
This provision was requested by the West Virginia Board of Medicine.