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Forum and Discussion

Information about Executive Order 36

On May 12, 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 36, which have several items that impacted mental health professionals, which are items 7.4, 9.2, 38, and 41.

Details about each item include:

  • 7.4 – please note the language that states “as a condition of reinstating a license, certification, or registration.” This means it only applies to this group of licensees.
  • 9.4 – extends the option for non-licensed mental health professionals to provide telehealth until June 30, 2020.
  • 38 – extends the option to provide telehealth services.
  • 41 – provides the terms and effective dates.

Executive Order 36 is posted under our COVID-19 website at

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

Robin Lee, Executive Director

7.4 Continuing education requirements are suspended so health care professionals can keep working. The provision of Tennessee Code Annotated, Titles 63 and 68, and related rules and policies are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to suspend the requirement that individuals complete or submit proof of completing continuing education requirements or otherwise demonstrate continuing competence as a condition of reinstating a license, certification, or registration. The Commissioner of Health shall reasonable extend the deadline for these requirements as necessary to respond to the effects of COVID-19.

9.2 Pre-license, post-degree mental or behavioral health professionals can provide telehealth services under supervision. The relevant provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 63, and related rules are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to give the Commissioner of Health the authority to allow persons who have completed a master’s degree or doctoral degree in a behavioral or mental health field, or in a field of study required for a license allowing the individual to diagnose behavioral or mental health disorders, to treat diagnosed behavioral or mental health conditions without a license and through use of telemedicine services; provided, the person is, at all times, supervised by a person licensed under Title 63 with authorization to diagnose a behavioral or mental health condition. The Commissioner of Health shall provide the requisite form for practicing under this Paragraph 9.2 on the Department of Health’s Health Profession Boards webpage.

38 Telemedicine access is expanded. Health insurance carriers are urged to provide coverage for the delivery of clinically appropriate, medically necessary covered services via telemedicine to all providers, irrespective of network status or originating site. Providers are urged to follow the new guidance from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding equipment and everyday communications technologies that may be used for the provision of telemedicine services. Carriers are urged not to impose prior authorization requirements on medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 delivered by in-network providers via telemedicine. Health care professionals licensed in another state who are authorized pursuant to this Order to temporarily practice in this state are permitted to engage in telemedicine services with patients in Tennessee to the extent the scope of practice of the applicable professional license in this state would authorize the professional to diagnose and treat humans. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 63-1-155(c)(3), is hereby suspended to allow telemedicine services by pain management clinics, as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 63-1-301(7), and in the case of chronic nonmalignant pain treatment.

41 Term and effective date. Except as otherwise provided herein, this Order shall become effective at 12:01 a.m., Central Daylight Time, on May 18, 2020, and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m., Central Daylight Time, on June 30, 2020, unless future circumstances warrant terminating some of the measures contained herein earlier, in which case this Order will be amended or otherwise revised accordingly.

41.1 Suspension of laws that would limit application of this Order. Any state or local law, order, rule, or regulation that would limit the application of this Order is hereby suspended.

Temporary Licensed Counselors

As an approved supervisor in the state of TN I, as well as others in the state, are receiving conflicted answers regarding whether a temporarily licensed counselor can provide tele-health services during the COVID-19 situation. Can someone with TLPCA speak to this?

Purpose of the forum

If you have comments, concerns, information, resources, ideas, or tips, please feel free to share. We hope you will find this forum useful as we all try to navigate this ‘new normal.’ I only ask that you be respectful in your use of this forum, as I expect you will be.

Thanks for your visit and your support of TLPCA and our community of mental health professionals.

Robin Lee, Executive Director