APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Maine

Crosswalk signs outnumber pedestrians March 25, 2020, in downtown Portland, Maine, just hours before a stay-at-home order goes into effect that will close all but essential workplaces in the city. City officials say residents must shelter in place starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

(The Center Square) – Out-of-state health care providers will be able to see Maine patients through telehealth without having a Maine license under an executive order issued by Gov. Janet Mills administration.

Mills also relaxed licensing requirements for physicians, physician assistants and nurses who can help treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Out-of-state providers in good standing in other states can receive an in-person or telehealth emergency license with no fee, according to the order.

Licenses can be automatically renewed or reactivated for free for retired health care professionals.

Insurance companies are required to cover telehealth services delivered by telephone or video apps under another order filed by the state insurance commissioner. Providers will receive the same reimbursement for telehealth and in-person visits.

"The telehealth order allows health care providers greater options in delivering care to Mainers," Superintendent of Insurance Eric Cioppa said. "The change will allow people to have virtual house calls, providing them with the health care they need, while at the same time maintaining social distancing."

The order applies to fully insured health plans only. MaineCare and Medicaid are already paying the same rate for telehealth and in-person visits, according to a news release from Mill’s administration.

Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, is holding a virtual town hall meeting on March 26 for health care providers who want to learn more.

Mills’ administration also relaxed some regulations for the financial services industry in an executive order on Wednesday.

• Out-of-state financial professionals will be allowed to serve existing clients in Maine under certain conditions.

• Investment advisers who cannot see their client can transfer their accounts to another adviser if the client gives verbal approval.

• Investment advisory firms will have some flexibility with the deadline to provide annual information to clients.

• On-site training requirements for new licenses and on-site audits of Maine branch offices are suspended.

• Securities professionals who miss a filing deadline will not have to pay a late fee. Information can be filed by email.

"The impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the country and our state is far reaching and includes our financial professionals," Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw said in a statement.

Maine had 142 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday. Most of those cases were in Cumberland County. State health officials reported 3,177 negative tests and seven people have recovered from the virus.

Mills issued new guidelines March 24 requiring nonessential businesses to close the public-facing aspects off their business. The order also requires the closure of businesses with 10 or more employees that cannot maintain social distancing requirements.