The Meeting Summary provides brief descriptions of selected actions taken by the NC Medical Board during its most recent meeting or hearing. Actions are listed by committee, where applicable.
For a full account of the Board’s proceedings please check the meeting minutes, which are posted approximately two months after the meeting date. You can subscribe to our Meeting Minutes RSS feed to be notified when the minutes are posted.
Summary of the Board Meeting held Mar. 15-17, 2017
Advanced Practice Providers and Allied Health
Name/structure change for PA advisory group - The Board approved the Committee’s recommendation to change the name of the Physician Assistant Advisory Council (PAAC) to Physician Assistant Advisory Meeting (PAAM). The Board also approved changing the structure of the council from a stand-alone committee of the Board to an agenda item for the APP/AHC. The PAAM will meet twice a year and all interested leaders in the physician assistant community are invited to attend the meeting and request topics for discussion.
Midwifery Committee appointee - The Board approved the Committee’s recommendation to appoint A. Vernon Stringer, M.D., to a three-year term on the Midwifery Committee
Increased support for NC Physicians Health Program (NCPHP) - As part of the 2016-2017 NCMB budget, the Board approved increased funding to NCPHP in three installments to be paid Nov. 1, 2016; May 1, 2017, and Nov. 1, 2017. Dr. Joe Jordan, NCPHP’s CEO, appeared before the Committee to describe how these increases have and will help improve the health and wellness of medical professionals.
Communication to licensees RE: controlled substances CME requirement: The Committee received an update on the Board’s plans to contact by email and, if no valid email is on file, snail mail every licensed physician and physician assistant (PA) with information about the new controlled substances CME (CS CME) requirement. Effective July 1, 2017, all controlled substance prescribers must complete CS CME during each CME cycle. NCMB has emailed all PAs to notify them of the two hour per two year cycle requirement for PAs. The Board has also emailed all physicians who are in Year 3 to notify them of their cycle years and provide information about the three-hour per three year cycle requirement. Physicians in Year 3 with renewal dates prior to July 1 will NOT have to earn CS CME this cycle. Emails to physicians in Years 1 and 2 are planned for the last week of March. NCMB has a resource page on its website to provide information about the CS CME requirement, including FAQs and links to free, online CME opportunities that cover the required education topics.
NCMB support for the STOP Act – NCMB’s Legislative Liaison gave a report regarding various health- related bills pending in the legislature including H243/S175, known as the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act. After a discussion of various aspects of the bill, the Board voted to support the STOP Act.
Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative (SOPI) Advisory Committee - The Board established the SOPI Advisory Committee to help develop investigative criteria recommendations. The Committee’s initial recommendations were adopted by the Board and have resulted in the Board identifying previously unknown prescribers of concern. The Advisory Committee met in December and made recommended changes to existing reporting criteria, which the Board adopted in January. The Board voted to dissolve the Advisory Committee and thank members for their efforts, as there is no additional work for the Advisory Committee at this time.
NCMB-WakeAHEC CME project - The Committee was informed that NCMB and WakeAHEC have completed work on a free webinar that discusses the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The webinar is posted both on the WakeAHEC website and on the NCMB website. NCMB will promote the webinar and four related panel discussions scheduled throughout the greater Triangle. Licensees who complete the webinar and attend one panel discussion will earn a total of three hours of Category 1 CME – enough to satisfy the new CME requirement for controlled substances prescribers that will be in effect July 1. NCMB and WakeAHEC are applying for additional grant funding to support up to 10 additional panel discussions throughout North Carolina.
The Committee reviewed feedback received from stakeholders related to the proposed position statement on the Use of Photography in the Examination Room. The Committee voted to publish the most recent version of the draft position statement and gather feedback from licensees, before final consideration and adoption. Read the draft position statement:
Policy for the Use of Audio or Visual Recordings in Patient Care
The Board recognizes that there may be valid reasons for licensees to make audio or visual recordings of patients during a healthcare encounter. However, such recordings must be made for appropriate professional reasons and should employ safeguards that protect a patient’s autonomy, privacy, confidentiality, and dignity. In instances where a patient may be asked to disrobe, the patient should be provided an opportunity to disrobe beyond the view of any camera.
Recordings that could lead to disclosure of the patient’s identity constitute protected health information and must be managed and transmitted in a manner that complies with HIPAA requirements.
Prior to an audio or visual recording being made of a patient, licensees should ensure that they have obtained the patient’s informed consent. The informed consent should be documented in the medical record and should allow the patient an opportunity to discuss any concerns before and after the recording. The patient should also be informed:
1. Of the purpose of the recording and its use;
2. That the recording is voluntary and that a refusal to be recorded will not affect the patient’s care;
3. That the patient may withdraw consent to be recorded at any time and what will be done with any prior recordings;
4. Of the possibility of accidental or deliberate dissemination during the acquisition or storage of the information.
A licensee who has made an audio or visual recording of a patient must ensure that:
1. Any recording is used only for the purpose for which the patient consented;
2. Patients are given the opportunity to see the recording if they so wish; and
3. Recordings are given the same protections as other medical records against improper disclosure.