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Jul 31 2012

Highlights from the 100th meeting of the FSMB

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Every year the NC Medical Board sends a delegation of Board Members and staff to the annual meeting of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). The FSMB is a national membership organization that represents and supports state medical and osteopathic regulatory boards in the United States and territories.

This April, the FSMB held its 100th annual meeting in Ft. Worth, TX. The summary below highlights significant actions taken by the House of Delegates, the governing body of the FSMB. More information

Impact of medical board regulatory actions
The NC Medical Board has received feedback from licensees, professional groups and others that medical board actions frequently result in unintended and undesirable consequences to the licensee, such as the loss of specialty board certification. The NCMB does not believe these consequent actions are always necessary or appropriate. As a result the Board introduced a resolution (Resolution 12-1) in the Federation’s House of Delegates that would address this issue.

Resolution 12-1 was ADOPTED: Resolved, the FSMB shall convene a meeting with the ABMS and AOA BOS to collaborate on strategies to achieve the common goal of avoiding unintended limitations of specialty board certification and recertification based on state board disciplinary action, while protecting the public and maintaining high standards of specialty practice, and shall report back to the House of Delegates on its progress at the 2013 Annual Meeting.

Limited exemption from CME requirements
Medical Boards recognize that participation in American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Maintenance of Certification programs or American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists/Osteopathic Continuous Certification programs represent a significant commitment to continuing education on the part of a licensee. The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice introduced Resolution 12-3 to allow participants in ABMS MOC and AOA BOS/OCC programs to use this participation to meet CME requirements for the purpose of license renewal.

Resolution 12-3 was ADOPTED: Resolved, that the FSMB supports the use of, and encourages state boards to recognize, a licensee’s participation in an ABMS MOC and/or AOA BOS OCC program as an acceptable means of meeting CME requirements for license renewal.

The NCMB has adopted rule changes consistent with this resolution; the rules won final approval in July and are set to take effect August 1, 2012 (see CME Rule article, pg. 16)

Social media, reentry to clinical practice policies
The FSMB establishes workgroups to study relevant issues in medical regulation and form policy recommendations that may be adopted by the Federation and, in some instances, serve as guidelines for state medical boards.

The FSMB House of Delegates took the following actions related to reports offered by two workgroups:

1. The Model Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Social Media and Social Networking in Medical Practice contained in BRD RPT 12-1; Report of the Special Committee on Ethics and Professionalism were ADOPTED as policy and the remainder of the report filed.

Some points covered in the guidelines include:
  • Physicians should only have online interaction with patients when discussing the patient’s medical treatment within the physician-patient relationship—and these interactions should never occur on personal social networking or social media websites.

  • Patient privacy and confidentiality must be protected at all times, especially on social media and social networking websites. Although physicians may discuss their experiences in non-clinical settings, they should never provide any information that could be used to identify patients.

  • Physicians should be aware that any information they post on a social networking site may be disseminated to a larger audience, and that what they say may be taken out of context or remain publicly available online in perpetuity.

2. The recommendations contained in BRD RPT 12-2; Report on the Special Committee on Reentry to Practice were ADOPTED as policy and the remainder of the report filed.

The Reentry report encourages state medical boards to develop a standardized process for physicians and physician assistants to demonstrate their competence prior to reentering practice after an extended absence from clinical practice. It includes 12 Reentry Guidelines designed to provide medical boards with a framework of common standards and conceptual processes for physician and physician assistant reentry. The guidelines include:
  • Education and Communications Issues

  • Determining Fitness to Reenter Practice

  • Mentoring Practitioners Who Want to Reenter the Workforce

  • Improving Regulation of Licensed Practitioners Who Are Clinically Inactive

  • The Relationship between Licensure and Specialty Certification

The NCMB has a well-defined Reentry Program and has been a leader among medical boards in establishing reentry as a regulatory priority. More information on reentry in North Carolina

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