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Nov 13 2015

New law mandates controlled substances CME for physicians and other prescribers

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The NC budget appropriations act signed into law in September includes a new requirement for licensed physicians and physician assistants and other licensed medical professionals to complete at least one hour of the total continuing education hours required in controlled substances prescribing.

Boards have discretion under the new law to determine how best to implement the CME requirement. The Board will consider the new law and discuss how to implement it for physician and PA licensees at its January meeting.

Current CME rules for physicians require 60 hours of Category 1 CME over a three year period.

A physician assistant must complete at least 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every two years, at least 50 hours of which must be American Academy of Physician Assistants Category I CME.

New CME Requirements
A provision signed into law this fall makes CME in controlled substances prescribing mandatory for all who prescribe them.

The following health care provider occupational licensing boards shall require continuing education on the abuse of controlled substances as a condition of license renewal for health care providers who prescribe controlled substances:
    1. North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners.
    2. North Carolina Board of Nursing.
    3. North Carolina Board of Podiatry Examiners.
    4. North Carolina Medical Board.

SECTION 12F.16.(c)
In establishing the continuing education standards, the boards listed in subsection (b) of this section shall require that at least one hour of the total required continuing education hours consists of a course designed specifically to address prescribing practices. The course shall include, but not be limited to, instruction on controlled substance prescribing practices and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.

 Comments on this article:

It is my sincere hope that this will be available online, as I do not have the time nor interest to attend this mandatory training in person in Raleigh. I’m too busy filling out third party payor forms, Maintenance of Certification, 60 hours of CME, and oh yeah, the rare dinner with my family.

By Keith A Raymond MD on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:38am

I applaud this! The war against the abuse of prescription drugs must include us. Vigilant, responsible, and educated providers can help decrease the numbers of pills that are diverted and misused.

By Melinda Lada, MD on Dec 31, 2015 at 8:54pm
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