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Oct 17 2019

Recent updates to the Medical Practice Act

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The N.C. General Assembly recently updated NCMB’s authorizing statute, the Medical Practice Act. The update includes many technical and substantive changes, including the following:

• Duty to Report: Establishes a new requirement, effective Oct. 1, 2019, for NCMB licensees to report sexual misconduct involving a patient, fraudulent prescribing, drug diversion, or theft of any controlled substances that the licensee reasonably believes has been committed by any person licensed by the Board. To access the reporting form or to learn more about the new requirement, visit

• Automatic and permanent revocation or denial for felony conviction of sex crimes: Creates a new crime of sexual misconduct under the pretext of medical treatment and strengthens the Board’s ability to deny or withdraw licensure if individuals have been convicted of felony sex crimes. Under the law as amended, the Board shall permanently revoke the license or deny the application of any individual convicted of a felony sex crime, and the convicted licensee would be ineligible for reinstatement.

• Expanding scope of volunteer licenses: As amended the law now permits volunteer license holders to work “in association” with an indigent clinic. This change will allow volunteers to do home visits or practice via telemedicine, as long as this is done in association with an indigent clinic.

• Malpractice Reporting: Changes to the law obligate licensees with a malpractice carrier that is owned and operated outside of North Carolina to report any malpractice judgments, awards or settlements within 30 days. Previously, only licensees with NC-based and operated carriers were required to make such reports.

• Death Certificates: Expands authorization of who can sign a death certificate in the absence of the treating provider as long as the individual makes reasonable efforts to determine the cause of death. The law also grants civil and professional immunity to those completing death certificates in good faith.

You can read the full text of the bill, Session Law 2019-191, here.

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