Attention:  Extortion Scam by Fake DEA Agents

            The Medical Board of California has recently become aware of scam artists posing as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents or Medical Board staff trying to extort physicians in California.  These scammers play fake DEA agents or Board staff members as part of an extortion scheme stating that they are calling in regards to ongoing investigations regarding the physician’s license that was issued by the Medical Board of California.  These physicians are told that their license is at risk of being suspended for illegal drug trafficking, and therefore, may end up having to stop practicing, at least temporarily.  The scammers may even provide what is called an “Agreement for the Bond and Protocols” which includes statements that licensees cannot share or disclose the investigation to a third party as well as agree to pay a bond fee of $25,000.  The scammers’ phone number may even show up as the Medical Board’s toll free number (800) 633-2322.

Top 10 Apps or Websites to Improve Physicians Productivity

Medicine has gained considerably from technology. In the last decades, it has drastically changed the patient-doctor relationship and the way doctors work daily. Telemedicine, for example, connects patients with their specialist remotely, without the need to go to a hospital. On the other hand, many digital platforms help physicians identify symptoms or choose the best medication.

Necessary Types of Insurance for Doctors & Healthcare

When it comes to purchasing insurance, physicians tend to focus solely on professional liability insurance.  This is understandable considering it applies to the risk that is most worrisome as well as it being the largest premium they will have to pay.  There are, however, other kinds of insurance that can be just as crucial to protecting their assets and securing their practice.  Physicians may not be aware of this but certain forms of coverage are required by law.  Many practices do know what is required or needed until it is too late.  Not all practices need every form of coverage but the following is a simplified guide to the most common types of insurance physicians purchase for their practices. 

5 Physician’s Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice

In our experience as professional medical liability insurance advisors, we receive frequently asked questions about medical malpractice that doctors want to know each time they contact us. Here are some of them:

How to Deal with Work-related Stress as Healthcare Professionals?

The working days of physician and nurses are especially exhausting. It takes a lot of physical endurance to run in the hospital corridors and spend hours without eating or sleeping. Mental strength is also needed, as they must give their full attention to each patient, deal with extreme situations, and know-how to relate emotionally to people.

Is Your Electronic Health Record a Malpractice Risk?

A plan to introduce electronic health records (EHRs) across the country was started in 2004 by President George W. Bush to “avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs, and improve care.”  The main reason for the EHR adoption was to avoid medical errors which is a huge reason for medical malpractice claims, but in actuality the number of medical liability claims has actually risen with the EHR as a contributing factor.  A research report by The Doctors Company in 2017 showed that the number of EHR-related claims grew from only 2 claims between 2007 – 2010 to 92 claims between 2014-2016. 

HELP YOUR BROKER HELP YOU

If you aren’t too familiar with professional liability insurance, you probably think that a broker and an agent are the same thing but you couldn’t be more wrong.  Do you know that a “broker” works for the insured?  He works for you!  Did you know a “broker” has the insured’s best interest in mind?  He wants what’s best for you! 

6 Time Saving Tips for Physicians

One of the most valuable commodities for physicians and medical practices is TIME.  It always seems like there is not enough time to ensure that patients are getting the care they need, the attention they deserve, that health and test records are logged accurately, etc.  The following list includes six quick tips and strategies on how to provide patient care in the most effective manner possible.

Increasing CME and CE Compliance Audits

Effective immediately, the Licensing Program of the Medical Board of California has increased the number of audits conducted for continuing medical education (CME) compliance by physicians as well as continuing education (CE) compliance by licensed midwives from 1% to 10%.

New Prescription Forms Required for Controlled Substances

Effective January 1, 2019, new prescription forms with uniquely printed serialized numbers are required for controlled substances.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released notices that explain the serial number format and the reporting requirements.  Notices from the Medical Board of California and the California State Board of Pharmacy have also been sent out to prescribers and pharmacists. 

6 Ways to Prevent Patient Injury and Ultimately Avoid Lawsuits for Physicians

Risks surround physicians every single day, ranging from alleged diagnostic errors to inadequate follow-up.  This is where risk management comes in and is so crucial to practicing healthcare professionals.  Risk management is a series of strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of injury to the patient and also reduces the likelihood that a suit will result if an injury occurs. 

Starting a Successful Private Practice – Laying the Foundation 

Opening up your own practice can be a long and laborious process but the long-term rewarding benefits can enrich your life.  Some examples of these benefits include enhanced physician-patient relationships and the freedom to practice guided by your own personal and professional goals.  Building a solid foundation in the early planning stages will prepare you for a successful practice in the future.  The necessary steps to start building this foundation are described below. 

Increasing CME and CE Compliance Audits

Written by Sarah Lim, CA Lic# 0M52397

Increasing CME and CE Compliance Audits

Effective immediately, the Licensing Program of the Medical Board of California has increased the number of audits conducted for continuing medical education (CME) compliance by physicians as well as continuing education (CE) compliance by licensed midwives from 1% to 10%.

California law requires physicians to complete a minimum of 50 hours of approved CME every 2 years (every license renewal).  Licensed midwives are required to complete 36 hours of approved CE every 2-year renewal cycle. 

The Board is legally required to conduct monthly audits to ensure that licensees are complying with the CE and CME requirements.  These audits consist of a group of randomly selected physicians who have signed the CME certification statement or licensed midwives who have signed the CE completion statement on their renewal notice. 

Physicians and licensed midwives are also required to keep records of the CME and CE for at least four years.  Maintained documents must include course title, dates, number of credit hours, accrediting agency, and the name of the participating physician/licensed midwife.  CME or CE documentation is not necessary when applying for license renewal unless the physician/licensed midwife is audited. 

If an audited physician or licensed midwife cannot provide documentation showing that the CME/CE hours were completed, the Licensing program will allow a one-time renewal with the condition that the deficient CME/CE hours are made up.  It is important to know that the Board WILL NOT renew a second time without all CME/CE hours completed. 

 

The following are a few ways to earn CME/CE hours:

1)    A physician can receive 100 CME hours for four consecutive years by passing a certifying or re-certifying exam administered by a recognized specialty board. 

2)    Up to one-third of CME/CE hours can be earned by teaching or presenting a course that meets the CME/CE requirement.

3)    CME/CE hours may be waived in cases that involve illness, military service, and undue hardship. 

More information on CME requirements can be found on the following website: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/Licensees/Continuing_Education/ as well as Section 1379.26 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations and Section 2518 of the California Business and Professions Code.

 

 

Doctors MUST Use the Name Listed on Their Medical License – It is the Law

Honesty goes a long way in patient-doctor relationships.  Not only does this honesty apply to when patients are talking about their health; it also applies to the name doctors use to practice medicine.  Doctors must be aware that they are legally required to obtain a Fictitious Name Permit (FNP) if they want to use a name other than what is on their license.  The Fictitious Name Permit allows the doctor to practice medicine under a different name.