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.   

Free Online CME Credit from California Environmental Protection Agency 

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency has announced two of its courses that offer continuing medical education credits.  These courses are recently revised free online one-hour courses.

Medical Pandemic – A New Kind of Coverage for Hospitals

Hospitals and large medical institutions are always at a high risk of being exposed to an outbreak of a contagious disease due to the constant traffic of people with all kinds of illnesses.  If a medical pandemic were to ever happen, the amount of revenue lost due to the interruption in business extra expenses could be too big a loss to bounce back from.  This is where the new medical catastrophe “contagion” business interruption protection will be necessary. 

The difference between Agent & Broker in California - Medical Malpractice Insurance

The most basic definition of an insurance agent is provided in Section 31 of the California Insurance Code, which states that an insurance agent is “a person authorized, by and on behalf of an insurer, to transact all classes of insurance other than life insurance.” [All statutory references herein are to the California Insurance Code or Title X of the California Administrative Code (the “Regulations”)]. In contrast, an insurance broker, is defined by Section 33, is “a person who, for compensation and on behalf of another person, transacts insurance other than life with, but not on behalf of, an insurer.” These statutory sections explain that at the most fundamental level, agents transact on behalf of the insurer while brokers transact on behalf of the insured.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) – Why You Need It and Ways to Avoid Employment-Related Lawsuits

All types of employers in any size company are sued by employees more often than you think.  In recent years, over 100,000 administrative actions were filed with federal and state regulators.  Whether you employ 1 person or 100 people, EPLI can protect you from the financial responsibilities an employment lawsuit can incur.  EPLI provides financial protection from claims that involve discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, etc.  EPLI can also protect you from administrative actions involving wrongful discharge, defamation, invasion of privacy, etc.  Lastly, EPLI will cover the cost for defense specializing in employment law. 

Is Your Private Practice Fully Covered?

Running a private practice includes the storing and using of personal and private data that includes things like emails, patient files, financial records, inventories, etc.  Nowadays, with technology advancing so quickly, a risk of breach in the business network and private data is so high that private practices and doctors’ offices are now seeking out cyber liability insurance.  This insurance can cover you in the following situations: 

 Changes Within the Medical Board of California That Can Affect You

Effective January 1, 2020, all physician applicants, regardless of which medical school they attended, will have to complete three years of Board-approved postgraduate training.  For those residents who participate in a California approved postgraduate training program will receive a postgraduate training license created by this new law.