Mandatory e-Prescriptions for California Prescribers Now in Place
Beginning January 1, 2022, all prescriptions written by licensed prescribers in California are now required to be issued electronically — as mandated by Assembly Bill (AB) 2789.
The law requires all prescriptions in California to be issued as an electronic data transmission prescription (e-prescription). However, it provides certain exemptions — among them, if an e-prescription is temporarily unavailable because of technological or electrical failure or if the prescription is dispensed by a pharmacy located outside California.
Under the new law, a health care practitioner who does not issue a controlled substance prescription via e-prescription must document the reason as soon as practicable, and within 72 hours of any technological or electrical failure.
The Medical Board of California (MBC) is recommending that all licensed prescribers have paper prescription forms available that meet the requirements of the state’s Health and Safety Code, should a technological or electrical failure prevent a prescription from being issued electronically.
MBC recently produced a podcast discussing the state’s new requirements. To listen, visit https://www.mbc.ca.gov/News/Podcast/.
Source: Source: Medical Board of California News, Vol. 159, Third Quarter Edition
California Sunset Bill Brings Significant Changes to the Medical Board of California
Changes to the Medical Board of California (MBC) are underway, following the signing of Senate Bill (SB) 806 — the Board’s sunset bill that includes licensing fee increases, changes to licensing requirements and new laws intended to enhance the Board’s mission of consumer protection.
Under SB 806, all application, initial licensing and renewal fees will increase. Additionally, the law requires all applicants and licensees to have an email address and provide it to the Board no later than July 1, 2022.
SB 806 provides several enforcement program changes designed to strengthen consumer protection in California. The law restores the Board’s authority to recover prosecution and investigation costs associated with disciplining physicians and it clarifies malpractice settlement reporting requirements, requiring licensees — or their insurer/legal counsel — to provide to MBC a copy of any such settlement agreements greater than $30,000.
Under SB 806, the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs will be required to appoint an enforcement monitor to review MBC’s enforcement efforts and make recommendations for improvements. The enforcement monitor will issue two reports to the Legislature in 2023, documenting the monitor’s findings and recommendations.
California’s law related to licensed midwife complaint review is being clarified, stating that all quality-of-care complaints involving a licensed midwife shall be reviewed by a medical consultant who possesses the pertinent education, training, and expertise in midwifery.
SB 806 also authorizes MBC to use confidential letters of advice to resolve minor violations of the Medical Practice Act not related to patient care. To implement this change, the Board must first go through the formal rulemaking process.
SB 806 overhauls postgraduate training requirements for medical school graduates seeking licensure in California. MBC will now require credit for 12 months of approved postgraduate training for graduates of medical schools located in the United States or Canada, and 24 months of postgraduate training for graduates of international medical schools.
The law also requires the physicians to demonstrate receiving credit for 36 months of postgraduate training, including 24 consecutive months in the same program, when renewing their license for the first time.
In addition, the law grants the Board the authority to issue a license to applicants who demonstrate substantial compliance with these requirements.
According to SB 806, the Board is no longer required to send a certified mail notification to those whose licenses may expire and permits the elimination of paper-based application forms for licensure. Penalty and delinquent fees will be due to the Board 30 days following license expiration under the bill, rather than after 90 days.
Under SB 806, the Board’s next sunset date is extended to January 1, 2024.
For more information about these changes, visit the Board’s SB 806 web page at https://www.mbc.ca.gov/About/Laws/SB806.aspx.
Source: Medical Board of California News, Vol. 159, Fourth Quarter Edition
Podcast Explores Responsibilities of Clinicians in Addressing Child Abuse
The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) has posted a new podcast that addresses child maltreatment and focuses on clinicians’ critical role in protecting children from abuse.
Hosted by NCMB Communications Director Jean Fisher Brinkley as a part of the “MedBoard Matters” series, the podcast features a panel discussion with some of the state’s foremost experts on addressing child abuse and neglect. The panel explores how medical professionals can help to protect children from abuse and neglect by strengthening their ability to recognize and report child maltreatment. A key point made during the podcast is that the obligation to report in North Carolina is not limited to pediatricians, social workers and others who work directly with children.
To listen to the podcast, visit https://www.ncmed-board.org/resources-information/multimedia/medboard-matters-podcast.
Source: North Carolina Medical Board website news announcement, Dec. 20, 2021
Oregon PDMP Launches New Enhancements
Oregon’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) recently implemented two new enhancements: the Peer Comparison Report and the Organization Management Tool. These enhancements are aimed at assisting providers in self-assessing their prescribing practices and to allow medical, dental and pharmacy directors to assess the prescribing of those whom they oversee.
The Peer Comparison Report is available to Oregon providers who have prescribed at least one controlled substance in the last two years. The report shows the provider’s prescribing trends relative to those within their same specialty. The specialty is self-reported when providers set up their PDMP profiles and can be updated by logging into the web portal.
Peer Comparison Reports focus on four areas that have been shown to be associated with increased patient risks:
High-dose opioid prescribing
Frequent prescribing to patients with four or more prescribers
Co-prescribing opioid and benzodiazepines
Initiating opioid-naïve patients on opioids with long day supply (>42 doses)
The new Organization Management Tool allows medical directors to set up a cohort of prescribers they oversee, allowing the medical director to view the prescribing histories and the Peer Comparison Reports of each member of the cohort. The tool, which is currently in a soft launch and testing phase, does not provide cohort level analytics.
All Oregon Medical Board licensees with an active registration status and an Oregon DEA number are required to enroll in the state’s PDMP, which is administered by the Oregon Health Authority.
Source: Oregon Medical Board Report, Fall 2021