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Chapter 360-15 CONTINUING EDUCATION

Rule 360-15-.01 Requirements for Physicians

(1) Physicians licensed to practice medicine pursuant to O.C.G.A. 43-34-26 shall complete Board approved continuing education of not less than 40 hours biennially, with the following exceptions:
(a) Physicians enrolled in full time graduate medical education programs (residencies and fellowships) which are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association.
(b) Physicians who are initially licensed by the Board and who have not renewed their licenses for the first time.
(c) Physicians whose licenses are not active, such as those who are Inactive or Revoked. Physicians who are suspended or in some other way disciplined by the Board must meet the requirements unless otherwise stipulated by Board Order.
(d) Physicians who are retired, who have an active license, and who provide uncompensated health care services pursuant to Code Section 43-34-41; shall be required to complete 10 hours of Board approved continuing education biennially.
(e) Physicians specifically exempted from this requirement due to cases of hardship, disability, illness, service in the United States Congress, service in the Georgia General Assembly or military service, if supported by adequate documentation acceptable to the Board.
1. Physicians seeking such an exemption must submit a written request and documentation to support their eligibility for such an exemption.
2. Said request for an exemption should be submitted to the Board in a sufficient time period prior to the expiration of the license to receive a determination from the Board as to whether an exemption would be granted.
(2) The Board accepts the following as meeting its requirement for Board approval:
(a) A.M.A. (American Medical Association) Category 1 credit;
(b) A.O.A. (American Osteopathic Association) Category 1 credit;
(c) A.A.F.P. (American Academy of Family Physicians) Prescribed credit;
(d) A.C.O.G. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) Cognates, Category 1;
(e) A.C.E.P. (American College of Emergency Physicians) Category 1.
1. It is the responsibility of the licensee to verify approval with the source of the program, not with the Board, and the licensee should verify approval before taking the course.
(3) Physicians who do not hold a certification in pain management or palliative medicine, and whose opioid pain management patients comprise 50% or more of the patient population must demonstrate competence by biennially obtaining 20 (twenty) hours of continuing medical education ("CME") pertaining to pain management or palliative medicine.
1. Such CME must be an AMA/AOA PRA Category 1 CME, a board approved CME program, or any federally approved CME. The CME obtained pursuant to this rule may count towards the CME required for license renewal.
(4) Effective January 1, 2018, every physician not subject to Rule 360-15-.01(3) who maintains an active DEA certificate and prescribes controlled substances, except those holding a residency training permit, shall complete at least one time three or more hours of AMA/AOAPRA Category 1 CME that is designed specifically to address controlled substance prescribing practices. The controlled substance prescribing CME shall include instruction on controlled substance prescribing guidelines, recognizing signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management. The certification of such completion must occur at the first renewal following January 1, 2018 or the first renewal following licensure. Completion of this requirement may count as three hours toward the CME requirement for license renewal.
(5) In meeting the continuing education requirements, the Board will waive one hour CME requirement for physicians for each four hours of documented work by the physician in uncompensated health care services such as free clinics up to a maximum of ten CME hours per biennium. In order to receive the waiver, the physician shall submit to the Board documentation of such work at the time of renewal.
(6) In meeting the continuing education requirements, the Board will waive up to eight CME hours per biennium for peer reviews of Board investigative cases for the Board. Specifically, a physician may obtain waiver of two (2) CME hours for each investigative case peer review conducted at the request of the Board.
(7) Physicians who must meet the requirements of this Chapter must document the completion of Board approved continuing education of not less than 40 hours during the two year term of the license. The license will expire on the last day of the month in which the applicant's birthday falls. License must be renewed biennially by the last day of the month in which the applicant's birthday falls and the licensee must satisfy the Board approved continuing education requirements during the biennial renewal cycle to be eligible for renewal.
(8) Each licensed physician who must meet these requirements must maintain records of attendance and supporting documents for continuing education for a period of 5 years from the date of attendance. At a minimum, the following must be kept:
(a) Name of provider;
(b) Name of program;
(c) Hours/continuing education Units completed;
(d) Date of Completion;
(e) Evidence of A.M.A. Category 1 credit or A.O.A. Category 1 credit.

Rule 360-15-.02 Compliance

(1) Physicians will be required to answer questions on their biennial renewal form which establish either compliance or eligibility for exception pursuant to Rule 360-15-.01(1). Physicians will not be required to send documentation of compliance with continuing education requirements for renewal, unless requested by the Board, pursuant to Rule 360-15-.02(2). False statements regarding satisfaction of continuing education requirements on the renewal form or any other documents connected with the practice of medicine may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the Board.
(2) The Board will audit a fixed percentage of randomly selected renewal applications to monitor compliance with the continuing medical education requirements. Any physician so audited will be required to furnish documentation of compliance including name of provider, name of program, hours/continuing Education Units completed, date of completion, and evidence of A.M.A. Category 1 or A.O.A. Category 1 credit pursuant to this Chapter.
(3) If the physician has not complied with the continuing medical education requirement by the expiration of the physician's license, his or her license shall not be renewed and the physician shall not engage in the practice of medicine. A physician may late renew during the three (3) months following the expiration of her or her license by presenting satisfactory evidence to the Board of completion of the required Board approved continuing medical education hours and paying the late renewal fee. Licenses that are not renewed within three (3) months of the expiration date of the license shall be revoked for failure to renew. In order to obtain a valid license after revocation for failure to renew, an applicant must apply for reinstatement in accordance with rule 360-2-.07.
(4) Continuing medical education hours that are used to satisfy a deficiency shall be excluded from the computation of hours required to be completed for the renewal of the physician's license for the next biennium.