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Chapter 500-5 CONTINUING PODIATRIC MEDICAL EDUCATION

Rule 500-5-.01 Continuing Education Hours. Amended

(1) The purpose of continuing education hours for podiatrists is to maintain and enhance the professional competence of podiatrists licensed to practice in Georgia for the protection of the health and welfare of the people of the State of Georgia.
(2) As a requirement for the biennial renewal of his/her license, a podiatrist must certify to the Georgia State Board of Podiatry Examiners the completion of not less than fifty (50) hours of approved continuing education in the preceding two (2) years prior to the license expiration date.
(a) No more than ten (10) hours shall be obtained from online courses/correspondence courses/webinar, and such courses must be approved by the Council of Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).
(b) No more than ten (10) hours shall be obtained live (in person) from any healthcare related source.
(c) At least thirty (30) continuing medical education hours must be approved by the Council of Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) and/or the Georgia Podiatric Medical Association (GPMA) and must be obtained live (in person).
(3) A podiatrist who has obtained a Georgia licensed by reciprocity or by examination, and who must renew his or her Georgia license for the first time, shall obtain the following number of continuing education hours prior to renewal of the license:
(a) If the license was issued during the first six (6) months of the biennial renewal period, from September of the odd numbered year to the end of the following February, the full fifty (50) hours of continuing education shall be required for renewal;
(b) If the license was issued during the following twelve (12) months of the biennial renewal period, from March of the even numbered year to February of the odd numbered year of the licensure period, thirty (30) hours of continuing education shall be required for the license renewal;
(c) If the license was issued during the last six (6) months of the biennial renewal period, from March of the odd numbered year to August of the odd numbered year, the licensee shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements for that biennial licensing cycle and no continuing education hours shall be required to renew the license.
(4) This rule shall become effective with the 2013 -2015 renewal cycle.

Rule 500-5-.02 Continuing Education Reporting and Auditing

(1) At the time a license to practice podiatric medicine is renewed, the applicant must acknowledge and state that the applicant has earned the required continuing education credit hours for license renewal.
(2) The renewal applicant must keep on file a record of the accumulated continuing credit hours, titles, where the courses were obtained, and the certificate of completion with the number of approved CME credits/hours for no less than three (3) renewal periods or six (6) years from the date of attendance.
(3) The Georgia State Board of Podiatry Examiners ("Board") shall conduct random audits of CME hours.
(a) Audits conducted before license expiration date. Licensees whose renewal applications are selected for CME hours audit before the license expiration date must submit to the Board records of attendance and supporting documents for CME hours obtained before a licensee's renewal application is completed.
(1) Before a licensee license is renewed, if an audit of the license renewal application shows that the number of CME hours or documentation for CME hours required for renewal is deficient, documentation satisfactory to the Board shall be submitted prior to granting renewal of the license.
(2) The Board may take disciplinary action against a licensee based upon the outcome of an audit and may require, as a condition of granting renewal, that the licensee agree to terms and conditions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) pay a fine of $50.00 per unsubstantiated or deficient credit hour;
(ii) submit proof satisfactory to the Board of completion of all deficient CE hours, none of which deficient hours may be used to satisfy the CE requirement of any subsequent renewal cycle;
(iii) comply with and satisfy all terms and conditions required for license renewal imposed by the Board prior to the end of the late renewal period;
(iv) failure to comply with all the Board's terms and conditions by the end of the late renewal period may result in revocation of the license; and
(v) additional sanctions and penalties based upon the facts and circumstances as determined by the Board.
(b) Audits conducted after license expiration date. After a license is renewed, an audit may be conducted of CE hours submitted in connection with the license renewal application. Licensees whose renewal applications are selected for CME hours audit after license renewal must submit upon request records of attendance and supporting documents for the CME hours obtained for license renewal.
(1) The Board may take disciplinary action against a license if the licensee fails to certify or submit adequate proof of completed CE hours, or if the CE documentation submitted is incorrect, false, or fraudulent.
(2) The Board's disciplinary action against a licensee based upon the outcome of an audit may include the suspension of the renewed license and the imposition of terms and conditions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) a fine of $50.0) per unsubstantiated credit hour;
(ii) proof satisfactory to the Board documenting the completion of all deficient CE hours, none of which deficient hours may be used to satisfy the CE requirement of any subsequent renewal cycle;
(iii) all terms and conditions shall be satisfied prior to the end of the late renewal period and/or prior to the lifting of license suspension and restoration of the license to active status; and
(iv) failure to comply with the Board's terms and conditions by the end of the late renewal period may result in revocation of the license.
(4) The submission of a false statement on a license renewal application that the CME hours requirement has been met, after substantiation thereof, may result in the revocation of a license by the Board.

Rule 500-5-.03 Approval of Providers and Sponsors

Approval of Providers and Sponsors shall be as follows:

(a) In lieu of individual state regulations, the Georgia State Board of Podiatry Examiners will recognize providers and sponsors approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association. The qualifying hours of continuing education shall be determined and approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education.
(b) Continuing medical education credit will be recognized for scientific sessions offered by the Georgia Podiatric Medical Association. Course content, attendance and number of credit hours shall be determined by the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Podiatric Medical Association utilizing the Council of Podiatric Medical Education guidelines. This category is not to exceed fifty (50%) percent of the continuing education requirement per biennium.
(c) The Georgia State Board of Podiatry Examiners may approve continuing medical education programs in its discretion that are not otherwise approved.
(d) It will be the responsibility of the individual podiatrist to ascertain in advance that the courses which he/she attends have received proper approval of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education.