Continuing Medical Education on Opioid Prescribing to be Mandatory in NC

February 18th, 2016

The NC Medical Board is soliciting comment on draft rules for implementing a new state requirement that all prescribers of controlled substances obtain mandatory continuing medical education in prescribing these medications. The NC General Assembly passed legislation in 2015 calling for mandatory opioid prescribing education for prescribers of controlled substances, leaving it to individual boards how to implement the requirement.

Under the proposed rules, physician licensees would be required to earn three hours of Category 1 CME in controlled substances prescribing during each three-year CME cycle, and physician assistants would be required to earn two hours of controlled substances prescribing CME during their two-year cycle. CME earned may count towards the licensee’s total number of required hours for the cycle. Under current CME rules, physicians are required to complete 60 hours of Category 1 CME over three years, while PAs must earn 50 hours over two years.

The rule changes do not provide detailed guidance on the content of courses to be completed. The only requirement is that course content be related to controlled substances prescribing practices, recognizing signs of abuse or misuse of controlled substances and/or controlled substances prescribing in the context of chronic pain management.

Read the Proposed Changes to the Physician CME Rule

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